TechEd Europe 2013 Day 3 and Day 4: Windows 8.1 & Office365 with PowerShell

Due to a tight schedule I have not been able to post a Blog last night… I’ll do it now. Although the Windows 8.1 Preview is already out there I still think I should mention a few things. And of course I had to see my co-chairman of the Dutch Office365 User Group do his session on managing Office365 with Powershell. The rest of my time at TechEd I was proctoring the Hands On Labs and I was assisting in the Instructor Led Labs, making a difference for the delegates of the Event.

So, now we have Windows 8.1 with the return of something like a Start button (imho it could be left out anyway, remember how laughed at the Start button back in ’95?). But if it makes you happy, I’m happy. The real good news is that the switching between “Metro” (oeps, Modern UI) and the classic desktop is much less. For desktop users, they can choose to stay in the classic desktop and yes, boot to the classic desktop, while touch/tablet users can stay in the Modern UI. That’s neat!

In my previous Blog I already mentioned “Workspaces”, a safe online/offline way of connecting to corporate fileshares over https for mobile devices. You need to implement this on a Server 2012 R2. Windows 8.1 defaults to Skydrive for saving files but gives the user the opportunity to keep a locally cached copy of those files.


Danny Burlage did a nice job in delivering his session Powershell. I know as a MCT and speaker that Powershell is not “sexy” and it’s hard to deliver an interesting hour! It took him only 1 hour to provision a newly created Office365 Tenant with User, Contact, DistributionGroups, Rooms, Archives and so on with just a few amazingly simple PowerShell scripts.

CU at the next Teched?


TechEd Europe 2013 SCVMM R2 Session

After joining a session on ConfigMgr and Intune, which brought me nothing new, I joined a session on System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 ( ).

There is some interesting new stuff in SCVMM2012R2:

  • Apart from SC AppController for Self-Service there is the Windows Azure Pack. WAP gives the look and feel of Azure but is targeted at your Private Cloud.
  • Cisco now provides a Virtual Nexus 1000 Switch ( ) for Virtual Networks based on Hyper-V.
  • VMM R2 will provide a Gateway out-of-the-box with the Border Gateway Protocol.
  • There will be Service Templates for all System Center Components (sounds like a deeper development of the Powershell Deployment Toolkit)
  • Guest Cluster can now use a VHDX as shared storage (as long as the VHDX resides on a CSV Cluster).
  • VMM R2 can manage Physical Switches.
  • I already mentioned in yesterdays’ Blogpost the Azure Hyper-V Replica Manager for orchestrating a failover to a DR Site.

Pretty neat features for a R2 release!

I’ll be back tomorrow.

TechEd Europe 2013 My Keynote Highlights from Madrid

Although TechEd North America finished some three weeks ago I would like to mention a couple things from the, mostly the same Keynote as 3 weeks yonder. They have not become less worthwhile in that short period of time.

And, there was a great announcement! The bits of a lot of upcoming stuff are available as of today as Preview:

  • Server 2012 R2
  • System Center 2012 R2
  • SQL 2014
  • Visual Studio

Here comes the summer J.

As an IT Pro I focus on what was said concerning this line of IT Business. A quote I really liked: “BYO is not a privilege, it is a right.” Such is the perception of users. Out of that Identity Management is a major thing and Microsoft proposes to leverage Azure Active Directory with the Onprem Active Directory (no-brainer for Office365 en Intune admins). The same goes for leveraging Windows Intune with SCCM! SQL 2014 Management Studio can connect to SQL Azure

Extending stuff to Azure with the Windows Azure Pack, gives the look and feel of the Azure Portal to both your Private Cloud and the Azure Public Cloud. The MSDN accounts on Azure are now calculated per minute (as per hour in the “old” days), making it easier for Devs to test their Apps.

A super Server 2012 R2 feature is “auto-tiering” of storage where you can mix SSD with JOBD and the OS will find out what to store where, now that is cool!

Azure now has a Hyper-V Recovery Service with which you van Orchestrate Data Center failovers….. pffff.

A demo of Windows 8.1 showed us “workplace connect” en “worker folders”. I like the Wrker Folders (on Server 2012 R2 that is); it syncs and secures ordinary fileshares over hhtps to any user-device…. Very very neat!

The rest of my 1st day was filled with assisting as Microsoft Certified Trainer so no details from me on the breakout sessions which you can see on

Enjoy, I’ll be back with more!