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The Final Word: Takeaways from The Experts Conference #TEC2012

The Experts Conference (TEC) sailed into my home town of San Diego earlier this month from April 30 – May 2, 2012. This multi-disciplinary event covered not just Microsoft SharePoint, but also Directory & Identity, Exchange, Virtualization & Workspace Management, plus a deep dive on PowerShell. With such a diverse set of technology, there was a great turnout of experts and attendees from all over the globe.

As organizer for the local San Diego SharePoint User Group, I was honored to be part of a special “Ask the Experts” panel discussion at 7:30pm on Tuesday, May 1. This discussion was a free event for our local user group members, and we had a few conference attendees show up as well. Overall, we had about 25 people attend what turned out to be an extremely lively, enlightening discussion.

Zlatan Dzinic, Chris Givens, and Chris McNulty joined me on the expert’s panel, and we were immediately hit with some pretty tough questions. For example, the discussion started off with a discussion of Kerberos vs NTLM – specifically questioning where exactly to configure service principal names (SPNs) in a SharePoint farm. We discussed some of the Kerberos benefits, such as performance and delegation. We also discussed some challenges, including using setspn to configure all of the SPNs. Troubleshooting is often a hassle, so we mentioned kerbtray that can be used to validate a Kerberos ticket. (For more guidance on Kerberos, see Microsoft MVP Spencer Harbar’s excellent presentations Part 1 and Part 2.

Up next was a discussion of Performance Point Services (PPS) and the Dashboard Designer that is used to build PPS dashboard. Other questions included:
· How to move content databases from one SQL Server to another (Tip: Using CliConfg.exe to alias your SQL Server names is the easiest way!).
· How to use PowerShell to report on the amount of content (e.g. webs, libraries, files, etc.) within your content databases.

We also previewed the upcoming SharePoint Saturday San Diego event on June 30. Overall, it was a great event with lots of networking with global experts and the local community. Did you have a chance to attend the panel discussion? Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment below!

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