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A post by Jamie Porter, Cloud Connect PR Specialist

With Cloud Connect Chicago just a week away, a handful of our top exhibitors offered a preview of news they’ll be making from the expo floor. With demonstrations of the most recently announced innovations and the launch of new technologies, we expect the expo to be bustling with conversation about products best suited for the enterprise cloud.

Here’s a sampling of next week’s announcements:

CSA Chicago will feature best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing, specializing in the areas of Legal Issues in the Cloud and the Anti-Botnet Working Group.

EdgeCast announces the new EdgeCast Route, a high-performance, high availability, scalable and secure DNS platform. Route leverages EdgeCast’s massive global IP Anycast network, with points of presence in most major metros across four continents, and with high-performance proximity to almost every broadband user in the world.

IBM will be showcasing new DevOps solutions that accelerate continuous delivery while leveraging the cloud. Learn how to automate application deployment to the cloud with new IBM UrbanCode solutions, or innovate in the cloud with JazzHub – a self-serve, instant-on, “one stop shop” for Mobile and Cloud application development.

Latisys announces its Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) product suite, offering clients a variety of options for business continuity from basic backup to completely automated failover between redundant sites. Fully customizable and tested regularly, these solutions ensure systems are protected in the event of a natural or human induced disaster.

OVH.com, the leading Internet hosting provider, will demonstrate its new Dedicated Cloud service offering a complete VMware Data Center in less than 30 minutes. OVH technical architect will be available at booth #407 for questions.

SingleHop, a dedicated server and cloud hosting company that offers highly scalable, automated, on-demand infrastructure services to both end-users and resellers, announces that the company will present its revamped white-label reselling platform.

Veeam will showcase Modern Data Protection™ – powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions built for virtualization and the cloud. Veeam Backup & Replication v7 includes Built-in WAN acceleration (for efficient D2D2C backup), GFS retention (using backup copy jobs), self-service VM and file recovery, VirtualLab for Replicas, and deployment planning.

VMware will feature vCloud® Hybrid Service™, a secure, dedicated infrastructure-as-a-service cloud built on the trusted foundation of VMware vSphere®. Develop new applications and run existing applications with no change, with common networking, management, and security that spans between onsite and offsite environments. Visit booth #400.

For more news, check out the press release we issued yesterday. Thanks to all exhibitors who submitted to the press release!

To stay on top of even more announcements coming from Cloud Connect next week, be sure to visit our dedicated Press Releases page, where we’ll link to all exhibitors’ news. To read up on conference news, you can also check out our News & Coverage page, where we’ll log articles we see in top industry publications. We already have several preview stories up, if you want to get a head start on your reading. Enjoy!

 
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In partnership with Everest Group, an advisory and research firm on global services, Cloud Connect launches its first awards program, Innovation through Cloud in Enterprise (ICE) Awards, to honor companies that have achieved innovation through the adoption of cloud solutions. Cloud Connect just announced the four finalists, and a winner will be announced in just a few weeks during Cloud Connect Chicago.

Everest Group narrowed down nominations to name four pacesetting enterprises that, through cloud implementations, have transformed business processes, positively impacted stakeholders and significantly contributed to the bottom line. The four finalists for the inaugural ICE Awards are:

“Cloud solutions have drastically changed business operations for the better. When implemented correctly, cloud directly contributes to business agility, streamlined collaboration between employees and partners, and higher revenue,” said Steve Wylie, Cloud Connect General Manager. “The four selected ICE Award finalists have made big strides with cloud implementation and we’re pleased to recognize their efforts in Chicago at Cloud Connect.”

Join us on Tuesday, October 22, as Jimit Arora, Everest Group Vice President, will announce the winner during the keynote program. For more information, check out the full press release.

 
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A post by Joylyn Tanner, Senior Communications Manager for Cloud Connect.

