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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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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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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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Steve Wylie

I have been planning conferences for many years and have come to believe that end user companies often make the best speakers. This is especially true for Cloud Connect because Cloud customers (our attendees) not only need to understand how the Cloud works but also how it aligns with their business objectives.

We are entering a new era in cloud computing where a customer’s success will no longer be measured by cloud adoption alone, but also by how they take advantage of  the Cloud to drive business forward. Simply put, Cloud has become the platform of innovation and that innovation will impact every aspect of the modern enterprise. Continue Reading »

 
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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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Steve Wylie

With Cloud Connect Chicago less than 8 weeks away we have started to take the wraps off our exciting keynote line up.  Our program reflects not only the state of enterprise cloud computing, but more importantly, where we’re going as we begin to understand how cloud computing is reshaping the modern enterprise.

The theme for this year’s conference is Navigating the Cloud for Enterprise Transformation which speaks to two of the most important trends in enterprise cloud adoption:

Enterprise Transformation: We’ve moved beyond defining cloud computing and evangelizing its value proposition.  The Cloud is here to stay and its value to business pretty well understood.  But we need continued focus on exactly how cloud is reshaping business in terms of technology choices, policies and organizational best practices.

Navigating the Cloud:  As companies set a cloud strategy they face a number of decisions around platforms, ecosystems and vendor partners.   Cloud Connect’s Conference Program is uniquely structured to compare and contrast the leading cloud stacks in the market.

With these themes in mind, I’m thrilled to welcome Alistair Croll, VP of CloudOps Research as a featured speaker.  Alistair will most definitely challenge your thinking with his vision for the cloud enabled enterprise. He is a true thought leader, consistently ranks among top speakers at Cloud Connect and i’m thrilled to welcome him back this year.  Here’s a little background on Alistair from the CloudOps Research website:

Alistair Croll is an entrepreneur, analyst, and author. He has founded several companies in the area of network infrastructure, performance management, and web technology, and chairs a number of the tech industry’s largest events on cloud computing, Big Data, and entrepreneurship including Cloud Connect, Strata, Interop, and the International Startup Festival. He is also the creator of the bitnorth conference series. Alistair is the author of three books on performance, operations, and analytics, and is currently working on Lean Analytics, part of the Lean series from O’Reilly Media, which shows startups how to use data to build better startups faster. In 2010, he co-founded Year One Labs, an early stage startup accelerator, and he is an angel investor and hands-on advisor to numerous startups and investor organizations. Most of what Alistair says, passed through notoriously poor filters, can be found on Twitter or his blog, Solve For Interesting.

 

 

 
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This post was co-written by Emily Johnson and Bernard Golden

There is no question that AWS is leading the charge in IaaS with high resiliency, and dynamic development options, especially for those developing SaaS applications in the cloud. However, their API-based features can make standardization of management interfaces difficult for cloud vendors, and though it can quickly evolve to its customer’s needs, does not endorse industry standards. Luckily, there are a number of great management solutions out there and AWS continues to be a prudent financial decision. Continue Reading »

 
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Bernard Golden has been called a “cloud guru” and a “cloud computing rockstar.” He is Vice President, Enterprise Solutions for Enstratius, a leading cloud management software company. In this role, he works with large enterprises throughout the world, helping them migrate to cloud computing and gain its full benefits. Formerly, was the CEO of HyperStratus, a Silicon Valley cloud computing consultancy that works with clients throughout the world. Continue Reading »

 
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Cloud Connect and Everest Group conducted a joint survey to coincide with the Cloud Connect conference at Santa Clara, in April 2013.

The objectives of the survey were to:

– Identify broad-based cloud adoption patterns

– Identify barriers to adoption

– Identify decision making patterns for cloud adoption

Below is a visual of some key findings.

 

Learn more at Cloud Connect Chicago.

 

 

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