Cloud conferences to check out in the first half of 2018

As cloud adoption grows, IT professionals with relevant experience are in high demand. Cloud conferences and events are the perfect place to build your skill sets, meet industry leaders and expand your business network. Whether you’re just starting out in cloud, or are a seasoned pro, there’s an opportunity to learn new technologies, gain more experience and add certifications to your resume.

Here are a few cloud conferences and events, all in the first half of 2018, for IT pros to consider.

Think 2018

March 19 – 22
Las Vegas

At IBM’s Think event, IT pros can meet experts and attend sessions on cloud topics ranging from hybrid cloud to DevOps and microservices. For those who want to gain some hands-on experience, Think Academy provides labs that cover various technologies, and offers over 300 certifications.

Microsoft Tech Summit

March 5 – 6
Washington D.C.

March 19 – 20
San Francisco

Microsoft’s free technical learning event is aimed at IT pros and developers who want to learn more about Azure and Microsoft 365. There are over 80 sessions — ranging from introductory to advanced — that cover current cloud trends and Azure tools. This year, the event will also dive into the details of Azure Government and Microsoft 365 for U.S. Government.

Cloud Foundry Summit

April 18 – 20

The Cloud Foundry Summit is for users and developers of all experience levels that want to expand their knowledge of the open source platform. Learn how to scale, manage and deploy applications at the hands-on training workshops. Join sessions that cover Cloud Foundry features and core updates. Beyond introductory information, some tracks focus on particular services, buildpacks and architectural components. Attendees can also take the Certified Developer Exam at the event.

Dell Technologies World

April 30 – May 3
Las Vegas

Dell’s technology conference offers three major tracks that cater to IT pros, administrators and architects, as well as over 400 sessions that cover topics including cloud, big data and security. Hands-on labs are available — both as self-paced and guided workshops – and attendees can pursue certifications for cloud architecture, systems administration, data science and other topics.

Interop ITX 2018

April 30 – May 4
Las Vegas

The 32nd Interop event offers seven tracks, including one dedicated to cloud that offers sessions on migration, management and integration. The five-day event includes Summits, which drill down into specific topics, like AI, as well as hands-on sessions, which are a new addition to the event. Two of these interactive sessions focus on Kubernetes and IoT/cognitive services.

OpenStack Summit

May 21 – 24

In addition to OpenStack, this summit offers sessions and education on various open source technologies, including Kubernetes and Docker. Cloud admins, architects, developers and other IT pros can hone their skills for private, public and multi-cloud environments. Hands-on training and labs from the OpenStack Academy help IT pros prepare for the Certified OpenStack Administer Exam. Users and developers can also share their opinions on recent OpenStack releases, and brainstorm ideas for the future, at the event’s Forum.

Cloud Expo

June 5 – 7
New York City

The 22nd international Cloud Expo enables cloud professionals to network with colleagues and choose from hundreds of sessions to attend, including user panels and industry keynotes. The cloud event has eight tracks to follow that explore hot topics like hybrid and multi-cloud, machine learning, artificial intelligence and microservices.

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How likely can terrorists, nuclear attacks, or hackers take down the cloud?

For all you Chicken Littles out there: A cyber problem that shuts down a top US cloud computing provider for three to six days could trigger a loss to clients of between $5.3 billion and $19 billion in business losses, of which only $1.1 billion to $3.5 billion would be covered by insurance, said insurer Lloyd’s of London in a report. (A “cyber problem” could include hacking, lightning strikes, bombing of datacenters, and human errors making a public cloud service provider take a dirt nap.)

I don’t doubt those numbers. But if one or more major cloud providers are disabled for some reason, we’ll have more important problems than not being able to log into the inventory system. 

And the chances are slim, anyhow: The truth is that public clouds providers are pretty resilient. Although we’ve seen regional outages in the past, typically due to human error, taking down a public cloud provider through a cyberattack would be a bit like playing Whack-a-Mole with 800-pound moles. 

Public cloud providers have set up many redundant systems in their clouds. Although you could bring down a single datacenter, perhaps even a whole region, you won’t disrupt all the cloud datacenters and regions. Kill one, and the others take over. 

Of course, there could be a major event such as an atomic attack that could take out most or all of a cloud provider. However, even then I doubt that all public clouds capabilities would be offline. Keep in mind that TCP/IP was designed by the US Defense Dept. to route around missing pieces of the network due to nuclear attack. 

And, in the event of a nuclear attack, would you care about your cloud services all tha much?

For less-world-ending scenarios, one of the good things about cloud computing is that the cloud providers are not the sitting ducks that enterprise datacenters have been (and many still are). The cloud providers have a wide geographical distribution, and they are redundant. So, your cloud data is actually safer than your on-premises data. It’s a good thing cloud data redundancy is almost foolproof, because it looks like you won’t get much help from insurance. 

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