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Cloud Has a Silver Lining for Interop Conference

Cloud Has a Silver Lining for Interop Conference
By Jennifer LeClaire

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Interop, though smaller than it once was, still provides a venue for networking, seminars, and seeing the latest technology. The show "is still a big draw," says Laura DiDio, "although the era when legions of reporters and half of a company's IT staff would take a week off to attend Interop -- or any of the other major trade shows -- is long over."
 



The annual Interop Las Vegas conference has been under way this week, running May 6-10, but some question whether the show is losing steam. Interop's organizers bill the long-running IT expo and conference as the only event to offer an unbiased understanding of all the latest innovations, including cloud computing, virtualization, mobility and data center advances.

Indeed, more than 70 exhibitors are on hand at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, including Adobe Systems, Cisco, LG, Net Optics and Citrix, as well as a majority of lesser known companies hoping to make a name for themselves in the business technology market.

But is Interop living up to its promise this year? Is the event losing its influence? Or is it still as vital as ever thanks to the rapid evolution of new trends like cloud computing and BYOD (bring your own device)?

Still A Draw

We asked Laura DiDio, a principal analyst at Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, for her views on Interop. DiDio has been covering Interop since the early years and offered us some perspectives on the state of this year's convention.

"Interop is still a big draw, although the era when legions of reporters and half of a company's IT staff would take a week off to attend Interop -- or any of the other major trade shows -- is long over," DiDio said.

Still, she said, Interop does provide a terrific venue for networking, seeing the latest new product introductions and attending seminars. She said the fact that it's being held in Las Vegas means it will be a "larger-than-life spectacle and extravaganza," as Vegas conference attendees have come to expect over the years.

Heavy Cloud Focus

With regard to hot topics at this week's Interop show, DiDio pointed to cloud computing, virtualization, mobility and wireless, as well as some interesting gaming products and initiatives. "Not surprisingly," she said, "the conference track is heavily focused on cloud initiatives."

As DiDio sees it, one of the most interesting aspects of this week's spate of panel discussions and seminars is the emphasis on specific cloud applications and vertical markets. This, she said, should help make Interop more relevant for attendees who want to hone in on technology and business areas.

She pointed to one especially informative keynote presentation delivered by a Dell vice president and the VP and director of the Center for BioIntelligence at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, or TGen. The keynote centered on cancer research in the cloud. (continued...)

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