“The UC Architects”: a new Unified Communications podcast online now!

I’m very pleased to announce that from today you can download the first episode of “The UC Architects”; a regular bi-weekly podcast with a focus on Microsoft Exchange and Lync!


In this week’s episode, Steve Goodman, Dave Stork, John A. Cook, Serkan Varoglu and myself talk about various topics including:

  • Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2 Update Rollup 3, and why you should update
  • Exchange 15: the rumors and the facts
  • TechEd NA, MEC
  • “What’s new in the community this week?”

In future episodes you will also be able to hear from the rest of the team including:

“The UC Architects” is available as an RSS feed, which you can subscribe to here: http://www.theucarchitects.com/podcasts/podcasts.xml

The podcast is also available in iTunes and Zune Marketplace. Check out the website for more information.

Click HERE to download the first podcast!

Blog Events Podcasts

Coming to speakers near you! Soon!

Hi all!

Are you interested in “Unified Communications”? Do you love working with products like Microsoft Exchange or Lync? Looking for some fun while driving to work? Well, if that’s the case, there’s something coming for you!

Stay tuned and find out soon what the following people have in common:

  • @stevegoodman
  • @patrichard
  • @mderooij
  • @tomarbuthnot
  • @jveldh
  • @_busbar
  • @dmstork
  • @johnacook
  • @ExchServPro
  • @StaleHansen
  • @LegendaryPricey
  • @mvanhorenbeeck



P.S.: perhaps a little hint: https://www.facebook.com/TheUcArchitects


Upcoming speaking engagements

I quickly wanted to share with you some of my upcoming speaking engagements for the next few months. The events I’m speaking on are all free and I encourage you to register as they contain lot’s of useful information. Good events are not always the ones you have to pay for!

The first event will be on the 7th of June: Microsoft Experience Days, more particular on the “Experience Windows Server 2012”-event. I will be talking about the improvements on Failover Clustering. Some of you might find this odd, since I mostly speak about Exchange and Office 365, but I’m very exited to talk about the new features in Windows Server 2012 as this magnificent OS has had a major overhaul compared to it’s predecessor Windows Server 2008 R2. Believe me: there is a lot to talk about! Smile

The second event will be the Belgian Community Day on June 21st where I will be doing a duo-presentation with my colleague Koen Vermoesen on our experiences with Exchange Server 2010 and archiving. This “Notes from the field”-session will be packed with useful information about what archiving in Exchange can (or cannot) do for you.

Looking further down the road, there are some pretty good chances I will be speaking at other events as well. Perhaps if I’m lucky, I will be able to do a session together with Peter De Tender at this year’s MCT Summit in Warsaw…We’ll see!

Hope to see you all there!




Experience Windows Server 2012 and Best of MMS

Hi all!

This year, Microsoft Belgium is holding their “best of MMS” on the 7th of June, together with an event about Windows Server 2012.
It’s a not-to-miss opportunity to get up-to-speed if you missed MMS this year.

During “The Best Of MMS 2012”, you’ll learn about what’s new in System Center 2012. Experts who attended MMS 2012 in Las Vegas will share their in-depth knowledge on various topics like:

  • Infrastructure Management
  • Service Delivery
  • Automation
  • Application Management
  • Desktop & Device Management

For more information or to register, click HERE

At “Experience Windows Server 2012” you will discover how the newest version of Windows is going beyond virtualization by scaling and securing workload, how it will enable the modern work style by giving people access to information and data regardless of the infrastructure, network, device or application they use to access it. You will also discover the power of many servers with the simplicity of only one by efficiently managing the infrastructure while maximizing uptime and minimizing failures and downtime.

The sessions that will be given that day cover topics like:

  • Hyper-V Virtualization Platform in Server 2012
  • What’s new in Active Directory
  • Storage and Management Improvements
  • Clustering improvements
  • and many more…

Don’t hesitate to subscribe for this FREE event, as this is also a not-to-miss opportunity to get ahead with Windows Server 2012!

Click HERE for more information.




TechNet Event: Join the Private Cloud Roadshow in Brussels (25 April) and Ghent (26 April)

It should not come as a surprise to you that Microsoft is putting a lot of effort into both “Private” and “Public” clouds. Part of this effort also includes involving the IT Pro and making them aware what Private Cloud is and what it can do for them.

