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12 Must-See Presentations At Interop Las Vegas

  • The countdown has begun for Interop Las Vegas, which kicks off April 27. This year's event is huge -- more than 125 sessions and workshops plus keynotes by IT leaders from Google, Cisco and the Boston Red Sox. Then there are special events like the new Speed Networking to make connections with your IT peers.

    With so much going on, it can be hard to pick and choose what sessions to attend. But never fear, help is here. We've chosen an even dozen that will educate and enlighten across a broad range of areas, including cloud, DevOps, WLAN troubleshooting, SDN, and storage. Our list also includes sessions focusing on solving business problems and helping with career advancement.

    You'll hear from IT practitioners such as Ken Griffin of Harvard Business School Publishing explain his organization's move to the cloud, and from top-rated Interop speakers like Mike Pennacchi of Network Protocol Specialists and Michele Chubirka, senior security architect (aka Mrs. Y).

    Your Interop schedule naturally will be shaped by your areas of focus, whether that's security, storage or a combination of IT functions, but it never hurts to expand your scope and learn something new. Interop will provide plenty of opportunity for that.

    And of course, you'll want to leave some time for all the parties. After all, you will be in Las Vegas!

    Register now for Interop, April 27 to May 1, and receive $200 off.

  • Harvard's move to the cloud

    Ken Griffin, director of IT services and operations at Harvard Business School Publishing, will discuss how his organization is migrating all its applications to the cloud in Cloud Adoption Gets Serious 2 ½ Years In. He'll share lessons learned so you can avoid making the same mistakes and he'll describe the benefits of a cloud migration.

    Image: Niklas Tenhaef

  • Nordstrom's IT transformation

    Nordstrom is famous for its shoes, but behind the scenes, its IT organization has been going through a transformation using DevOps to become an integrated team that responds rapidly to customer needs. In DevOps, Mobile Apps & Nordstrom's IT Transformation, Courtney Kissler, VP of e-commerce and store technologies at Nordstrom, will describe her organization's journey and also discuss the challenges IT pros face in today's rapidly changing technology environment.

    Image: Mike Mozart

  • Neural networks

    Organizations are turning to neural networks (machine-learning systems) to harvest tons of proprietary data and boost their business. Microsoft Research Scientist James McCaffrey will explain how in Solving Business Problems With Neural Networks. The session is designed to be comprehensible for us mere mortals, but in-depth so that you come away with a good understanding of neural networks and how they can help your business.

    Image: geralt

  • Career advice

    For IT pros, negotiating raises and promotions can be tough. They spend all their time learning technology that they don't always have the skills to ensure they receive fair compensation. In Salary and Promotion Negotiation for IT, Joe Onisick, founder of the Define the Cloud blog and a principal engineer for Cisco Systems INSBU, will help you understand how to assess your market value and negotiate for it. Onisick is known for being outspoken on Twitter (to put it mildly), so this is sure to be a lively session.

    Image: Pascal

  • The power of IT

    It's an all-too familiar scenario for IT pros: Getting blamed for problems, but rarely getting credit when things go right. Led by Terry Bradwell III, executive VP and CIO at AARP, Unleashing the Hidden Value of IT will show you what a CIO is doing to change this scenario by looking at IT in a broader, more creative way.

    Image: Gareth Simpson

  • Security freedom

    The enterprise security industry has spawned a lot of products, from antivirus and firewalls to IDS and NAC. But in her Interop session, Ending The Tyranny of Expensive Security Tools: A New Hope, Michele Chubirka will explain why you don't have to be a slave to these commercial tools. A top-rated speaker at last year's Interop, Chubirka -- a senior security analyst also known as Mrs. Y -- will discuss alternative security functions available in network devices and open source options. Judging from the session description, there will be lots of references to warm the hearts of all the Star Wars fans.

    Image: Bukz

  • Network troubleshooting

    Another top-rated Interop speaker will provide practical advice for handling network problems in a workshop, 11 Things You Can Do When You Get Back to the Office to Improve Network Performance. Mike Pennacchi is owner of Network Protocol Specialists, a network analysis and training company, and has taught at Interop since 1997. He'll provide tips on eliminating packet loss, network validation techniques and more.

    Bruno Girin

  • Trouble-free WiFi

    With the WLAN becoming more and more critical in the enterprise, networking pros also must be able to fix any WLAN problems quickly. In Effective WLAN Troubleshooting, Keith Parsons will offer tips and tricks for handling common WLAN problems. Parsons, managing director of Wireless LAN Professionals, is a well-known author and speaker on wireless networking.

    Image: Cameron Adams

  • No-spin SDN

    If all the hype around software-defined networking has your head spinning, SDN Building Blocks should help cut through the confusion. Led by Matt Oswalt, who recently joined eBay as a network software engineer, the session will provide a hype-free technical explanation of SDN components such as OpenFlow, VXLAN, and OpFlex.

    Image: Nemo