• Netbook Imaging is almost done…

    Date: 2009.09.04 | Category: auteched, netbooks, tech.ed | Response: 0

    We’ve had our ups and downs over the past week with imaging the netbooks for all the tech.ed attendees, I’ve been on site since Saturday and personally – if I never see one again it won’t be too soon as I’ve had a few late nights, resulting in some.. <ahem> issues.. sorry guys..

    So you can get a sense of scale of our operation our professional photographer came in and shot some great photos..

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    Moving on today we’re starting building the showcase with our great HP demo servers – more on that later

    – jorke

  • Hands on Labs – on site and almost ready to rock and roll

    Date: 2009.09.04 | Category: setup, tech•ed 2009 | Response: 0

    First day on site – and first post! My name is Kyle Rosenthal – and I am the content manager for HynesITe, the group that puts together the Hands on Labs(HOL) and Instructor led labs(ILL) for TechEd – here in AU, North America and now in Europe. This is our 5th TechEd Australia – starting all the way back at TechEd Canberra.

    So – what goes into the deployment of the Hands-On area? A lot of time and effort! Basically we will be deploying to the HOL/ILL area on a total of 5Tb of data – to 180 machines – in 3 days.

    This starts at my place generally for TechEd AU – Once a year my wife’s patience is tested as I take over the kitchen table and suck a year’s worth of power in one week.

    This year is sort of different – we have moved to a new house and I have invested in a new table. :)

    However – when Kim and Ted arrived – the kitchen table was back in use!

    The setup this year for us is Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, and our custom support front end that will assist you the attendee in getting to your lab as quickly as possible. This does mean that in the process of getting ready  for the event we will start, save, snapshot and export about 300 virtual machines. In addition we then will touch all the lab manuals that help you to get through your lab.

    To do this we have 8 machines in the back end that form our core infrastructure, with gigabit network everywhere.

    So we loaded up the car and headed to the coast, the drive from Brisbane to the Gold Coast meant another hour’s worth of work time available for Kim and Corey – one in the front seat and one in the back seat – with laptops in use. This meant that in true geek style when a file needed to be transferred between their laptops – no usb device was needed. So – if you happened to be beside the Pacific Highway and saw an Ad-Hoc wireless network named “Driving” appear and then disappear – that was us.

    Now we are complete and on site ready to start the next stage of the deployment.

  • From Sydney to Reality

    Date: 2009.09.03 | Category: netbooks, setup, tech•ed 2009 | Response: 0

    I’ve just landed on the Gold Coast, dumped by bags in the hotel room and walked to the Gold Coast Convention Centre.

    After meeting Jack Morton’s Patrick, and donning a hi-vis vest – its into the Technical Learning Centre to witness the setup of the 2575 HP Mini-notes/netbooks.

    There are about 13-14 long trestle tables, each with and average of 20 machines laid out. 8 staff are out and about unwrapping each box, putting it on the table, and initiating the Windows 7 TechEd image. This is a sight to behold. It feels somewhat like an Industrial Revolution-era factory. A study in time and motion.

    Time is critical now. We cannot delay TechEd, nor stop the setup of the Technical Learning Centre – so its all hands to the wheel to complete the imaging tonight. Being a production process that is now in production, and costing per hour – it is way too late to change anything. Either the image, the process or technology involved in the imaging.


  • What’s in a colour?

    Date: 2009.08.26 | Category: Australian Partner Conference 2009, networking, planning, tech•ed 2009 | Response: 0

    Have you been to tech•ed in years past? Have you seen the array of colours used for cables in CommNet areas, Recharge Bars, around the Exposition Halls and inside the Session Rooms? You’ve thought either the person laying all those cables is colour blind or needs some serious tips from House & Garden on matching seasonal hues? Not so.

    In an event such as tech•ed, managing data cables is in itself, a job which could challenge the best of logistical minds.  There are over 1,200 Cat5e UTP cables to install or over 8,200m to lay down, plug into switches, test, secure to desks & stage plinths and of course plug into computers at the other end. Don’t forget the task of recollecting them all at the other end in a manner that doesn’t result in the biggest bunch of copper and plastic spaghetti in the world.

    To help with the taming of this cable mammoth, a colour coding system is used to make what would normally be a challenging task just that little easier.  With experience, we’ve established the best combination of lengths. The colours were chosen based on what are standard available colours without the need for excessive custom makes :

    • Grey Cables : 2m
    • Yellow Cables : 3m
    • Green Cables : 5m
    • Orange Cables : 8m
    • White Cables : 10m
    • Purple Cables : 15m
    • Blue Cables : 20m and over

    The result is cable installers and the technology team can quickly identify the appropriate cable. It hasn’t always been like this. Before we had a colour coding system for the lengths we had a huge wastage issue with excess length. So much a number of years ago we reduced the cabling costs by 30%.

    What happens to all of the cables after the event? You would appreciate the cost involved when replacing cables, not to mention the environmental impact. To maximise integrity, cables are used for no more than 2 events and so costs are amortised. If cables have been in trafficable areas, such as where trolleys and feet run over them, they are replaced after each event.  At the end of the event, the task of recollecting, rolling and sorting patch leads is job that may leave you chrysophobic, but the method of colour for length has made our “Where does that cable go” jigsaw easier to piece together.