Right from the start, we knew Microsoft TechEd 2013 (September 3-6) was going to be huge. At 9:30pm the first day, the expo floor was still full of IT professionals from all over Australia and New Zealand, at which point security were asking people to leave.

The Nimble Storage stand was in the middle of “Storage Avenue” which was great fun for 3000 delegates to see the old and the new storage architectures. The level of interest throughout the four days was amazing. Even with six people on the Nimble Storage stand, we had delegates joining in on conversations, so they could learn more. With my CS210 array on the stand punching out 16,000 random 4K IOPS, many were impressed and curious how Nimble Storage could deliver this performance.

John Whyte delivered great demos each day, which always drew a crowd. The realisation of how CPU performance advancements compare with mechanical hard disk performance advancements was causing penny’s to drop. It’s something most IT professionals know about, but don’t realise until it’s visually compared. It’s a challenge that Nimble Storage has met, built a storage architecture from the ground up and solved.

What projects were most people talking about?  VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). Over and over this is what people would be enquiring about, and Nimble Storage fits this solution like a glove. It was great to be able to talk about the challenges some organisations are facing with their VDI infrastructure, like boot storms and AV scanning, and show how with Nimble Storage these concerns are history.

Lots of really cool technologies were on show, including 3D printing systems. To see someone scanned by a XBOX 360 Connect controller, a 3D model of their head and shoulders created and bust of them printed out of plastic, was amazing.

Microsoft organised this fantastic event, which all delegates agreed was delivering the right mix of information, entertainment and education. Thanks go to Microsoft for this great event and I look forward to attending next year.

By the way, Australia’s Gold Coast is always spectacular in September.