My mother was born in Chicago, and as a result, I have an overwhelming sense of pride for the city, Da Bears, deep dish pizza and Wrigley Field.  This affinity for the Windy City inspired me and my colleagues to cull together our top-picks on where to eat and what to see when you’re in town for Cloud Connect. With over 7,000 restaurants to choose from, more than 500 parks and a menagerie of bars, theaters, comedy clubs, etc., we’ve created an infographic that can help you navigate the goods with some short commentary below from yours truly.

Where to Eat:

Chicago is the birthplace of the beloved deep dish pizza, as well as fast food behemoth, McDonald’s and chewing gum giant, Wrigley’s.  With these notorious knocks under its belt, Chicago is sure to tantalize your taste buds during your stay.  It’s tough to narrow down, but our first staff pick for the best pie in the city is Lou Malnati’s, followed closely by Giordano’s and Pizano’s.

Italian bites run rampant in Chi-town, a couple of our faves are Rosebud on Rush and RPM Italiano.  And if it’s just a good dog you’re in search of, be sure to hit Hot Doug’s.  It’s cash only and don’t go at prime lunch time because the lengthy line will overwhelm.

If more of a scene is your thing, Howells & Hood is nestled at the base of the Tribune Building and features an unparalleled drink selection (largest draft beer selection in all of Chicago!), tasty menu and remarkable views to cap your evening.  Reservations strongly encouraged – you can’t go wrong with this choice!

If you can’t pull yourself away from the conference grounds, Hyatt Regency McCormick offers a couple dining options: Shor for a contemporary American meal, Forno if a plate of pasta hits the spot, or the lobby bar M/X for small bites and a cocktail.

Things to See:

Did you know that the first Ferris wheel made its debut in Chicago in 1893? Now Navy Pier is home to the 15-story Ferris wheel and a must-see when in Chicago.  During the week of Cloud Connect, Chicago’s Chocolate Festival is at Navy Pier and open to the public, while for those in search of some Halloween funk can check out The Fear Haunted House, also happening at the Pier. The insider’s tip here though is the stained glass exhibit that can’t be missed!

Lincoln Park Zoo is free and who doesn’t love free?!  With fall upon us and Halloween in the air, the Zoo has an events calendar you should check out prior to your visit to make sure you’re maximizing on fun, which may or may not include a Spooky Zoo Spectacular.

If you prefer setting sail, you can’t go wrong with the Architectural Boat Tours.  While on board, you’ll navigate along the Chicago River, be awed by 50+ buildings unique architecture, and learn the ins and outs of how the city grew from a small back-country outpost into one of the world’s most important crossroads.  While on the topic of Chicago history, may we recommend a Mob Tour, where you can escape into the city’s underworld of gangsters and criminals?  Problem is, tours only run Saturday and Sunday, so if you’re in early or sticking around after the event – secure your spot now to learn about all the old gangster hot spots.

What to Do:

If you need some greenery in your life, parks abound.  Stop by the local Bird Sanctuary off McCormick or visit Memorial, Grant or Millennium Park, which plays host to the famous “Bean.”

If a drink and a laugh is more up your alley, Second City Comedy Club will put you in stitches with their improv. Shows run nightly at 8:00 pm during the week of Cloud Connect.  Social Twenty-Five is located in the trendy River North neighborhood – just a few miles from McCormick – and has become a favorite hot spot with live music entertainment and a swanky two-level bar.  You could also belly up to the bar at Chicago classic, Pippin’s Tavern, a quintessential Irish pub located on Rush Street.

Don’t be afraid to take on public transit to get you where you want to go.  All you need to know to plan your route can be found on Chicago’s Transit’s website.

And finally, it was to my delight when Cloud Connect decided to expand to Chicago last year and return in 2013 to such a fun-loving city.  I’m looking forward to the event and being back in my mom’s hometown.   Hopefully, this can help you chart your course while in Chicago and if we missed something you’d like to share, please feel free to comment – we are all ears.

 
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A post by Scott Bils, Managing Partner, Leverhawk.

