Tech-Ed Wrap Up 2008

Last week, I attended another Tech-Ed, and once again enjoyed myself immensely. Microsoft usually has at least one blockbuster announcement, a few with actual substance, and a host of trivial debuts.

This time around, there was no blockbuster announcement, only a couple with any real substance, and a host of trivial news. That's because Microsoft has either shipped or announced all the big stuff, like Vista, SQL Server 2008, etc.

Microsoft did offer up its usual keynotes, but this time around it wasn't hyping Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer. Instead, server and tools VP Bob Muglia took center stage (an indication of just how highly Mr. Muglia is regarded by Mr. Ballmer and Mr. Gates!).

Muglia talked about two of his favorite topics: dynamic computing and virtualization. To me, the term "dynamic" doesn't really say anything obvious. If you peek below the surface, it means IT that is adaptive, self-healing and adds business value. Why didn't you just say so?

A big part of Dynamic is infrastructure optimization, a Microsoft IT maturity model similar to work done by Gartner and MIT. I spent weeks researching this model, and finally think I almost get it. Check out my article here and tell me where I'm wrong.

But Muglia really hit his stride talking about virtualization and Hyper-V in particular. So far, VMware has had the virtualization market almost all to itself. With Hyper-V set to ship by the end of this summer, and with Microsoft's huge base of third parties, I predict instant success.

Here's the good news: Hyper-V will actually help VMware by dramatically expanding the market. And since VMware more and more is focusing on add-on tools, it could rake in billions selling management and storage wares for Hyper-V.

And Citrix/Xen is also poised for growth. Microsoft and Citrix have a development agreement that makes the APIs for Xen and Hyper-V similar (I'm waiting to see just how similar). If this works, Hyper-V add-ons can be easily ported to Xen, creating an instant Xen third-party market.

Third-Party View
For me, I go to Tech-Ed more for the third parties than anything else. Redmond magazine Executive Editor Lafe Low did a fine report on new third parties, including Vipre, a security suite from Sunbelt Software, and GroupID, a new identity management product from Imanami. Learn more from Lafe here.

Our other executive editor, Peter Varhol, also reported on new tools from Quest and Lieberman here.

Speaking of Parties
We here at Redmond magazine like to have fun. That's why our Tech-Ed party has become such a tradition. Despite sheets of rain, thunder and lightning, over 300 people (mostly third parties, who -- besides readers -- are our favorite people) joined us for free drinks, food and lots of conversation.

I just want to thank all the party goers, and we look forward to seeing you at our next blowout next year!

If you enjoyed the party, send a note to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editorial director of Redmond Channel Partner.