Interop Planning Guide: Cloudy forecast

To say that this year's Interop will feature a lot on cloud computing would be an understatement.

Interop's goal this year seems to be to leave no cloud unturned, as its sessions explore topics ranging from optimizing cloud computing to navigating different cloud standards to the economics of cloud computing.

"Clearly cloud computing is a game changer and it's one technology that we think people need to know about," says Interop general manager Lenny Heymann. "In fact on Wednesday morning our keynote speeches largely revolve around cloud computing."

Of course, cloud computing is only one of the many topics experts at Interop are due to discuss this year. If you're not interested in the cloud, you can always attend sessions on virtualization, mobility, VoIP and more. This Interop Planning Guide should help you pick out the most interesting sessions with the most relevant speakers to match your area of expertise.

Tuesday, April 27

10:15 a.m. Speedometers and Roofracks: The Cloud Ecosystem

What, exactly, makes up cloud computing? The answer is nobody really knows, as the entire ecosystem is still in a state of flux. The talk with Bitcurrent founder Alistair Croll will attempt to show you what parts of the cloud are central to its essence and what parts are merely nice options to have.

Alistair Croll – Founder, Bitcurrent

10:15 a.m. Virtualization Primer: Terms, Trends and Technologies

Think of this as Virtualization 101. FOCUS president Barb Goldworm will give you a concise breakdown of all the different types of virtualization and what they can do for your IT network. Topics include server virtualization, hypervisors, OS virtualization, hardware assists, virtual desktop architectures and application streaming and isolation.

Barb Goldworm – President and Chief Analyst, FOCUS

11:30 a.m. How Virtualization Can Enable and Improve Disaster Recovery for Any Sized Business

With earthquakes, hurricanes and other major disasters wreaking havoc on the world, disaster recovery has become a key worry for many IT departments. This panel will provide some ideas on how to leverage virtualization to improve your disaster-recovery plans.

Moderator – Barb Goldworm – President and Chief Analyst, FOCUSJoel McKelvey – Technical Alliance Manager, NetAppGeorge Pradel – Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, Vizioncore

2:45 p.m. Delivering Business Value with a Comprehensive Green Data Center Framework

This session's goal is to provide data center managers with a comprehensive road map to transition their technology to energy-saving "green" IT. The basic idea behind the panel is that investing in energy saving technology today will help you save money in the long term even if it temporarily expands your budget.

Moderator - Doug Washburn – Analyst Infrastructure & Operations, Forrester ResearchShehzad Merchant – Senior Director, Strategy, Extreme NetworksTate Cantrell – Chief Technology Officer, Verne GlobalRobert Petrocelli – Chief Executive Officer, GreenBytes

2:45 p.m. Virtualization-Life in the Trenches

Is virtualization really all it's cracked up to be? That's the question this panel will try to answer as it goes through several of the dos and don'ts for companies looking to take the plunge into a virtualized environment.

Moderator - Barb Goldworm – President and Chief Analyst, FOCUSTory Long – Solutions Architect, U.S. Unified Computing Services, CiscoJeremy Pack – Virtualization and Infrastructure Consulting, HP ServicesSean Connelly – Senior Manager, System Integrators and Emerging Products Group, Citrix

PICK OF THE DAY – 2:45 p.m. Why Networking Must Fundamentally Change

One of the big themes at this year's Interop will be how breakthrough technologies such as cloud computing and virtualization will impact the traditional networking model. This two-hour mega-panel attempts to provide answers to how data center LANs can best support virtualization and how data center automation may change in response to evolving technologies.

Moderator - Jim Metzler – Vice President, Ashton Metzler & AssociatesDoug Gourlay – VP, Marketing, Arista NetworksManish Muthal – Director - Enterprise Solutions, LSIThomas Scheibe – Director, Datacenter Switching and Services Group, CiscoKen Ferderer – Chief Technology Officer, LineSider TechnologiesRick Kagan – VP of Marketing, InfobloxKen Oestreich – VP, Marketing, EgeneraLarry Hart – Sr. Global Manager, Product Planning/Management/Marketing, DellPaul Congdon – CTO for HP ProCurve and an HP Fellow, HP ProCurveDhritiman Dasgupta – Senior Product Marketing Manager, Fabric and Switching Technologies, Juniper Networks

4 p.m. Wi-Fi 2015 – The Next Five Years

Although 4G wireless technologies such as LTE and WiMAX figure to make a huge impact on the mobile broadband market, Wi-Fi will still remain a vital tool for companies who want to provide their employees with inexpensive and reliable indoor broadband coverage. This session will take a look at how Wi-Fi is slated to evolve over the next five years and how companies can adapt their wireless LANs to meet demand for the new technology.