This is why Microsoft Belgium has put up an event called the “Private Cloud Roadshow” which is a half day of training by two highly skilled MVPs: Kurt Roggen and Mike Reseller. During the event you will learn how to create your private cloud, deploy applications and services and how to automate part of your cloud. Given that the event is free and only takes up a half day of your time, there’s no reason to stay away Winking smile

There are 2 options to attend (same content, different location):

25 April 2012 in Brussels

26 April 2012 in Ghent

The agenda for both dates looks like this:

13:00 : 13:30 Welcome & Coffee
13:30 : 14:30 Building your Private Cloud Infrastructure
Learn how to build your Private Cloud infrastructure, by dealing with Fabric Management (Compute/ Hypervisors, Storage, Network), which will serve as the basis for the Private Cloud that you will be creating. We will discuss how to deploy, configure and manage each of these different elements in your datacenter.
14:30 : 14:50 Break
14:50 : 16:30 Creating, Monitoring & Operating your Private Cloud
Learn how to create your private clouds and how to deploy standardized applications or services into these clouds. Learn how to monitor your clouds and how to can handle change requests. All this key area’s will be addressed to give you an idea of what is happening in a private cloud after it is up, running, and into production.
16:30 : 16:50 Break
16:50 : 18:00 Automating & Delivering Services in your Private Cloud
Learn how you can provide automation in your private cloud. Discover also how your cloud services can be offered and consumed using different self-service portals and what their differences are.
18:00 : 19:00 Networking & Drinks

Don’t miss out on this opportunity!


Sessions I would attend @ TechEd Europe (26-29 june, Amsterdam)

TechEd is coming back to Europe and this time it’s striking down in Amsterdam from the 26th to the 29th of June. TechEd is, in my opinion of course, a one of a kind conference packed with lots and lots of great sessions about various topics. If you have the opportunity to attend the conference: don’t hesitate!

A few days ago, the first sessions were announced so I went and had a peak at what was coming our way. The conference, usually divided into multiple “tracks”, allows you to easily identify your area of interest and pick your sessions accordingly. Because of my background (and strong personal interest), I mainly focus on the following tracks:

What you will notice is that, although I spend most of my time with products like Exchange, most of the sessions I picked are from the Security & Identity track. Why is that? Well, Exchange has been around for quite some time now. This does not mean that I know the product inside out, but a lot of things have already been said and by nature I rather tend to look into the future than looking back. This is also why I would focus more on new(er) products and technologies. At this time, Windows Server 8 (and therefore also Active Directory) fits that description perfectly, hence the choice for session that mostly talk about it and it’s new features.

For one, if it were possible, I would attend all of them. But at conferences like TechEd, it’s all about choices. The list below depicts the sessions that I would attend. Please keep in mind that these are my personal choices and it does not mean that other sessions are less worth attending!

Exchange & Lync

  • Best Practices for Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Deep Dive: Coexistence between Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 High Availability Deep Dive
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010: Troubleshooting Performance Issues

Office, Office 365 & SharePoint

  • Security Design with Claims Based Authentication

Security & Identity

  • Active Directory Virtualization Safeguards and Domain Controller Cloning with Windows Server “8”
  • How to (un)Destroy Your Active Directory: Reloaded
  • Managing and Extending Active Directory Federation Services
  • Planning, Designing, and Deploying a Highly Available AD RMS Infrastructure
  • Windows Server “8” Dynamic Access Control Best Practices and Case Study Deployments in Microsoft IT
  • Windows Server “8” Dynamic Access Control Deep Dive for Active Directory and Central Authorization Policies
  • Windows Server 8 Dynamic Access Control Overview


Coverage from TechDays 2012


In case you didn’t know already (which I would find very surprising), TechDays 2012 is currently held for the first time in Kinepois ‘Imagibraine’ in Braine-l’Alleud. This 10th edition is stuffed with lots of interesting sessions covering various topics like Windows Server 8, Private Cloud, System Center, Office 365, Lync and many, many more. (A complete list of the sessions can be found here.)

