Cloud Connect Santa Clara Conference: Day 1 Impressions
It’s always jarring to go to a vendor-neutral conference such as this week’s Cloud Connect after so many blockbuster shows sponsored by a single company (i.e. Dreamforce, this week’s Parallels Summit). Where the huge shows are all about spectacle and pushing a single company line, Cloud Connect was much more about the sharing of big ideas and the demonstration of mutually beneficial technologies. Here are a few observations from day one.
The distinction between Cloud Connect and the vast majority of conferences I’ve attended in the past were the keynotes: As predicted, each was no more than 15 to 20 minutes, choosing a single theme around the cloud and expounding on it in a manner that reminded me more of TED than anything else.
For instance, OpsCode Co-Founder Jesse Robbins talked about the importance of backup plans and how misleading SLAs can be in complex environments: Three services with 99.9 percent availability have a cumulative 99.7 percent uptime. Meanwhile, Bitcurrent’s Alistair Croll used his time to impart a creative extended metaphor involving the imperial foot and Lego bricks to explain why it behooves service providers to focus on, well, services rather than infrastructure.
It looks like the majority of the speakers’ presentations are up on Cloud Connect’s website, if you’re interested.
And while no single vendor had claim to ownership of Cloud Connect, Rackspace Hosting easily took the “most ostentatious” award. Rackspace used what appeared to be a vintage Winnebago to perform demos of its cloud hosting platform, with the rest of its booth looking like a tailgate party. And in acknowledgement of the extremely unhappy coincidence of Cloud Connect and Valentine’s Day, the hosting provider was handing out boxes of candy hearts bearing the legend, “Who needs a Valentine when you’ve got Rackspace Hosting?”
But even so, Rackspace spent a lot of time and effort putting the OpenStack project, which it co-founded with NASA, in the limelight. I actually had the chance to speak with Rackspace CTO John Engates about the company’s OpenStack momentum, but with all the OpenStack goings-on at the show, I’m saving those insights for a longer blog later this week (sorry).
And now I’m off to prep for day 2, which is going to feature similarly rapid-fire keynotes from Google, Rackspace, Citrix, HP, Zynga and more. So far, what Cloud Connect news has caught your eye? What do you want to know more about? Sound off in the comments below.