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Ten Observations from Cloud Expo NYC
Observations made and things that I learned during the conference

This week I attended the Cloud Expo in New York City.  It was pretty well attended and I gave my “how cloud computing improves security” talk on both Tuesday and Wednesday to a total audience of probably 150 people.  Here is a top ten list of observations made and things that I learned during the conference, in no particular order.  Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion, as is everything on this blog and on my twitter, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of anyone else, especially that of my employer.

1) There were far more “customers” at this show than there were in November in Santa Clara.  While I do attribute some of that to location, it is a good sign for the future of enterprise cloud adoption.

2) In general, attendees have moved from being there to learn what cloud is to learning how they can use it in their business.  Again, a good sign.

3) There was still a VERY high percentage of vendors at this show – my guess from talking to people at the booth and asking questions during my talks is 80% isv/integrators/software/IT services companies/providers/etc.  Suggestion for the conference organizers for upcoming shows would be to give real “customers” a different colored badge lanyard so we can quickly determine who is who.  Sometimes you want to talk to only vendors, sometimes you want to talk to enterprise-type customers – help us figure out who is who.

4) “Cloud Security” is still an oxymoron.  No big surprise here.  Customers know they want it, vendors and software companies say they have it, and few are getting or delivering anything close.  I pointed so many people to the Cloud Security Alliance and CloudAudit projects that I’m actually tired of talking about them.  There were a number of booths that said something like “We are the cloud security experts” – and from talking to them, there wasn’t a single person at the booth that could tell me why they were ‘experts’

5) If you’re going to have a conference about cloud computing, you’d better have GREAT wifi connectivity in the breakout and general session rooms as well as on the expo floor.  The wifi covered about 5 booths on the expo floor and none of the session rooms.  And when you could find that magic spot to stand to get a signal, you got 2400 baud modem speed to the net. #fail

6) There was way, way, way too much vendor pitchyness in the sessions.  Heard this from people over and over, the same way I heard it in Santa Clara last year.  I spent no more than 60 seconds in my 45 minute presentation saying anything about my company – unfortunately, most of the other sessions were flipped the other way.  See #8.

7) There were no real ‘announcements’ or news worthy talking points at the event other than the crazy microsoft cloud in a box that was forklifted in 1 hour before the floor opened on day 1.  I’d love to see a little more of the type of news and coverage that comes out of events like black hat or RSA where interesting things are said.  Hard to do that when the speakers are all from the sponsors, which leads me to #8.

8) What people say in their sessions is what they say at their booths (see #6).  Suggest opening  at least 25% of the speaker slots to the public via a traditional call for papers, and let people vote on which sessions to approve.  This will help ensure that attendees want to come back to a future event because they left feeling like they learned something.

9) There was a noticeable absence of big media and analyst coverage.  I wish SYS-CON would make nice with the blogger community already, because really both sides have a lot to gain by being friends.  The more time I spend with Jeremy and Fuat the more I like them, and hope they do the right (and necessary) thing.

10) There are a growing number of super smart, very cool people in the cloud industry right now and I’m glad to have met and spent some time with even more of them.  I got a chance finally to really learn how 3Tera works (and it is way better/different than I originally thought – more to come in a future blog post), saw my friends at Adaptivity blueprinting their way to success in cloud and data center transformations, watched Zenoss help customers make sense of spaghetti infrastructure, saw rightscale crush it (as usual) for deploying and managing AWS instances, and spent way too much time eating and drinking with my new and old cloudy friends.  Thanks for a great week!

 


Follow Scott Sanchez on twitter for more ramblings: http://twitter.com/scottsanchez

Notice: This article was originally posted at http://www.CloudNod.com by Scott Sanchez and is his personal opinion.

Copyright 2010 Scott Sanchez, All Rights Reserved.

 

About Scott Sanchez
A recognized thought leader on cloud computing, enterprise architecture and security, Scott Sanchez is a jack of all trades that has held strategy and leadership roles at Goldman Sachs, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Unisys and a number of technology startups along the way.

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