As we start to see the early shoots of economic growth in many countries across Europe the timing couldn’t be more appropriate for IT professionals to show their expertise and command of new technologies and IT practices to help advance the growth and sustainability of Europe’s re-emergence as the world’s strongest economic region.
This challenge to Europe’s IT professionals comes at a period of unparalleled change in the industry with the confluence of new technologies, delivery methods and service models. Having a firm understanding of all these evolving IT opportunities will be fundamental to delivering the right IT solutions to enable organisations to prosper in the more dynamic information led economy of the future.
With an understanding of the challenges the IT professional now faces and the criticality of the timing of being able to deliver these new solutions the organisers of the ‘Powering the Cloud’ events have evolved the format of this year’s event to give Europe’s top IT professionals an agenda that addresses the major issues they are facing with the opportunity to debate and challenge ideas put forward by industry experts, analysts and technology gurus.
The ‘Powering the Cloud’ events will still include the popular keynote speaker sessions, vendor updates, customer case studies and emerging technology presentations but a major focus this year will on our Spotlight Sessions. These were introduced last year to bring specific focus on topics that were fundamental to the CIO and other IT professionals in helping them see past technology hype.
Having listened to the positive feedback from delegates last year and taken note of their ideas this year’s Spotlight Sessions will have a much tighter format with shorter subject based presentations followed by Q&A and more structured panel sessions. The objective will be that delegates will get a deep understanding of the issues they face, the opportunities available to them and examples of ways forward with experience, where appropriate, from real world deployments.
These thought leadership Spotlight Sessions will address five main topics this year: big data, data security, running enterprise class and Tier 1 applications in datacenter and Cloud environments, dynamic infrastructure management and rethinking the datacenter architecture. Details on each of these topic streams can be seen on the following four pages.
The ‘Powering the Cloud’ events will be the agenda setting event for all of Europe’s IT professionals. Whether you have the heavy decision making responsibility of a CIO or as a technology specialist the need to be abreast of the latest developments there will be content that will be interesting, challenging and provoking. Most importantly there will be opportunities to debate issues that are most important to you.
Over the next few months it will be my responsibility to put together an array of speakers and panellists to entertain, challenge and inform you. Most importantly my aim will be to create a dynamic atmosphere across the event where our sponsors and event partners engage with you both at an intellectual and practical level.
The ‘Powering the Cloud’ events is the must attend event for Europe’s IT professionals who want to be leaders within their organisations.
Please take time to read the content of the Spotlight Sessions over the next few pages and I look forward to receiving your comments. Most importantly I look forward to meeting you at Powering the Cloud 2013. IT end user and channel partner can register for free with promo code P3M13 at
Big Data - An exploration of reality
There is a great deal of hype and myths around the topic of Big Data, how organisations can exploit the information they have and the impact Big Data will have on the way datacenters are designed, run and managed. It is such a major and complex subject that we will be dedicating a 2 day stream within the Spotlight Sessions to explore the reality of what it is all about. Throughout the two days we will take delegates through a journey from definition to deployment using thought leadership presentations, case studies and panel sessions and debate.
To give real structure to the Big Data discussion we will be segmenting the content into the following sub-sessions:
Defining Big Data - Our first session will attempt to define what Big Data is all about, the reality, myths and misconceptions. We will take viewpoints from vendors, customers and analysts and then debate the reality in a panel session which will involve questions and viewpoints from delegates.
Big Data, Analytics and Intelligence - The business case for deploying Big Data solutions is all about analysing the data to gain business intelligence, to improve the organisation’s business processes, procedures and competitive advantage. In this session we delve into the analytical software available, look at case studies that give examples of what can be achieved and then explore how it is important to ‘Complete the Loop’ by using the intelligence gained to improve the type and quality of data gathered.
Big Data and the Cloud - Our third session will explore the role of the Cloud in Big Data. For many organisations the Cloud will play an important role in their Big Data and Analytics strategy giving them access to scalable resources without large up-front capital investments. This session will try and identify when the Cloud is appropriate for big data.
Big Data and the Law - Big Data deployments and the way organisations store, protect and use their accumulated data are already coming up against major legal, compliance and regulatory legislation. This is on a local country, pan-European and global basis. Of particular concern at present is the battle going on between the European Union and the US on global legislation of data protection.
In this session we will identify the legal implications of what is stored, where it is stored and the responsibilities of the company responsible for gathering the data as well as the datacenter or Cloud owner where the data is stored.
