Microsoft preps for sold-out enterprise management summit

Microsoft will pitch its cloud computing offerings and approach to the consumerization of IT at next week's sold-out Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas.

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Microsoft's Brad Anderson, head of management and security, will deliver keynotes instructing IT pros on how to build a private cloud and preview Microsoft's next version of System Center. Anderson will also discuss the impact of consumer devices on IT shops.

"Employee-owned devices, consumer services, and a blurring of traditional work/life boundaries are all shaping how we conduct business," Microsoft says on the Management Summit Web site. "IT is tasked with embracing these changes and driving increased employee productivity, while still ensuring that data is protected and assets are managed in a compliant way."

Last year's Management Summit keynote was delivered by Bob Muglia, then president of the server and tools business, who was pushed out of his position and will leave Microsoft this summer (see also: "7 high-profile executives who left Microsoft"). Attendance in 2010 was 3,500 and Microsoft says this year's conference is sold out again with 4,100 attendees expected.

In addition to keynotes by Anderson on Tuesday and Wednesday, there will be hands-on and instructor-led labs covering Microsoft technology, various breakout sessions and an expo hall where about 50 vendors will showcase their goods. Microsoft partners Dell and HP are the top sponsors of the summit.

Sessions will cover more than 30 Microsoft business products, including Exchange, SQL Server, virtualization tools, Internet Explorer, SharePoint, Windows Azure, Windows Intune and Windows Server. Broad themes to be tackled include the management of systems, operations, cloud computing, client devices, server technologies, virtualization, security and compliance.

The focus on virtualization management is a key for Microsoft as it tries to fend off the threat from VMware, which CEO Steve Ballmer has called one of Microsoft's biggest rivals, right up there with Google, Apple and Oracle (see also: "Microsoft's top 12 rivals"). Microsoft's virtualization platform, Hyper-V, and the Windows Azure Web-based service will both be critical for Microsoft's cloud management strategy.

Are you an IT pro who is interested in discussing Microsoft management technology? If you're attending the Microsoft Management Summit (or even if you're not), send me an e-mail at

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This story, "Microsoft preps for sold-out enterprise management summit" was originally published by Network World.

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