As you can tell from the title, I’m starting this series of blog posts a little earlier than planned – in fact, I’m not even in Las Vegas yet. But our PR machine is cranking into action, and so journalists are already reporting on what we’ll be showing next week:

Microsoft to unveil a capacity mgmt. tool as part of broader mgmt. suite
By John Fontana
Network World Fusion, 04/14/05

Microsoft next week plans to introduce a limited beta of a tool for capacity planning that will be one piece of a broad suite of tools designed to help companies model, deploy and manage network resources.

And next week, Indy is expected to take on the System Center moniker when independent software vendors are given the first feature-complete beta code at the Management Summit. The Indy modeling technology was developed by Microsoft Research. It lets users model a server deployment based on characteristics such as the number of offices and users. A simulation of user workload can be run to determine system capacity, letting users experiment with different hardware, software configurations and user behavior before deploying anything on a live network.

Yep, that’s us :) And now the secret’s out that not only will we be demonstrating Indy at the “criss-cross” pre-event day, we’ll also be giving out code! One correction – it’s definitely not feature-complete, and we’re calling it a Community Technology Preview instead of a beta. We think that independent software vendors and systems integrators will be one of our core customer segments, and by giving them a CTP we hope to get valuable feedback from them in time to make a real difference in the final product.

In other MMS 2005 news, Reed Porter and Ron Crumbaker will also be blogging from the conference. Reed is even promising to podcast from MMS!

so if you see me seemingly talking to myself, don’t hesitate to come over, say hi, and let me record your impressions of the conference

No podcasts from me, but I’ll be one of the guys wandering around in a black t-shirt with “Microsoft Indy” on the front, and “How well do you perform?” on the back.