Moderator - Edgar Figueroa – CEO, Wi-Fi AllianceRolf De Vegt – Director Technical Standards, QualcommDorothy Stanley – Senior Standards Architect, Aruba NetworksBen Guderian – Vice President Wireless Solutions, PolycomLiam Quinn – CTO, Business Client Product Group, Dell

4 p.m. Application Acceleration from a Data Storage Perspective

While storage isn't the only enterprise application out there, it is the application that is often most crucial to other apps' performance. This lecture will look at how to best utilize storage technology to improve application performance and will include topics such as spindle aggregation, various storage acceleration devices, application-level QoS techniques, and caching

Jacob Farmer – CTO, Cambridge Computer Services

Wednesday, April 28

PICK OF THE DAY: 10:15 a.m. Planning for (and Deploying!) 4G

4G mobile broadband technology will be ubiquitous in just a couple of years, as all the major U.S. carriers will have deployed some variation of 4G by the end of 2012. This panel will try to help businesses understand what high-speed mobile broadband will mean for them.

Moderator - Sue Marek – Editor-in-Chief, FierceMarketsChris Pearson – President, 3G AmericasMohan Trikur – Director, Core Network Solutions, EricssonTeresa Kellett – Director, 4G, Sprint NextelAtul Bhatnagar – President and CEO, Ixia

11:30 a.m. Portable Clouds: Navigating Cloud Standards

As we've seen in the past, "cloud computing" is somewhat difficult to define. This panel, moderated by Cloudera Vice President of Customer Solutions Omer Trajman, will look at different cloud standards with an eye toward integrating them all into a single interoperable cloud platform.

Moderator - Omer Trajman – VP Customer Solutions, ClouderaThorsten von Eicken – CTO and Founder, RightScaleJason Lochhead – CTO of Hosting Services, Terremark WorldwideEllen Rubin – VP of Products, CloudSwitch

2 p.m. Cloud Law: Governance and Compliance in an On-Demand World

While cloud computing has become more popular over the past couple of years, the cloud market itself is sort of like the Wild West since there is still no operational definition for what constitutes a cloud service. Bitcurrent founder Alistair Croll will lead this discussion on how to apply best practices to cloud computing and how to deal with what Interop calls "the thorniest legal issues surrounding cloud computing."

Alistair Croll – Founder, Bitcurrent

2 p.m. What's Possible and What's Probable: Deciphering the Website Security Landscape

The point of this panel is fairly straightforward: two security experts will discuss what threats are out there and help users understand which of these threats are most likely to hurt their Web sites.

Jeremiah Grossman – Chief Technology Officer, WhiteHat SecurityAlex Hutton – Research and Intelligence Principal, Verizon Business

2 p.m. DEEP DIVE - Network Requirements for Enterprise Video Conferencing

Everyone loves the potential of video conferencing to help workers talk with each other over an HD video stream and get work done efficiently from remote locations. There's just one problem, of course – high-quality video conferencing sucks up a lot of bandwidth and takes a lot of resources to manage. This panel will give IT departments insight on how to best configure their networks to support this very important, but also very bandwidth-intensive, application.

Moderator John Bartlett – Voice Video and Data Application Performance, NetForecastWilliam Choe – Director, Product Management, Ethernet Switching Technology Group, CiscoMatt Sherrod – Senior Director, Product Management, CAMauricio Sanchez – Chief Security Architect, HPSeamus Hourihan – VP of Marketing and Product Management, Acme Packet

3:15 p.m. Optimizing the Performance of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing obviously has some potential problems, such as the likelihood that several of your users will try to access IT resources over a low-performance, high-latency WAN. This panel aims to give IT administrators best practices for optimizing IT use of cloud resource that will hopefully enhance user experience.

