Two weeks ago I attended the TechEd 2013 Europe conference in Madrid. First of all I have to admit I was quite overwhelmed by the size of the conference. With a huge numbers of attendees, over 450 sessions and a whole conference center being used, it was quite impressive. During the following blogs I want to wrap up some of the interesting points speakers made during the sessions I attended.
Enabling People Centric-IT
During this sessions some further insights were given about the IT that people bring in. One of the trending topics, or issues that IT departments are struggling the most with is BYOD. Using the new software tools Microsoft developed it became a lot easier to manage all kinds of devices. Using Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 configuration Manager, users are now able to easily add file shares and apps to their own device. However when the connection with the device is lost (sold, lost or broken) it is very easy to disable the connection after which all company data is erased.
Source: TechEd Presentation ‘Enabling People-Centric IT’ by Andrew Conway
Looking at the possibilities, I have to admit that I really love those. The ease and simplicity of adding the device to the company’s network and the amount of policies that can be required by the IT department is bringing BYOD to a whole new level, and hopefully more accepted and supported by IT departments.
Overview of Enterprise Social from Microsoft
The next presentation I attended was more in the direction of my daily working experience. During the start of the session a lot of open doors were stepped into, although for me. During the recent years a lot of the numbers mentioned were still impressive, but heard of a lot. However during the presentation an interesting insight was given about the social roadmap of Microsoft, and in more detail SharePoint and Yammer was presented.
The most interesting part of the presentation was that of the announcement of the app which will be released for SharePoint 2013. Using this app you will be able to incorporate the Yammer enterprise flow into you SharePoint sites. Christophe Fiessinger (presenter) also showed some very interesting picture of Yammer integration in Dynamics CRM Online for example.
Source: TechEd Presentation ‘Overview of Enterprise Social from Microsoft’ by Christophe Fiessinger
At the end of the presentation a basic roadmap is given. For me the most interesting point on the roadmap was the option that the newsfeed of SharePoint can be replaced with the newsfeed of Yammer. Personally I like the idea very much, as Yammer gives the users more possibilities in following and adding stuff. When these messages appear on SharePoint, SharePoint will become the major business platform in the enterprise (in most cases it already is). However discussing this roadmap Christophe mentioned that all new features will be placed into Office 365 first (and with a faster pace). And in alter stages the updates will become available for on premise SharePoint farms.
Designing for High Availability and Disaster Recovery in Microsoft Lync Server 2013.
During this presentation Justin Morris started with some kind of horror scenario of what could happen with your data center and why High Availability and disaster recovery is important. Using this setting the attention of the public was gained and the possibilities were easily explained. Starting of with the possibilities in Lync Server 2010 and followed by the changes in 2013.
Source: TechEd presentation ‘Designing for High Availability and Disaster Recovery in Microsoft Lync Server 2013’ by Justin Morris
During the presentation Justin told that Lync 2013 was more dependent of SQL Server than it predecessors. However Lync is able to work for almost half an hour with now connection to the back end system. When the connection isn’t back at that moment Lync will start to fail as well. A design issues as well is related to the front-end pool. Within Lync 2013 the pool quorum is introduced. This quorum states that more than 50% of the pool needs to be up and running. When this is not the case the the other servers will go down as well. Justin also mentioned pools with two front-end servers. When one of the two are brought down (in case of maintenance) they should be brought up as soon as possible! When it is possible to bring down both of the servers, please plan this carefully!
Justin has mentioned a lot of other issues and pitfalls related to Lync Server 2013 deployments. You can just view the webcast or check the presentation (see hyperlink above).
Search Architecture, Sizing and Migration in Microsoft SharePoint 2013
During the last session of the day I attended a session related to SharePoint Search and the architecture. Within SharePoint 2013 the search architecture is completely changes (this was necessary due to the integration of FAST Search). Search now consists of 4 components (the feeding chain, the Index Core, The query chain and the analytics services). All of these components have their own components and makes SharePoint crawling all bits and pieces.
After all of the components the sizing for search is discussed. Sizing can be done in two manners:
Scale up (more and faster resources)
Scale out, adding more machines and distribute all components over these machines.
Using the some of the benchmarks and tests that are performed by Microsoft consultants it is showed where the load of the different components lays. Using these scenario’s enables you the scale the servers of search components.
Source: TechEd presentation ‘Search Architecture, Sizing and Migration in Microsoft SharePoint 2013’ by Jan Inge Bergseth.
During the presentation Jan Inge mentioned the Query tool. This tool can be found on CodePlex and gives you insight of the contents that are stored in the index of the SharePoint Search.
After the presentation a lot of questions concerning Search migration were raised. On of the suggestions that were raised by migrating the entire index file was very interesting. However this possibility can only be used when all URL’s will remain the same.