The Interop ITX conference returns to Las Vegas in little over a week. While Interop has been a mainstay in the enterprise I.T. industry for roughly 30 years, this year's conference promises some new programming the organizers hope will reinvigorate interest. Changes include a review board, six new event tracks, and a series of "lightning talks" in which speakers will give five-minute presentations to be followed by panel discussions.
This year's event, which will be held in the MGM Grand from May 15-19, will focus on issues such as security, cloud, DevOps, data and analytics, and infrastructure. The conference will include 130 sessions consisting of hands-on, panel, and speaker-led sessions.
Event organizers said the decision to change Interop's format and expand its programming was due to the need to address modern trends such as artificial intelligence and security, expanding beyond its traditional focus on networking and infrastructure technology. The event will include more than two dozen sessions related to cloud technology, with cloud content being offered on each of the five days.
Several of those sessions aim to take a closer look at the role containers play in cloud-delivered services, and how they can be deployed and managed both within the cloud and on-premises. Other sessions will focus on various in-cloud services, such as the need for cloud operations to be unbound from infrastructure and tied to applications.
Security will also be a subject of major attention this year, with events focusing on strategies enterprises can use to block ransomware attacks, and how to respond to attacks once they've taken place.
Other sessions will focus on what companies can do to promote internal security, identify malicious insiders, and mitigate threats coming from within the organization without having to resort to Big Brother tactics.
Skills Shortages and IoT Threats
Skills shortages among IT professionals is another timely topic for Interop this year. A panel discussion titled "Surviving the Security Skills Shortage" will tackle questions such as how organizations can survive with small IT staffs, discover new talent, and retain talented IT security professionals once they're hired.
One of the biggest security issues for enterprises in recent years has been the advent of devices for the Internet of Things. Interop has three events scheduled on the issue. Among the IoT topics to be discussed are ways organizations can prepare to address IoT issues, adjustments they can make to identify management and risk profiles, and how to protect DNS services against security threats such as IoT botnets.
Other sessions will focus on ways enterprises can analyze the mountains of security data they have in order to extract actionable intelligence, how managers can address security issues with developers in order to get them to produce more secure code, and the basics of cyber-insurance policies.
Enterprise I.T. Exhibits
The Interop ITX exhibit hall opens Tuesday evening, May 16, followed by a full day May 17, and half day May 18.
Approximately 100 exhibitors will be on hand, including 18 designated as featured exhibitors: AT&T, IBM, Comcast Business, Kaspersky Lab, VMware, ManageEngine, Cylance, 128 Technology, Veeam, WatchGuard, Viptela, Axis Communications, ExtraHop, Cumulus, Extreme Networks, Capterra, PathSolutions, and Pluribus Networks.
Keynotes and Panels
Keynote addresses will be presented Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 to 10:00 AM, in the MGM Grand Ballroom.
Wednesday's keynote addresses include Otto Berkes, chief technology officer for CA Technologies, speaking about "Freeing Technology to Drive Creativity."
Cyber security expert and FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia will address "Cyber Security’s Grown-Up Phase," providing tangible recommendations for what enterprises can do to survive today's increasingly complex security landscape.
A "Fireside Chat" with VMware CTO Chris Wolf will address business demands faced by VMware customers, including why IT leaders must adapt to a new type of infrastructure, plus an overview of specific technologies to help drive their businesses forward.
Wednesday "Lightning" panel presenters include analyst Sam Charrington who founded CloudPulse Strategies; Josh Bloom, who founded and serves as CTO for Wise.io; and Coco Krumme, who heads the Data Science team at Haven Inc, a technology platform for trade and logistics.
Thursday's keynotes begin with MIT Research Scientist Andrew McAfee's talk on "Harnessing the Digital Revolution." Andrew will discuss what enterprises and technology leaders need to think about with regard to machine learning and other disruptive changes expected over the next 10 years.
Also on Thursday, Susie Wee, who founded Cisco's developer program for infrastructure and application developers, will address innovative solutions using "Modern Apps on a Programmable Infrastructure."
Thursday "Lightning" panel presenters feature Amazon's Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition Ester Frey; Olga Braylovskiy who is VP of the workforce technology at Intuit; Ed McLaughlin, CIO for Mastercard; and Janine Gianfredi, Chief Marketing Officer of the United States Digital Service.
And finally, Best of Interop awards will be presented on Thursday, May 18 at 12:45pm in the Interop ITX Theater.