Big Data and V3 (Velocity, Variety, Volume) - Day two will kick off with one of the most important sessions for the CIO, understanding not just the volume of data that the organisation will gather but also the variety of that data and the speed with which that data arrives and has to be stored, analysed and then archived.
Understanding the Velocity, Variety and Volume of Big Data is fundamental to deciding the infrastructure that the CIO will require to support the Big Data projects within the organisation. With increasing real-time M2M activity, multi-media streaming content and social networking interaction this is a topic high on the CIO agenda. This session will address the V3 phenomena and bring some clarity to the issues and solutions available.
Technology supporting Big Data - The penultimate session will address the effect of Big Data & Analytics on the technology within the data center. The session will explore: Scale-Out Storage – Designing Big Data Storage Infrastructures, Big Data Database Management, when to use columnar data warehouses, analytic appliances as well as Hadoop, and MapReduce for complex, big data workloads.
The objective of this session will be to give delegates a real understanding how to approach the challenges in the data center.
Big Data - Big Debate - Our final session we have termed the ‘Big Debate’ because it will be appropriate at this time to assess whether we have addressed all the issues around Big Data and given delegates some real ‘takeaways’ that will enable them to go back and address their Big Data projects with more knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm.
The ‘Big Debate’ will have panellists from some of our major sponsors and analysts who will give their opinions on the topics we have covered over the two days take questions from delegates. This session is intended to be interactive and thus we welcome questions, ideas and feedback from delegates.
Securing your Data
Data that companies acquire, manage and secure is much different than it was even a couple of years ago. The variety of customer and internal data held is placing new demands on CIOs both from a pure manageability front but also from external compliance and regulatory requirements. This major Spotlight Session will cover topics that all CIOs need to address as they meet the security demands in this new IT world.
Security is not optional – Our first sub session addresses the issue for all organisations from central government down to the smallest business that security of data is no longer an internal affair just affecting the ability to run their own operations. Data laws and regulations are now an issue to all sizes of organisations in this connected eCommerce and eInformation world.
Organisations who operate in regulated industries already understand this need to meet compliance standards but with new European Data Protection legislation now imminent and PCI compliance an absolute requirement in a global eCommerce world there are no organisations now exempt from security compliance. In this first session of ‘Securing your Data’ we will explore what these regulations mean to us all and what demands this places on CIOs.
Data Protection - Our second session looks at the core underpinning of data security around the traditional areas of backup & recovery, replication, disaster recovery and business continuity. In particular this session will explore the new developments in this area and how they can help organisations meet some of their regulatory obligations.
Security and the Cloud - As more and more organisations embrace the Cloud, particularly to meet their strategies to create a more dynamic and agile IT infrastructure, they both set new challenges around data security whilst at the time opening up new creative ways of data protection.
This third session will look at all aspects of security and the Cloud from the challenges of guaranteeing the isolation and integrity of data to blending Cloud replication type services into the overall security strategy of the organisation.
All point Security - With more and more corporate information residing outside of the datacenter on desktops, laptops, tablets and even mobile phones it is clear that data security now has challenges that many CIOs may be struggling to come to terms with. When you add to that the new business applications that allow contractors, business partners and even customers access to confidential or sensitive information then you realise the scale of the challenge. Issues like BYOD only exacerbate an already troubling area.
This session will explore these new challenges and look at what is in the market to help the CIO. From malware protection and application maintenance to data encryption and end point management is it possible to provide complete protection at all points.
Data Security is now such a vital but broad subject we hope that through these four sessions delegates will get a complete picture of the challenges they face and the way companies and organisations are already addressing them.
All about the management
It is often said that ‘if you cannot measure it you cannot manage it’ but as organisations run more and more complex applications across an ever diversifying datacenter and Cloud infrastructures their ability to digest and effectively understand the information they are gathering and then manage their IT investments to meet business goals is stretched to the limits.
However with tighter budgets and increasing business demands the need to control, manage and report on the performance, usage and security of the IT infrastructure has never been more important.
In the past the majority of IT management solutions were about monitoring hardware performance and service outages or automating the configuration of devices. In today’s complex IT environment however management solutions are taking on a more holistic role enabling the CIO and their staff to pro-actively define, control and deliver a true business service.
In this full one day Spotlight Session we will explore the changing role of IT management solutions.
Managing IT for the business - The first session we will try to define the changing role of IT Management solutions and explore the CIOs responsibility to the business as a whole as well as to individual departments in maintaining Service Level Agreement commitments as well as meeting and reporting on compliance and regulatory requirements. Most importantly we will explore how the CIO creates an environment of ‘service’ where the IT department proactively encourages meeting and exceeding internal and external expectations.
