By the time this gets posted using Blogger's Scheduled Post feature, I will be registered and getting ready to start the day at the Partner Learning Event: First Technical Look at Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 (MS Partner Site authentication required).
The event is being held at the Calgary Four Points Sheraton on Bowridge Crescent.
I am looking forward to the day as I have been invited to write an SBS 2008 technical article for SMB Nation's SMB Partner Community Magazine. The Partner Training should put a good depth to the already intensive amount of time that I have personally spent with the Release Candidate version of SBS 2008.
There may be a few more of the First Technical Look events so have a look in the Partner Learning Center to see if there are any available in your area.
I personally receive a lot when I listen and watch. While reading a technical manual/book and doing is my primary learning method (especially since things get broken ;) ), spending time with knowledgeable people demonstrating a product's abilities is a very close second. Having someone knowledgeable in the room facilitates thought flow and almost always initiates a whole series of questions ... some good and some not so good. But, they get asked, and we all learn!
And, if you can, register and download the RC0 version of SBS 2008. Check it out. It only takes 30-90 minutes to install from scratch. You can use a consumer router to protect it for testing purposes and run the setup using an Answer File (previous blog post) so that there is only about 10 minutes worth of initial babysitting that needs to be done!
As has been mentioned here in the past, there is a lot to learn for this new version. The new SBS Console or the SBS Console in Advanced Mode (has links to the various server component MMC consoles) give us the ability to run virtually all of the basic server management needs at the big picture level.
But, if we need to fine tune the product, customize Group Policy (entirely new structure and policy distribution setup), user and computer settings, Exchange setup, Terminal Services configurations, and more then we need to understand how the SBS 2008 Wizards configure the installed server components.
This is not unlike the SBS 2003 Wizards and their interaction with the various server components. Knowing how they were intertwined with those components was an awesome way to establish a knowledge foundation on each server product installed on SBS. That foundation enabled us to develop a deeper understanding of Server 2003, Exchange 2003, SharePoint V2 & V3, and more. So far, it is looking like the same can be said of the SBS 2008 Wizards and their interaction with all that is installed on SBS 2008.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
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