Our next set of IT Pro events (“IT Camps”) in the US Central Region have been scheduled and are now officially open for registration! The events are free, go from 9:00am to 3:00pm, and include some light breakfast and lunch. But most importantly, they are full of new and useful information that all IT Pros will benefit from. (And it never hurts that we might give out a few prizes at the end of the day, too.)

Here is our theme and information, followed by the event dates and registration links:

imageBeing What’s Next in IT
2012 is an exciting year for I.T. because it’s an exciting year for Microsoft. Not only are there exciting new products and solutions on the near horizon such as System Center 2012 and Windows Server “8”, but also in the ways we can help you manage your infrastructure today.

Gearing up for the Future (Camp Part 1)
You may have heard Microsoft’s recent slogan: “Be What’s Next”. But sometimes in IT, for whatever the reason, it’s hard enough even just to be “what’s now” or “what’s current”. You’re running older versions of server operating systems and technologies you would like to replace, but maybe don’t know exactly how to make the move without causing one of the main things that keeps us up at night: service disruption.

In this camp session we are going to introduce you to, and give you a chance to play with, the migration technologies that will help you transition to the most current versions of our solutions, and help you to take full advantage of Windows Server 2008 R2. Making the transition to the most current products isn’t always easy, but we have ways to help you get there and to get you ready for the future of I.T. and business productivity.

The Future is Sooner Than You Think (Camp Part 2)
Now that you are ready for what’s next, don’t you want to know a little more about what that is? There is a new wave of transition happening among IT organizations and IT workers to embrace more and more the concept of Cloud Computing. Yet many of us are still wondering how it will really fit into our own environment, or how it will benefit our businesses.

In this camp session we are going to introduce to you to the future of the cloud. Together we’re going to walk through what our next System Center version – System Center 2012 – will bring to your IT organizations; both in overall manageability and in supporting private, public, and hybrid clouds. And we’ll introduce to you (and demonstrate for you) what is coming in the next version of Windows Server – currently known as codename Windows Server “8”.

Preparation:
This is not just a presentation! We will try not to kill you with PowerPoint! Our IT Camp format requires interaction, participation, and fun! And in order for you to get the most out of our day, we ask that you do a few optional-but-highly-encouraged things before coming to camp:

1. We ask that you download the evaluation software – Windows Server 2008 R2 w/SP1 and System Center 2012 Release Candidate.
2. Bring a laptop. In venues where we can support it, we will provide networking and power so that you can follow along and perhaps even participate in labs and examples.
3. And for the truly ambitious among you – Bring a Windows Server 2008 R2-capable machine. If you already have Server 2008 R2 installed, that’s great. But as long as you have a capable machine, we will provide you a .VHD file and instructions for how configure your computer to “dual-boot” into an already installed copy of Windows Server 2008 R2 – all without requiring you to remove your existing Windows installation. Here is the recommended minimum configuration:

Registration
(The Camps I’m leading are highlighted, and the others are being facilitated by my buddies Kevin Remde and John Weston)

“Hey Brian… Why are some cities done twice?”

We filled up so many venues so quickly last semester that we thought that rather than trying to get (and afford) larger venues, we’d opt for the smaller venues and just do the same event two times in the same city. Plus, the format of the IT Camp lends itself better to a smaller group, anyway. And we can save on some travel expense by doing these over two consecutive days.

But don’t worry if your city is only listed once. That just means that we have found a sufficiently large venue that is less likely to be filled and have registration closed.

Clicking on the city for the date that you want to attend will bring you to the registration page. Do it now! Due to the excitement surrounding System Center 2012 and Windows Server “8” news, we expect these events to fill up fast!

    • 4GB or more RAM
    • 20 GB or more free disk space
    • x64 compatible processor with Intel VT or AMD-V technology
City Date
Des Moines, IA March 21, 2012
Des Moines, IA March 22, 2012   (repeat)
Madison, WI March 28, 2012
Milwaukee, WI April 4, 2012
Milwaukee, WI April 5, 2012   (repeat)
Detroit, MI April 12, 2012
Downers Grove, IL April 17, 2012
Omaha, NE April 19, 2012
Minneapolis, MN April 23, 2012
Columbus, OH April 24, 2012
Minneapolis, MN April 30, 2012    (repeat)
Houston, TX May 3, 2012
Houston, TX May 4, 2012    (repeat)
Dallas, TX May 7, 2012
Dallas, TX May 8, 2012    (repeat)
Kansas City, MO May 8, 2012
Kansas City, MO May 9, 2012    (repeat)
Austin, TX May 10, 2012
Austin, TX May 11, 2012    (repeat)
Saint Louis, MO May 10, 2012
Saint Louis, MO May 11, 2012    (repeat)
Indianapolis, IN May 10, 2012
Cincinnati, OH May 17, 2012
Chicago, IL May 18, 2012

Will we see you there? Do you have any questions about what we’re covering? Is there anything you’d specifically like to see in our events? Let us know in the comments.