Exchange sessions at TechEd 2012 - Nothing much new, MEC is where the action will be

What are we to make of the published list of Exchange-related sessions (see below) for TechEd North America next week? At the risk of offending some, here are my conclusions.

First, the session line-up is relatively weak in terms of Exchange content. In other words, there aren’t really that many sessions given the size of TechEd. This isn’t altogether surprising because of the number of technologies that Microsoft has to cover during TechEd AND the salient fact that we can look forward to the introduction of the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) in three months, when the Exchange community gets the chance to gather at the Gaylord Conference Center for three days of in-depth content (September 24-26).

Second, the Exchange development group has just three speakers (highlighted in the list). If you are at TechEd and haven’t see Jeff Mealiffe talk about virtualization or Scott Schnoll discuss the finer points of Database Availability Groups, then you should definitely attend these sessions as the speakers are well-versed in their topics. Bharat Suneja posts many interesting articles to the EHLO blog and I’m sure he will do a fine job of explaining how archiving works with Office 365.

Third, with just two sessions, there isn’t much MVP-provided content for Exchange. I view this as a bad thing because MVPs tend to deliver content that is highly influenced by real-world experience.

Last, there’s no mention whatsoever of Exchange 2013 (or Exchange 15 if you prefer that name). Zero. Nada. Nothing. We know Exchange 2013 is coming. We know that it will be released alongside the rest of the Office 15 clients and servers with first availability (RTM) probably late this year and general availability early in 2013, but the Exchange developers (or more accurately, their marketing counterparts) have elected not to reveal any details about this major new version.

My conclusion therefore is that Microsoft is keeping its ammo dry with respect to Exchange 2013 and will use MEC as the debut vehicle for Exchange 2013. Hardly earth-shattering news I suspect, especially as Microsoft lists "Hear exclusive Exchange 15 content delivered directly from the engineering team" as reason #3 in their "Top 10 reasons to be at MEC". However, the knock-on effect of the looming presence of MEC on TechEd in terms of the lack of new information and (to a certain degree) the redelivery of sessions that have been “on the circuit” for a while now might just disappoint those who elected to enjoy Orlando’s summer heat instead of waiting for MEC.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

1:15 PM-2:30 PM

EXL304 - An Inside View of Microsoft Exchange 2010 SP2 Jeff Mealiffe
EXL318 - Lync Deep Dive: Dial Plans and Voice Management Deep Dive Bryan Nyce & Javed Tufail

3:00 PM-4:15 PM

EXL305 - Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP2 Tips & Tricks (repeats on 6/13 at 3:15pm) Scott Schnoll
EXL412 - Lync Deep Dive: Edge Media Connectivity with ICE Bryan Nyce & Javed Tufail

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

10:15 AM-11:30 AM

EXL302 - Exchange Simple Migration Gets a Makeover Ram Poornalingam
EXL310 - Lync 2010: Unlocking Your CORE CAL with Lync Marc Perez

1:30 PM-2:45 PM

EXL301 - Archiving in the Cloud with Exchange Online Archiving (EOA) Bharat Suneja
EXL317 - Lync and the Enterprise Network Bryan Nyce

3:15 PM-4:30 PM

EXL201 - Understanding Microsoft Forefront Online Protection for Exchange Robert Gillies

5:00 PM-6:15 PM

EXL319 - Lync 2010: Planning Voice Features Subbu Chandrasekaran

Wednesday June 13, 2012

8:30 AM-9:45 AM

EXL306 - Best Practices for Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Jeff Mealiffe

10:15 AM-11:30 AM

EXL401 - Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 High Availability Deep Dive Scott Schnoll

1:30 PM-2:45 PM

EXL307 - Using a Load Balancer in Your Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Environment Jaap Wesselius (MVP)
EXL411 - Best Practices in Securing Your Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Edge Servers Rui Maximo

3:15 PM-4:30 PM

EXL305-R - Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP2 Tips & Tricks (repeated from 6/11 at 3pm) Scott Schnoll

Thursday June 14, 2012

8:30 AM-9:45 AM

EXL203 - How to Tell Your Manager You Need Quotas on Your Mailboxes Bhargav Shukla
EXL315 - Microsoft Lync 2010: Planning for Conferencing Deployments Paul Brombley

10:15 AM-11:30 AM

EXL308 - Real World High Availability and Site Resilient Design Robert Gillies
EXL311 - Microsoft Lync 2010: Server and Client Virtualization Campbell Gunn & Tarek Radi

1:00 PM-2:15 PM

EXL202 - Getting Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint to Play Together J. Peter Bruzzese (MVP)
EXL316 - Microsoft Lync 2010: Availability, Resiliency, and Recovery Paul Brombley

2:45 PM-4:00 PM

EXL410 - Lync 2010: Planning Voice Deployments Subbu Chandrasekaran

4:30 PM-5:45 PM

EXL303 - Configuring Hybrid Exchange the Easy Way Neil Axelrod
EXL312 - Forget about IT: How about Lync Inside Business Applications? Albert Kooiman

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Tony Redmond

Tony Redmond is a senior contributing editor for Windows IT Pro and the author of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Inside Out (Microsoft Press) and Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Inside Out: Mailbox...
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