As cloud computing matures and success models emerge, enterprises are now getting serious about using cloud to drive business and IT transformation.  Successful cloud adoption is about more than technology and platforms though – it also will require a more complete understanding of the true economic, organizational and operational implications of the cloud.  Unfortunately these are issues that most IT leaders are ill-prepared to address.

The Cloud IT Executive Summit (CITES) provides an unparalleled opportunity to hear the latest insights from industry experts, thought leaders and enterprise executives who are leveraging cloud and other next generation IT platforms to drive disruptive business strategies and achieve competitive advantage. The Summit will provide an opportunity for forward thinking CIOS and IT decision-makers to engage in peer-level discussions and learn best practices from other executives who are leading the migration to next generation IT models.  The CITES sessions will feature a variety of discussions on cloud-enabled transformation, including:

  • ITaaS – The New Operating Model with Scott Bils, Managing Partner at Leverhawk
  • Cloud Strategy and Economics, with Joe Weinman, Senior VP at Telx
  • CIO perspectives on Cloud Strategy with Bob Gill, Research Director at Gartner
  • The Future of Cloud Computing, with Jamie Goldstein, Partner at North Bridge Venture Partners,
  • Customer Perspectives on Cloud Transformation with Latisys

The Cloud is fundamentally transforming the “business model” of IT, requiring CIOs and their organizations to become service providers themselves.  CITES will provide a roadmap for executives seeking to navigate the strategic, organizational and operational issues on the way to transformation.

Register here and join the conversation!

 
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When applied to the right environments, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and DevOps methods make IT and business environments more agile. Combined, they streamline processes and provide predictability of pre-integration and enhanced consistency in development and production environments. But, PaaS and DevOps methods aren’t perfect. Complete freedom can be difficult to achieve due to vendor constraints and there are still serious concerns about PaaS scale and uptime. To be successful, enterprises must learn to embrace new DevOps methods, know what environments to use PaaS and which not to, and the difference between public and private PaaS strategies.

The PaaS Track at Cloud Connect Chicago, led by industry veteran Wendy White, Principal at Surge Marketing Group, answers these key questions pertinent to anyone considering PaaS strategies. Sessions include:

From Code to Production: What Is Your PaaS and DevOps Play?

As organizations evolve to take advantage of cloud enabled services, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is turning out to be a key enabler of this shift to modern IT. PaaS and DevOps are helping organizations push their idea to business value, and eventually, giving them competitive advantage in shortest time compared to the past. However, the confusion in the minds of enterprise IT on the value PaaS and DevOps offers is turning out to be the biggest stumbling block in the IT transformation. Read more…

Presented by Krishnan Subramanian, Director, OpenShift Strategy, Red Hat

The Goat and the Silo: What an Old Calculus Problem Can Teach Us about Instilling the Culture of DevOps

When drastic organizational change is recommended to implement a culture of DevOps and successfully adopt a PaaS platform, the time is right to explore how the philosophies of DevOps can be used to turn Goats and Silos into assets.  Read more…

Presented by Michael Ducy, Enterprise Architect, Opscode

Designing Your Apps for Long-Term PaaS Success

While many custom-built applications can slide seamlessly into a PaaS platform, there’s no guarantee that they will run efficiently. Well-designed cloud applications are elastic, infrastructure-agnostic, composable, built for failure, stateless, and easily updated. Even if you’ve successfully published a cloud-friendly application to a public PaaS, how can you avoid application silos that don’t connect with any other enterprise assets? Read more…

Presented by Jared Wray, Creator of Iron Foundry PaaS; CTO, Tier 3

Be sure to register for Cloud Connect Chicago before October 17 to save on advanced pricing.

 
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Amazon Web Services is the largest and most successful cloud service provider by a huge margin. Its lead over the competition can be seen in the most recent Gartner IaaS Magic Quadrant, where there is enormous white space between it and its nearest competitor in the leader quadrant — with only AWS and that competitor cited as leaders. Everyone else is relegated to other quadrants.

