Annual New England VTUG Winter Conference

I have been attending the annual New England Virtualization Technology Users Group (VTUG) Winter Warmer Conference for the past couple of years. This year, it was held on January 19, 2017 at Gillette Stadium.

Gillette Stadium is where the New England Patriots football team plays. The stadium has nice conference areas and the event usually features meeting and getting autographs from some famous Patriots alumni. This year we got the chance to meet running back Kevin Faulk and Patrick Pass.

Although the event is sponsored by technology vendors, most of the keynotes and breakout sessions are not sale pitches. They are usually very informative sessions delivered by excellent speakers.

The key takeaways for me from the conference are the following:

  1. Cloud adoption remains a hot topic, but containerization of applications being led by Docker, enables companies to construct and deliver microservices applications at lightning speed. Coupled with DevOps practices and support from major software vendors and providers (Windows, RedHat, Azure, AWS, etc), containers will be the next big thing in virtualization.
  2. VMware is getting serious about infrastructure security. Security has become the front and center focus of the release of vSphere 6.5. Their objective is to make security easy to manage. Significant security features include VM encryption at scale, enhanced logging from vCenter, VM’s secure boot support, and secure boot support for ESX1. For more information, visit this website.
  3. As more and more companies are moving into hybrid cloud model (a combination of private and public cloud), vendors are getting more innovative on creating products and services that will help companies easily manage and completely secure the hybrid cloud.
  4. Hyper-converged infrastructure is now being broadly adopted, with EMC VXrails and Nutanix leading the pack. The quest for consolidation, simplification, and software-defined infrastructure is in full steam.
  5. New innovative companies are present at the event as well. One particular company called Igneous, offers “true cloud for local data.”