Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Interop Las Vegas 2011 - Day One

I make it a habit to take lots of notes during my time at any conference. And with a conference such as Interop, there is plenty to write about. These are my thoughts from the first day (May 10th).

I enjoyed the opening morning keynote session. Out of all the speakers, I found what Mark Templeton (CEO of Citrix) had to say to be the most compelling. I think he summed it up when he said that in the era of 'cloud computing' the role of IT will be to aggregate & orchestrate. I've had similar thoughts but he put it most elegantly. There is also the notion that IT will manufacture & distribute apps (like a factory building cars and selling them). The speaker I least liked was Rebecca Jacoby, CIO of Cisco. I don't think it was necessarily her, but the material that wasn't very compelling. Cisco is facing lots of competition and at a show like Interop, all the competitors are out for blood. Vint Cerf & Dan Lynch were very entertaining. And I very much liked Vint's comment that he's had a good day when he's worn out two 26-year-old engineers.

Alistair Croll's 10:15 AM session "How to think like a Cloud" was very good. It contained the kind of information that IT professional need to hear because of the changing nature of what we do. I really liked the point he made that IT Pros must think of cloud computing through the lens of "supply chain management" because the cloud represents Just-In-Time computing.

Jim Metzler's 11:30 AM session "What is the Impact of Cloud Computing on the Network?" was more of a higher level view of how an organization's internal network (LAN / WAS) is affected by the cloud. Cloud computing is provisioning of IT services which are good enough.

The 1:00 PM afternoon keynote was less dynamic that the morning one. But I did like what Zane Adam of Microsoft had to say. One thing that IT professional often lose sight of is the cost of IT. He reminded the audience that we must drive down costs and cloud computing helps you accomplish that. Scott Hopkins from IBM just regurgitated what they show in their TV commercials so nothing interesting.

The 2:15 PM session "The Great Debate: Are Clouds More Secure?" with Alistair Croll as the moderator and Ravi Rajagopal & John Pironti on the "no, they aren't secure" side of the debate while Allen Allison & Frank Kenney were on the yes side. Both Ravi Rajagopal and Frank Kenney made the session. The best quote from the session was that the "Haters have to hate the cloud!" Frank said it best when he said, "Classify data and assign risk to it."

I had a good first day at Interop. Now its time for a steak!

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