The implication of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is clear: AWS will be important for every company and IT organization. Developing AWS skills is critical. However, AWS is designed and operates quite differently from every other cloud service provider’s offering.

Understanding how AWS works and how to gain the greatest advantage from it is crucial — and Cloud Connect’s AWS Boot Camp delivers a half-day firehose of information to help get you started on your AWS journey.

The workshop covers core AWS concepts, as well as details of the different AWS services, to prepare you for your initial work with it.

Key areas covered in the AWS Boot Camp include:

  • AWS global architecture and data center locations
  • AWS services
  • In-depth discussion of AWS compute and storage services
  • AWS application design principles to ensure robust and scalable apps
  • AWS service pricing
  • Managing AWS utilization and costs

Past Boot Camp attendees have given it high marks for clearly and simply describing AWS in a manner making it easy for anyone to understand. While technical concepts are presented, it is not necessary to have a deep technical background in order to attend the Boot Camp. No hands-on technical work is expected of students, although a demonstration of the service is included in the Boot Camp, in order to communicate its ease of use.

Register for a Cloud Connect All Access Pass and be on your way to becoming an AWS expert.

 
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A post by the CloudStack Track Chairs.

CloudStack has been getting a lot of attention of late. Great stories emerging of people deploying and being successful with CloudStack are appearing almost every week. At Cloud Connect the attention is even greater. There’s a dedicated CloudStack track on Wednesday that has some must-see content.

Don’t know much about CloudStack? That’s ok, Reuven Cohen, of Forbes-fame will bring you up to speed with Introduction to CloudStack. He’ll walk you through the architecture, overview, and features.

Ceph, the next generation, distributed, open source, massively scalable block storage has  long been integrated with CloudStack, providing an incredibly efficient storage back-end to your cloud. Patrick McGarry from Inktank will tell you how it works, what new functionality between Ceph and CloudStack has been exposed in the 4.2 release, as well as talk about the realities of Ceph in production.

Running any infrastructure tool in production is a concern, and often very different from what you read in marketing slicks. Jerry Garcia and Elias Luftallah actually use CloudStack, in production, at Orbitz; they’ll be present to give an uncensored view into the pains and joys of working with CloudStack every day.

Finally rounding out the day, Apache CloudStack PMC member, John Burwell will be talking about using CloudStack pared with Riak CS, the open source distributed object store.

Whether you just want to learn the basics, hear war stories, or learn about extending your cloud toolset, there will be a wealth of Apache CloudStack content available at this year’s Cloud Connect – hope you can join us.

 
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A post by Randy Bias OpenStack Track Chair.

There’s no shortage of stories written about the success of OpenStack. In just three short years, OpenStack has catapulted from a nifty idea advanced by Rackspace and NASA/Anso Labs to a juggernaut of open source software.
Consider this: The more than 10,000 OpenStack Foundation members comprise over 1,000 developers, about 300+ of whom are contributing code on average any given month. Those developers work for 200 companies in more than 100 countries globally, and they contributed more than 3,200 code commits in the latest release, Grizzly. In total, for Grizzly, 517 devs contributed 7,600 patches and 230 new features.

That’s impressive, no doubt. But what’s more impressive is project’s software development life cycle (SLDC). It has matured into an impressive machine that has made possible the project’s semi-annual release cycle with few or no code regressions that complicate compatibility for application developers and cloud architects.

Fresh Blood

OpenStack benefits greatly from the leadership of folks like Russell Bryant and Mark McLoughlin, both with Red Hat, Monty Taylor of HP and Thierry Carrez, who came to the OpenStack Foundation from Canonical. These leaders have brought decades of open source experience to OpenStack, contributing new ideas and energy that have directly led to the processes and systems that make our semi-annual release cycle possible.

