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An interesting assignment was recently proposed: write about the Interop conference, and more specifically, evaluate whether or not it's focused on the right things. I reluctantly accepted, knowing that Interop is the type of conference I try to avoid. In the world of *nix systems administration, the conference scene is bleak. USENIX LISA and the various LinuxCon conferences are about the only worthwhile, non-commercial conferences where real sysadmins gather to exchange ideas. Everything else is lacking in practical details and is overrun with vendors trying to sell crap.
Interop has over 300 vendors and a huge exhibit hall, so it certainly fits into the "everything else" category. It is also located in Las Vegas. Among those types of conferences, however, Interop does seem to have a better than average variety of lightly technical topics. Three days are dedicated to the conference portion of Interop, where the hot topics of the year are presented.
Cloud Computing, of course, is a main topic. Digging through the list of talks in cloud track, something strange happened. I started recognizing names. Then, I found numerous sessions that actually sounded interesting. My favorite thus far is, "Private Clouds Are Just Another Name for IT Done Right." Exactly! Then, I read on to discover "The DevOps Revolution," a talk given by Opscode founder Jesse Robbins. Strangely, it's in the Cloud category, likely because there is no Systems track, but nonetheless I am pleasantly surprised. DevOps is one important topic anticipated Interop would ignore, so its presence softened my attitude.
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