As was the case in previous years, there’s a main exhibition area where you can find booths from different sponsors, partners and vendors. Alternatively you could wander around during sessions, get something to drink (or eat) and socialize with other attendants.



For the first time, there’s also a booth from MEET (Microsoft Extended Experts Team). Throughout the three days you will find a lot of the MEET-members at this booth giving you the opportunity to talk to them and ask them questions about different topics.
Small tip: ask for the coffee! Our “MEETmobile” makes the best (FRESH) coffee @ TechDays Winking smile


About the sessions

Of course, next to all of the nice things above, there’s also what matters most: the different sessions. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to attend quite a lot of them.

What’s in Windows Server 8 for the ITPro – a demo tour

This session by Corey Hynes was very interesting as he went through quite a lot of the new features that we might expect in Windows Server 8. The nice thing here was that he gave a rather high-level overview of different things that will be elaborated on in other sessions throughout the following days.
I will try to cover the contents of the different sessions about Windows 8 in a blog post in the upcoming days.

Discover how Lync works on your iPhone, Android & other smartphones/tablets

At the same time as Corey’s session, Johan gave a presentation on Lync Mobile. I was lucky to attend the exclusive preview earlier this month, so I didn’t attend this one. But from the preview (and the things I heard from other attendees) it was very interesting with some nice demo’s in the end!

Office 365: Busting the Myths

During lunch, Ilse and Koen tried “busting the myths” about Office 365. Something in which they succeeded perfectly. To give an impression of  the myths they “busted” (and what you missed):

  • The cloud is not secure
  • You cannot manage Lync Online
  • Setting up an Office 365 demo environment is difficult
  • SharePoint Online has no public website

The afternoon was mainly filled with session about Windows Server 8:

Windows 8 Hyper-V: Scalability

In the first session Bryon Surace digged deeper into the topics that Corey mentioned earlier in the day, explaining the new features in Windows 8 and Hyper-V 3.0:

  • Native Nic Teaming
  • NUMA Support
  • Hyper-V features and scalability
  • Hyper-V clustering

To close off the day, I went to John Craddock’s session about Windows 8 Dynamic Access Control: technical but incredible fun to watch! This feature looks very promising and might be able to change the way we implement security throughout our infrastructure from now onwards… I look forward to be “playing” around with it in the upcoming weeks…

So as you can see: lots of things to do and to see. As an IT Pro I can highly recommend the TechDays. It’s been a few years in a row for me now and each time the sessions (and speakers) are outstanding! So if you didn’t register for this edition, you know what to do for next year!

See you later!



My TechDays Agenda

In less then a month, TechDays 2012 will start again. This year’s double-digit edition really looks promising with lots of interesting topics!

I ususally tend to stray from the “usual” topics on the TechDays and focus more on other technologies than the UC-related ones that I’m naturally drawn to by my area of interest(s) like Exchange, Office 365, Lync,…

Below you’ll find what my agenda will – probably – look like. This doesn’t mean that the other sessions are not interesting though 😉

February 14th:

10:45-12:00: Discover how Lync  works on your iPhone, Android & other smartphones/tablets

12:00-13:00: Office 365: Busting the Myths

13:00-14:15: Take the Spaghetti out of Windows Azure – an insight for IT Pro Techies Part 1

14:30-15:45: Take the Spaghetti out of Windows Azure – an insight for IT Pro Techies Part 2

16:15-17:30: System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012, Fabric Management, creation and consumption of the cloud

17:45-19:00: Windows 8 Dynamic Access Control

February 15th:

09:00-10:15: Windows 8 Hyper: Availability

10:45-12:00: Discover what’s new in Windows 8 Active Directory

13:00-14:15: The Private Cloud, Principles, Patterns and Concepts

14:30-15:45: Windows Server 8: Remote Desktop Services with RemoteFX, more than a word! or Toolmaking for Administrators using Windows PowerShell  (still indecisive)

16:15-17:30: Windows 8 Disk Dedupe

17:45-18:45: What’s new in PowerShell V3!

February 16th:

Private Cloud Day

As you can see, a lot of topics about Windows Server 8 (or related to it), mixed with some sessions about (private) cloud stuff. Enough to keep me going for a while!

See you there!