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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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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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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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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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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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Cloud Connect has been closely tracking the recent heated debate around which infrastructure is best suited for the enterprise cloud. There’s still no clear verdict, so Cloud Connect will continue the conversation from the keynote stage in Chicago. From accessibility to cost to security, AWS, CloudStack and OpenStack all have their benefits and limitations, which experts will thoroughly explore during the keynote panel, “Stack Wars: The Battle for the Enterprise Cloud.”

We’re pleased to announce that Margaret Dawson, VP of Product Marketing & Cloud Evangelist of HP Cloud Services will moderate the panel, which will include advocates for these competitive platforms. Margaret is perfectly positioned to host this session, with more than 20 years of global leadership experience and ample time spent working in the cloud industry. Prior to her current position at HP, she ran point for two cloud startups in the B2B integration and data storage markets, and served at Microsoft and Amazon.com. She has a keen understanding of cloud trends, and is a valued member of both the Cloud Connect Advisory Council and the Cloud Network of Women (CloudNOW).

This is a session you won’t want to miss. We’ll be revealing panelists closer to the event, so be sure to check back on the Cloud Connect Chicago keynote page for more information. In the meantime, if you’re on Twitter, follow Margaret ‏@seattledawson to keep tabs on her perspective on the cloud.

What’s your stack of choice? Weigh in at Cloud Connect Chicago, October 21-23 at McCormick Place. If you haven’t already, register now to lock in Early Bird pricing and save up to $500 on Conference Passes.

 
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Excitement is building as we put the finishing touches on our 2013 Cloud Connect Chicago program. We’ve incorporated a number of new program elements that we’re excited to share with you and can’t wait to get to Chicagoland this October to delve into discussions around both the state and future of cloud computing.

The new Cloud Connect Conference program provides practitioners and decision makers the ability to evaluate completing choices, evaluate all the issues surrounding competing cloud stacks as well as stimulate necessary debates.  To help enhance your Cloud Connect experience we’ve outlined a list of new tools, Summits, Boot Camps, and must attend sessions!

1. Pre-Conference Networking

 

 

 

With registration launched and sessions added you can get a head start on planning your itinerary by adding sessions via the Session Scheduler and our Cloud Connect Mobile App. Once you add a session on Session Schedule your session will automatically be added to your schedule in the Cloud Connect Mobile App. Use the Mobile App to also network with other attendees, ask questions to exhibitors, see what’s trending, and plan your Conference agenda.

2. CompTIA Cloud Essential Training

The Cloud Essentials Course, facilitated by CompTIA, is a one-day training course that prepares you for the CompTIA Cloud Essentials Certification. Each attendee who completes the course in full will be provided a complimentary voucher to take the Certification test at a testing location of your choice. This one-day course will help you be on your way to cloud certification!

3. New Education Formats

 

 

We’ve added new Summit and Boot Camp training sessions to the Cloud Connect Chicago catalog. These new three-hour intensive formats include more hands-on-training and use-cases that will examine both the technical potential and business opportunity made possible by the cloud revolution.

4. New Tracks

 

 

 

We leveraged attendee, customer and advisory board insights to bring you a new track structure aligned with key cloud players and topics: OpenStack, CloudStack, AWS & Eucalyptus, Virtualization & Private Clouds and more. Keep checking back on the Session Scheduler for additional information and new sessions.

5. Post-Show News and Updates

 

 

The Cloud Connect community and conversation does not end once the Conference is over. All Keynotes will be audio recorded, and will have audio and presentations synced and online within a week after the session is completed. They will be available on the Cloud Connect Chicago website.

 
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Jason Quesada

Visionary, cutting-edge and inspirational Cloud Connect keynote speakers will provide insight into crafting your own cloud computing plans. That’s why we’re excited to announce Duke Skarda, CTO of Softlayer, will be part of the transformational keynote program at Cloud Connect Chicago.

As the CTO, he holds responsibilities for implementing, designing and enhancing the proprietary SoftLayer Infrastructure Management System (IMS). Prior to joining SoftLayer, Mr. Skarda served as the Vice President of Information Technology and Software Development at The Planet. He served in this role from June, 2009 to October, 2010.

Previously, Duke spent 10 years with Level 3 Communications in a series of increasingly responsible positions. As Senior Vice President for its Content Markets Group, he led Engineering and IT development for its Content Distribution Network platform and IT support systems. As Senior Vice President for IT Architecture and Application Development, he led a broad range of programs, including business process management, order-entry and service assurance development. He also served as Vice President of IT Architecture, where he led the development of a long-range systems roadmaps, systems merger and acquisition planning, and the development of the company’s Enterprise Architecture team.

Duke Skarda earned a B.S. in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at El Paso.

Be sure to attend Cloud Connect Chicago October 21-23, 2013 at McCormick Place to hear about a new approach of how infrastructure can support APIs and operational procedures in the cloud.  Register early to lock in Early Bird rates and save up to $500 on Conference Passes.

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