Real-time Infrastructure Management - In our second session we will focus on how it is now important to monitor the datacenter infrastructure in ‘real-time’ to enable fast remedial or re-configuration action to be taken. This will include application, server and storage provisioning. A particular focus will be on automation and enforcement of management processes and procedures to remove the need for manual intervention.
Managing performance across the Cloud - As more and more organisations are adopting the cloud and running applications across a hybrid Cloud and in-house data center environment we will explore what tools are available to manage these solutions.
A particular emphasis of this session is on the relationship between the CIO and third party Cloud providers and how to ensure that application services and data security provided by the Cloud service provider match the compliance and SLA standards of the organisation.
The Management Loop in a mobile world - The final session of this stream will focus on the need to create flexible management systems and processes to continually adapt to new challenges. As the world becomes more mobile how does the CIO retain control and improve and develop the services the IT department provides the business. This session will include presentations and debate to establish how IT management solutions need to evolve to meet the demands of a more interactive and mobile world.
Enabling ‘new & old world’ enterprise scale applications
CIOs are facing many dilemmas in establishing how best to deliver new business applications that might involve high volumes of multimedia data, real-time communications and remote and mobile users from within their existing data center infrastructures. At the same time they are evaluating how or whether it is practical to run Enterprise level applications in the Cloud.
In particular could they seriously deploy ‘Tier 1’ Applications in the Cloud.
In this important Spotlight session on day 2 of Powering the Cloud we will explore all these issues:
The changing nature of Enterprise applications - In this first session we will explore the impact of ‘new world’ applications, including Big Data, Video streaming, Unified Communications, Conferencing, Collaboration and Machine to Machine real time activity, as the CIO takes critical decisions on how best to deliver his enterprise scale solutions.
In particular we will look at what these new enterprise applications look like, how their structure, dynamics and volume vary from traditional enterprise applications and the issues that creates for the CIO. The challenges of delivering new world applications from the Data Center - Having looked in detail at nature of these new enterprise applications we will next explore the impact that is having on the design of the data center.
We will look at examples of how data centers have evolved, how they have met the challenges and the lessons learned. We will also explore how organisations are also exploiting the use of hybrid Data Center and Cloud combinations to give them the speed, agility and flexibility to respond to the ever changing dynamics of some of these new applications.
Tier 1 applications and the Cloud - Our final session in this section will address whether it is feasible, practical and safe to move Tier 1 applications to the Cloud.
Most organisations have been fearful to date about taking their mission critical applications to the Cloud despite the potential cost savings and agility benefits.
In this session we will explore the reality of such a move, assessing the practicality, regulatory and security issues. We will also look at examples of where CIOs have taken this bold step and take their advice on the pitfalls and benefits.
Rethinking your data center architecture
Most organisations have gone through some sort of data center refresh over the last few years implementing Virtualised architectures, creating more application aware and responsive networks and enhancing storage arrays to cater for the increased volume and variety of data.
However the pace of change is accelerating with the need not only to support Big Data & Analytics applications but also a whole variety of real time and mobile applications. So rather than implementing data center upgrades in a ‘piecemeal’ fashion maybe it is time to rethink the whole of the data center in a more holistic manner.
In this Spotlight Session we will look at the driving forces behind this need and what are the possible scenarios that a CIO needs to understand.
The Role of the Data Center - In this first session we will explore the role of the data center in this new IT world and how it is changing at an ever increasing pace. In particular this session will address the need to support more dynamic and varied business applications, cater for huge increases in data, support a diverse range of users and ensure security and performance.
Best of Breed - Hardware and software vendors are continually striving to provide ‘best of breed’ solutions to meet the complex needs of the modern data center. Some of these solutions are trying to address the broader issues the data center manager now faces and others are focused on a particular problem.
In this session we will look at some of the innovative storage, virtualisation, networking and security solutions that enable the data center manager to meet the challenges of this interactive, multimedia and mobile IT world.
The case for Convergence - Having looked at ‘best of breed’ solutions we will now, in this final session, turn our attention to the case for ‘Convergence’ in the data center. Convergence is being driven by the need to move away from the ‘siloed’ architecture of past data centers and deliver a more flexible, responsive, scalable and cost effective solution.
Virtualisation and the ability to provision processing and storage ‘on-the-fly’ has been the catalyst behind the move to convergence. However are there any pitfalls to avoid from going the converged architecture route. In this session we will explore the benefits and potential dangers of convergence and debate the issues that are raised.
IT end user and channel partner can register for FREE with
promo code P3M13 at www.poweringthecloud.com