Moderator - Jim Metzler – Vice President, Ashton Metzler & AssociatesPeter Schmidt – CTO for North America, IpanemaNeil Cohen – Director of Product Marketing, AkamaiApurva Dave – Vice President of Product Marketing, Riverbed TechnologyMichael Feiertag – Director of Technology, Blue Coat Systems

3:15 p.m. The Economics of Cloud Computing

Broadly speaking, cloud computing differs from traditional IT infrastructure because it treats IT more as a utility rather than as a piece of dedicated physical infrastructure that must be managed and upgraded internally. This makes it more difficult for users to price what cloud services should cost since they aren't using their own infrastructure and are instead outsourcing storage, application management and other keys to a cloud service provider. This talk with HyperStratus CEO Bernard Golden will try to help companies understand the economics of the cloud and give them a better idea of what they're paying for.

Moderator - Jim Metzler – Vice President, Ashton Metzler & AssociatesPeter Schmidt – CTO for North America, IpanemaNeil Cohen – Director of Product Marketing, AkamaiApurva Dave – Vice President of Product Marketing, Riverbed TechnologyMichael Feiertag – Director of Technology, Blue Coat Systems

PICK OF THE DAY: 3:15 p.m. Mobile Security – New Challenges, Practical Solutions

IPhones, iPads, BlackBerries, Android phones… the number of mobile devices that people want to bring into the workplace has exploded over the past three years. This session will try to beef up IT departments' knowledge of the latest and most troubling mobile security threats and help them walk the line between letting users bring their favorite devices to work and leaving their networks open to attack.

Moderator: Alex Wolfe – Editor In Chief, InformationWeek.comRyan Naraine – Senior Security Evangelist, Kasperksy LabDavid Perry – Global Director of Education, Trend MicroJay Barbour – Security Advisor, BlackBerry Security Group, Research In MotionKhoi Nguyen – Group Product Manager, Mobile Security and Management Group, Symantec Corporation

3:15 p.m. IP Telephony Market Update: Winners & Losers

In this discussion, TEQConsult President Allan Sulkin will tell you what VoIP companies have emerged in a good position coming out of the recent economic recession.

Allan Sulkin – President TEQConsult Group

Thursday, April 29

9 a.m. What Virtualization Means to the Branch Office

Branch offices just aren't what they used to be. Rather than having a separate server for storage at individual branch offices, many firms today are trying to save money by moving their storage to one virtualized data center. This panel's goal is to help users understand ways to overcome performance issues in branch offices that can no longer rely upon their own on-premise equipment.

Moderator - Jim Metzler – Vice President, Ashton Metzler & AssociatesApurva Dave – Vice President of Product Marketing, Riverbed TechnologyAbhinav Bisarya – Product Marketing Manager, Juniper NetworksShashi Kiran – Senior Manager, CiscoMark McReynolds – Principal Technology Specialist, Microsoft

10:15 a.m. The Big Upgrade: 802.11n in the Enterprise

The latest Wi-Fi standard will provide a vastly wider radius of indoor wireless coverage. Enterprises who are currently frustrated by the limitations of current Wi-Fi technology will want to take a hard look at the newest standard, which was first released last October. This panel will tell you everything you want to know about 802.11n, including channel planning, device issues, system architecture and wireless network management.

Moderator - Lisa Phifer – President, Core CompetenceBob O'Hara – Independent ConsultantJoe Epstein – Senior Director of Technology, Meru NetworksJim Geier – Principal Consultant, Wireless-Nets

PICK OF THE DAY: 11:15 a.m. Bridging the Wired/Wireless Gap: Unified Networking Arrives

We've all been waiting for wired and wireless technologies to converge for years now. But not it looks as though wireless has evolved to the point where true fixed-mobile convergence might finally become a reality. This panel will go in depth about all the benefits and drawbacks that this new converged world has to offer.

Moderator - Craig Mathias – Principal, Farpoint GroupChris Kozup – Senior Manager Mobility Solutions, CiscoScott Lindsay – Senior Director Global Product Line Management, Mobility and Voice Products, 3ComRad Sethuraman – Senior Director Product Management, MotorolaManav Khurana – Head of Industry Solutions, Aruba Networks

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

This story, "Interop Planning Guide: Cloudy forecast" was originally published by Network World.

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