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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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Steve Wylie

The recent Cloud Connect tweet chat on “Management, application performance & security in a Hybrid Cloud world” addressed one of the fundamental challenges facing business technology stakeholders – weighing the benefits of cloud computing with potential loss of direct access & control over application infrastructure.  This is especially true with PaaS & SaaS where more of the infrastructure control is ceded to the Cloud provider.

Our Enterprise Cloud Adoption Survey shows that businesses are growing increasingly comfortable with both SaaS & PaaS.  But what are the tradeoffs and concerns?  Here’s a snapshot of our Cloud Connect twitter discussion on this topic: Continue Reading »

 
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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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emilyjohnson

By Emily Johnson

Cloud Connect Chicago 2013 is taking a new approach to the program this year. The focus is on the top cloud computing infrastructure management platforms including: OpenStack, CloudStack, Eucalyptus and VMware and the full-fledged stack wars that are currently playing out in the media.

We had an opportunity to sit down with Randy Bias, Cloudscaling’s CEO & CTO and Director of the OpenStack Foundation who organized the Cloud Connect OpenStack track and Boot Camp and he shared his thoughts on how his program is coming together and what he thinks attendees will gain from it. Continue Reading »

 
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Kristi Ibello

The knowledge and best practices you gain at Cloud Connect Chicago will ultimately help your organization maximize their cloud investment. You’ll come back better prepared to help your company develop strategies to increase efficiency and productivity; and ideas on how to test and implement new, transformative technologies.

Need a little help demonstrating the ROI your trip to Cloud Connect will have? Share the below list which helps demonstrate the importance and impact your trip will have on your organization.

  1. Discover innovative ways that the cloud can help you boost productivity and create new revenue streams.
  2. Stay abreast of industry trends and issues, hear industry experts and end users discuss use cases and best practices surrounding their cloud migration.
  3. Evaluate which cloud stacks and platforms are right for your specific challenges, so you can optimize spend in these key areas.
  4. Up-level the skills and experience of your organization with CompTIA Cloud Essential Certification.
  5. Meet with over 30 vendors and find new solutions to your cloud, security, infrastructure or big data questions.
  6. Anticipate emerging cloud trends so you can plan for any impact on your business.
  7. Renegotiate service agreements and/or upgrade to the next version by scheduling one-on-one meetings at Cloud Connect.
  8. Network with like-minded professionals and learn how they are tackling cloud issues in your industry.
  9. Learn from top peers, analysts and other end users in the Cloud Connect Conference sessions including cloud & private clouds, AWS, CloudStack, and OpenStack
  10. Connect with thousands of experts — including leaders from companies like ZipCar, Boeing, Sears, and The Weather Company, the brightest innovators in IT — for guidance and advice on the specific challenges your company is facing.

Leverage the Convince Your Manager tools on the Cloud Connect website to get additional details and justification letters to share with your management team. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

 
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Kristi Ibello

Cloud Connect Chicago kicks off in just over a month at McCormick Place in Chicago. Cloud Connect is the only venue where you will learn how to leverage the cloud ecosystem to develop new services, new revenue streams and new business models.  Over the course of three days, the Conference offers in-depth boot camps, panel discussions and access to a host of industry experts, all designed to help you weigh your cloud options and drive transformation.  Here is a list of the top 5 events you will want to add to your schedule. Continue Reading »

 
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Steve Wylie

Last week Cloud Connect hosted a “Tweet Chat” – a preplanned virtual discussion which takes place via Twitter.  The topic for our chat was “Management, application performance & security in a Hybrid Cloud world” which proved to be a fruitful topic of conversation.

We asked a series of questions to our faithful Cloud Connect Twitter followers and anyone else interested in joining the discussion.  The responses started coming in right away and it was interesting to see the variety of perspectives and responses.

Our first question dealt with whether data security concerns would stifle or spur hybrid cloud adoption.  Here’s a snapshot of the discussion:

Continue Reading »

 
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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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Kristi Ibello

As we near the kickoff of Cloud Connect Chicago on October 21 here is a look at the top 5 reasons why you cannot miss this year’s Conference and Expo.

1. Independent Analysis

With dilution of cloud washing and vendor-events, Cloud Connect stands alone as the only vendor-neutral event where you receive independent insight into the cloud ecosystem and separate hype from reality.

2. In-Depth Training and Professional Development

Steering clear of impractical high-level theories and self-promotion found at other events, at Cloud Connect you can choose from Summits, Boot Camps, and individual breakout sessions including real-life use cases and “how to’s” to help you drive immediate action with your cloud projects.

3. Community and Networking

Cloud Connect is dedicated to building a community of technology and cloud practitioners across a wide variety of verticals. Immerse yourself and get inspired in a community of practice, sharing, teaching and learning that will supercharge not just your skill sets, but your cloud strategy. Join peers from companies including:

Wells Fargo    City of Los Angeles     Salesforce.com     Hilton Worldwide

Bank of America    Microsoft    Thomas Reuters  JPMorgan Chase

University of Chicago   Live Nation    AT&T   Canon U.S.A., Inc.

4. Subject Matter Experts

Cloud Connect attracts the best and brightest innovators in the industry. Attend over 50+ sessions and Keynotes from presenters hand-picked based on their knowledge and accomplishments.

5. Cloud Stack Wars

Attend over three days of lectures, panels and roundtable discussions on topics like CloudStack, OpenStackAWS, Virtualization, and Private Clouds. Cloud Connect is the only venue where you can see cloud’s top vendors duke it out.

Register by September 16 to save up to $500 off an All Access Pass for all 3 days of actionable content, invaluable connections and see why Cloud Connect is the must attend cloud event of the year.

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