Continuous Integration

The Continuous Integration (CI) team in OpenStack has built testing systems that have made it possible to scale from a few dozen contributors for the Bexar release to more than 700 developers now pushing patches *daily* to the project.

The CI system runs as a single app across two OpenStack-powered public clouds, with resources donated by HP, Rackspace and eNovance. The system merges about 150 patches each day into the code base. There are more than 500 commits that don’t make it — every day.

Automation is a big part of the CI system. Google’s Gerrit code review system feeds into a system called Zuul for gating (Ghostbuster fans will recall that Zuul was the Gatekeeper). All this  is connected to a Jenkins server with Gearman worker support for scaling. Tests are tun in parallel with optimistic pipelining to save time.
This may seem like a lot of moving parts, and it is. Without the CI system, there would be no way that 500+ devs could contribute hundreds of code commits each day and the project still ship a new version every six months.

Tempest

The OpenStack infrastructure team uses the CI system to deploy and test OpenStack more than 700 times every day day using Tempest integration tests. To date, the system has performed more than 15,000 unit tests, an incredible feat for an automation system that has only recently come online.

This is all the more impressive when you consider that the CI and other QA projects in OpenStack have been designed, implemented and iterated in an environment where the number of projects has grown from just two (Nova and Swift) to nine (adding Glance, Cinder, Keystone, Heat, Horizon, Neutron (nee Quantum), and Ceilometer).

The success of OpenStack is substantially the responsibility of the developers and leaders who have given the community a top-notch CI system. We’ll take a closer look at OpenStack’s SLDC during the OpenStack Boot Camp at Cloud Connect Chicago.

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Randy Bias is CEO and Co-founder of Cloudscaling, and a board member of the OpenStack Foundation. He is also listed as a Top 10 Cloud Computing Pioneer by Informationweek.

 
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The market has moved past the era of merely defining the cloud and evangelizing its value proposition. Real customers are passionate about the shift to Cloud platforms and are actively evaluating their options and making critical decisions to drive projects forward. From agile SMBs to large Enterprises and Service Providers, the unlimited resource of the cloud is driving a breakneck pace of innovation and unprecedented value for companies prepared to take full advantage of the IT as-a-Service revolution.

Cloud Connect’s conference program enables Cloud solution decision makers to evaluate the competing choices, to put all the issues on the table, fuel intelligent dialogue and stimulate the necessary debates. And with business stakeholders now actively engaged in business technology decisions, the Cloud Connect program has been shaped to serve both technical and line-of-business audiences. Continue Reading »

 
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For many organizations, cloud computing has become an integral part of IT, but they continue to face critical technology decisions as competing platforms push for market leadership.  OpenStack, CloudStack and Eucalyptus are the clear frontrunners in the open source infrastructure as a service (IaaS) space. But questions are still lingering: Is one really better than the other? What are the technical differences? Which best supports the integration of legacy systems with cloud-based apps? Which is better for startups versus SMBs and Enterprises?

This year’s program for Cloud Connect Chicago pits these industry players against each other with five conference tracks, each to represent divergent cloud software strategies: Amazon Web Services & Eucalyptus, CloudStack, OpenStack, Platform-as-a-Service and Virtualization & Private Cloud.  As the unique architectures have both benefits and limitations, speakers affiliated with the different tracks will address key technology considerations and business impact across the leading use cases.

The Cloud Stack Wars will also play out on the Cloud Connect Keynote Stage. From accessibility to cost to security, AWS, CloudStack and OpenStack all have their benefits and limitations laid out on stage. Experts will join a Keynote Panel and debate the limitations, nuances, and advocate for their Cloud Stack War winner.

In addition to conference sessions, Cloud Connect will open with a full day of intensive cloud computing education through a series of Summits and Boot Camps. Be sure to attend Cloud Connect Chicago, October 21-23, and see how prevails in the Cloud Stack Wars. Register before September 16 with discount SMBLOG to save an additional $200 off Early Bird prices.

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