Ignore Ignite?

At our last user group meeting we discussed the inevitability of the cloud in IT and what that would mean for the future of IT Pros. One thing we all agreed on was that knowing PowerShell was probably the best investment of time right now for hope of having a meaningful job down the road (and heck, really today). It was also rather clear that for most attendees, we still have a hard time just doing today's job and continue to look for help via our user group and conferences. Microsoft Ignite came up and few seemed interested in attending. Why not?

Ignite is seen more as a crowded marketing show where a search shows 91 sessions listed for System Center (but that is a cloudy list) with crowded hotels and daily busing in needed. But we have so many better options today:

Each conference is on track to repeat around the same time and location each year so attendees can plan on making at least one and budget for them in advance.

These smaller conferences give attendees a better chance to network with others. With SCU, you can attend a user group broadcasting it in your area so that you can talk about the sessions you just saw with the rest of the group and go over common issues and ideas. And SCU is free. So you have no excuse not to go. Even if you have no local group you can watch from home or work. The speakers there are all the top speakers out there. MNSCUG plans to simulcast SCU next week.

I went to my first Connections conference last year in Vegas and was surprised how well it went. Smaller rooms and a crowd not too spread out from System Center. In fact, many of the CM sessions bore me simply because the product hasn't changed much over the past few years, so I found myself drifting into SQL sessions (something all System Center products rely on). They were great. There should be a good 80-90 System Center sessions this year. And the Aria is just a gorgeous hotel!

And then there's my favorite: MMS. It's right here at the MoA. It's just 3 days, but very long days. Early risers can start with birds of a feather sessions and sessions can start as late as 6pm (some with beer served!). Small rooms and many great speakers where "attendees don't get lost in the crowd." Feedback for the 1st year was overwhelmingly positive. An evening party plus the mall and a great bar right at the hotel make after hours mingling with others easy and fun. No busing to a convention center, no long lines, no crappy catered food. We've also revised Henry Wilson's old comparison doc as it might help get you funding. And MMS sessions from 2014 are still up to give an idea of what 2015 sessions should look like. And we just got word that our dates should be Nov 9-10-11 this year.

Johan Returns to Minneapolis - Best OSD Training Available

Mastering Windows 7 and 8.1 deployment using MDT2013 and Config Mgr 2012 R2 [4 days]

Build a Windows deployment solution using MDT 2013 and SCCM 2012 R2!

Build a real deployment solution using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013 (MDT 2013) and System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 (SCCM 2012 R2). The first Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 deployment training where you pick the track to follow during four days!

The primary track is using MDT2013 and ConfigMgr2012 R2 to deploy operating systems, applications, and software updates.

The second, optional track, is how to build a deployment solution based on MDT 2013 Lite Touch. We simply wanted to give you the best possible windows deployment training, no matter if you plan to use ConfigMgr 2012 R2 or not.

Johan Arwidmark, Microsoft MVP in Deployment and the world's foremost expert in the OS deployment sector, developed this lab. Like all our labs, this is unique in that you access the best deployment specialists for four days. Time is set off for real life deployment issues where the instructor discuss and solve problems that you bring to the training. As always we take you for lunch at a nearby restaurant, where the discussions continue. Its almost like free consultancy.

During these four days you will learn how to:

  • Plan and design for ConfigMgr 2012 R2 infrastructure changes
  • Upgrade from ConfigMgr 2007
  • Upgrade from MDT 2010 to MDT 2012/2013
  • Create and deploy applications
  • Configuring Software Updates
  • Create and design reference images
  • Create VB script wrappers for configuration items and applications
  • Configure Security baselines for the Windows 7 & 8.1 image
  • Master the driver injection features for os deployment
  • Integrate MDT 2013 with ConfigMgr 2012 R2
  • Extend OS deployment in ConfigMgr 2012 R2, with scripts, frontends, databases and web services.
  • Configuring offline media
  • Troubleshoot MDT 2013 and ConfigMgr 2012 R2
  • Troubleshoot your Windows deployments
  • Bending the rules, understanding and customizing the rules (customsettings.ini)
  • Enbale Dynamic Deployments and much more!

Now updated to cover TPM, BitLocker, Orchestrator RunBooks etc.

Kent Agerlund is coming back to MPLS!

I have some good news for MNSCUG and bad news for Kent Agerlund.

The good news is that Kent is coming back to town to do another CM class. The bad news for Kent is that it's in January.

Now the best news is that this isn't just a regular CM class; it's an advanced 400-level class. And Kent is running it. And it gives you an excuse to really focus and learn CM in depth while forgetting how miserable, dark, cold, windy, and snowy it is outside in January.

I told you when Kaido came in October that his class was so enticing that I wanted to attend. I did and I was right; I actually learned to manage CM with PowerShell. Well I'm right about this class too. If you can talk your boss into sending you on next year's fresh new budget then go for it, because there won't be any training all year as good as this one. And if your boss says no, pony up for it yourself and write it off! :-)

Here are the details:

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