Only four days in and TechEd 2013 North America was already over. Each day had been crammed full of technical sessions and other conference activities. The opening keynote, demonstrations, labs, vendor promotions and of course the Surface queue. Not to mention the abundance of American cuisine to keep us energised as Microsoft's evangelists sought to inspire.
Last week my daily posts covered highlights from each day with Server 2012 R2 and System Center R2 updates as the loose focus. It's the opportunity to explore and learn unexpected things that Teched excels at. I wrote about the Perceptive Pixel Devices and Windows Phone as well as the erosion of American's freedom as told by a British security consultant.
The findings I'll be taking home with me includes that Microsoft wants to manage your 'other storage'. Their competitor isn't traditional storage vendors but rather providing management and performance gains to existing unmanaged disks.
The System Center suite has matured into a cohesive offering with self-service and automation realities. Microsoft is also willing to position as Hyper-V mature enough that it can be openly compared to the VMware feature set.
The hundreds of partner companies represented at the conference suggests the core software is supported by the industry. There are third-party solutions to enhance, adapt and support, so it's not an isolated platform.
The TechEd closing party was held at the amazing New Orleans Superdome. Surprise guest Tina Turner entertained the crowd after an appearance by a local American football quarterback. The following day we took the opportunity to unwind along the Mississippi and shop for souvenirs. During the week it was announced that TechEd 2014 will be held in Houston, Texas. I wouldn't mind going!