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MMS 2012: Back to Reality

Last week was the first week back from MMS and the realization of being back in the real world. After all the sessions, vendors and #mmsfun there is still work to be done. Talking to coworkers last week I found myself wanting more from MMS for here in the real world.

Microsoft is one of many vendors selling the “Cloud”. I’m not saying this is a bad thing since anyone who is halfway awake in IT knows this is coming. However, this was where I felt the first gap from MMS; the transition between today and the Cloud.

For Microsoft’s Cloud, it seems that the basis for everything is Hyper-V and web apps. Web apps are great for startups or business looking to rewrite their applications. It’s just a gap for the rest of us. We have thick applications that need to be managed and supported. With this gap, the OpsMgr Application Performance Monitoring has limited usability. It can even cause grief since some people don’t understand it’s only for web applications.

The labs felt like a gap this year as well. While they’re good for feeling how the application works, anybody can follow along a document telling where to click and what to do to. My survey comments were, “Take the lab, split in half and give me more depth.” In the service manager lab, you highlight a couple of incidents, joined them and created a problem ticket. Then you go in, “solve” the problem and close the ticket. That is good to know, but how does that change reporting; how do we find those tickets later; how do we map processes to templates. I wanted to find out if this product is something my organization can use.

Breakout sessions could have also been split for more depth. It seemed like every session talked about two products. I’m not sure if this was due to the new ‘Suite’ or the desire to show linkage. I’m not necessarily talking about a need for just technical depth. Today’s business need is more than just implementing new technology. More sessions could focus on how to enable the business. That’s what System Center does, it enables IT to enable the business. Don’t get me wrong, the sessions were good. Almost every time slot, every day, was at least double booked and I didn’t attended a bad session.

I started to think that maybe I wasn’t seeing things correctly. I really enjoyed MMS but maybe it was just too administrative for what I wanted this year. Then I read a post on the SolarWinds site. ‘Whiteboard: Cloudy with a Chance of BS?’ (

It reminded me that the things I was looking for are real problems that need to be addressed. Not only for today’s business problems but to get to the future. Now I’m back looking at all the MMS sessions, looking for any nuggets I may have missed. Looking for solutions for the real world.

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  1. Excellent feedback on the MMS content! I’ve gotten some added info for you relative to your comments around the labs, and why the documents and lab structure are done the way they are:

    “The labs and related documents are designed so that attendees can take the workbook/lab doc back as a reference for work. So they need the step by step. If they don’t like that model, they can do the high level steps in the left column, ignoring the detailed steps in the right column.”

    I hope this helps clarify a bit.

    Relative to the rest of the post, rest assurred that you are not the only one to raise these issues. There will be efforts made by the MVP community to address these and similar concerns around content for next year’s conference..

    • Ed,
      Thanks for your comment. I don’t mean to imply that the labs should be removed or not done in that method. My desire is to keep that step by step process to learn how to do the actions in the application; then stop and teach me why I did those steps. That will help me understand how that could work in my environment.

      • NP! Did not think or mean to imply otherwise… I just thought it a good idea to pass on your constructive comments and return the “why” back to you.


        CfgMgr MVP 2002-2012

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