Getting ready for TechEd – it’s amazing what goes on behind the scenes!

Well, if you’re wondering why I’ve been so quiet this week… it’s a myriad of events all coming together and/or being finalized right in time for TechEd. In working really hard (especially crazy was today) for some final TechEd content, I realized that a lot of people don’t really know what goes on behind the scenes of some of these really huge events. Brian Marble has been blogging about this and you can learn some interesting things by checking out his blog. And for some fun statistics related to TechEd, here is an idea of the quantity of food and drink that will be consumed:

  • 1,250,000 pieces of “Mikes & Ikes” will be consumed over the course of the Tech Ed 2006 week
  • 18,750 pounds of salad will be prepared and offered at meals
  • 83,700 ice cream novelty/fruit and yogurt bars have been ordered for this function
  • The total amount of fruit ordered will fill 3/4 of full size tractor-trailer
  • 60,000 eggs will be eaten by attendees at breakfast (this is equal to 4,800 dozen cartons of eggs)
  • It will take 4 semis to transport the 150,000 bottles of water consumed
  • 1.6 million ounces of coffee will be poured and consumed (conservative estimate)
  • More than 50,000 pounds of carbohydrates will be consumed at Tech*Ed (Atkins who?)
  • 1,500 table cloths will be used and re-set on a daily basis (7,500 for the week)
  • A minimum of 2,000 antacid tablets are likely to be consumed at this event

As for the technical content, well that’s not too shabby either. There are over 900 breakout sessions, chalk talks, ILLs (Instructor-led labs), HOLs (Hands-on labs) and general/keynote sessions. There’s a lot of technology that comes together for a show like this and there’s even a DVD that’s available after the show with all of the breakout sessions on it. The key point is that there’s a lot going on and I’d have a hard time believing that you couldn’t find something to do during every timeslot (for me there are multiple time slots where I’m torn between delivering my own session and attending another…but, I have a feeling I know where I’ll end up :).

One thing that you can do in almost every timeslot is an HOL (Hands-on Lab) and for SQL Server there are more than 10 of them. Each HOL is focused and technical and each covers a specific technology or topic. For TechEd 2006, I’ve written two of the HOLs: DAT007 and DAT010. Specifically, DAT007 is Database Mirroring in SQL Server 2005 SP1 and DAT010 is Table and Index Partitioning. These HOLs cover everything from design to implemenation to failover to monitoring – for Database Mirroring and for Partitioning the lab goes from design to implementation to performance to the sliding window scenario. They were a lot of fun to write and I hope a lot of fun to go through. If you’re interested in hearing more about them, Mark Penaroza did a couple of interviews about them. He blogged about it here and mentioned that the interviews are available on Commnet (the Microsoft TechEd attendee website). I’ve also posted the interviews here (DAT007 Interview (4MB mp3 file) and DAT010 Interview (2.75MB mp3 file)) so that you can get some insight into the things we’re doing to help get you started and ready with these new technologies.

Finally, since TechEd is sold out, I know that not all of you will be there. As a result, there’s “Virtual TechEd”. Virtual TechEd is a site dedicated to getting some of the content and resources out to folks that just couldn’t attend. The Virtual TechEd site is here:

So, I think that’s it for now. Still enjoying the comments you’re making on the last blog entry about the version you’re running and why. Seems like we all have the same problem – time and money ;). Keep those comments coming!

Thanks for reading,

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