Data Center World 2017

The best cloud and IT Ops conferences of 2018

Maintaining and transforming data center operations is a tough job. Whether you've got public, private, or hybrid cloud infrastructure and services, each case presents unique challenges. That's why people in ops, cloud, and IT management need to share their stories. If IT pros can learn from one another, everyone gets better—and attending conferences is a crucial part of doing that.

Here's our shortlist of the most popular cloud and IT Ops conferences in 2018. We've listed them all, although not all dates, locations, and pricing were available at publication time, especially for those events taking place later in the year. In those cases, we have provided historical information on the event to give you an idea of what to expect and what you'll get out of attending. And keep checking back. We'll update this guide as more information becomes available.

Ovum Decision Matrix for Multicloud and Hybrid Cloud Management 2018-19

February

Pink18

Twitter: @theitilexperts / #Pink18
Web: https://www.pinkelephant.com/en-US/Pink18/Home
Dates: February 18-21
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Cost: Ranges from $2,295–$2,795

With over 120+ sessions and 12 tracks, the Pink IT service management conference is mainly focused on the business management aspects of IT operations. Topics covered include ITSM, ITIL, Lean IT, agile, Scrum, DevOps, COBIT, organizational change management, business relationship management, and more

Who should attend: IT managers, executives, and business managers

March

Strata Data Conference

Twitter: @strataconf / @OReillyMedia / #StrataHadoop

Web: https://conferences.oreilly.com/strata/strata-ca/
Dates: March 5-6, training; March 6-8, tutorials and conference
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Cost: Conference passes range from $1,595 to $2,395, depending on the type of ticket, while training passes are either $3,495 or $2,145; discounts are available.

Formerly known as Strata + Hadoop World, the conference now called Strata Data was created in 2012, when O'Reilly and Cloudera brought together their two successful big-data conferences. Topics cover cutting-edge data science, artificial intelligence, big data, and new business fundamentals. It's a deep dive into emerging data techniques and technologies. You'll dissect case studies, develop new skills through in-depth tutorials, and share emerging best practices in data science.

Who should attend? Business analysts, strategists, architects, developers, data scientists, data analysts, CxOs, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, product managers, marketing pros, and researchers

 

Data Center World

Twitter: @datacenterworld / #datacenterworld
Web: http://global.datacenterworld.com/dcwg18/Public/Enter.aspx
Date: March 12-15
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Cost: Ranges from $1,395 to $2,595.

Data Center World draws upon the knowledge and experience of the more than 3,500 AFCOM members—the association for advancing data center and IT infrastructure professionals—to create an end-user-driven agenda that focuses on today's key challenges. AFCOM brings more than three decades of experience to this event, which provides helpful education, abundant networking, and broad access to vendors across four days.

Who should attend? Data center and IT infrastructure pros

April

DataWorks Summit-Berlin

Twitter: @DataWorksSummit / #DWS18
Web: https://dataworkssummit.com/berlin-2018/
Date: April 16-19
Location: Berlin, Germany
Cost: Ranges from €750 for early birds to €975

DataWorks Summit-Berlin features two full days of content in eight tracks dedicated to enabling next-generation data platforms. At the event, attendees will learn how leading enterprises are using advanced analytics, data science, and artificial intelligence to transform the way they deliver customer and product experiences—at scale.

Who should attend? Developers, data scientists, business managers, security pros, app development, architects, and storage managers

Dell EMC World 2017

Twitter: @DellEMCWorld / #DellEMCWorld
Web: http://www.dellemcworld.com/index.htm
Date: April 30-May 3
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: Ranges from $2,295 to $2,495 (on-site).

This is the conference to attend for users of EMC technologies such as VMware. Attendees will discover the products, emerging trends, and integrated solutions around virtualization, cloud computing, and a lot more IT operations tech. They'll also get hands-on time with the latest technologies from EMC and similar vendors, and meet up with the experts who work on the technology.

Who should attend? IT pros, business managers, EMC customers, and partners

Interop ITX

Twitter: @interop / #InteropITX
Web: https://www.interop.com
Date: April 30-May 4
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: Ranges from $249 to $3,299, depending on timing and the level of conference access you desire.

Interop ITX is a five-day conference that covers cloud computing, collaboration, networking, IT leadership, security, software-defined networking, storage, virtualization, data center architecture, and mobility.

Who should attend? IT decision makers and tech leaders

May

Red Hat Summit

Twitter: @RedHatSummit / #RHSummit
Web: http://www.redhat.com/en/summit
Date: May 8-10
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Cost: Ranges from $1,300 (early bird) to $1,800 (on-site).

This conference focuses on Red Hat's technology strategy and newest open-source products, with participation from the company's product and technology leaders. There are also customer panel sessions, technical sessions, and hands-on labs.

Who should attend? Sysadmins, IT engineers, software architects, vice presidents of IT, and CxOs

Strata Data Conference-London

Twitter: @strataconf / @OReillyMedia / #StrataHadoop
Web: https://conferences.oreilly.com/strata/strata-eu
Dates: May 21-22, training; May 22-24, tutorials and conference
Location: London, England, UK
Cost: To be announced

Formerly known as Strata + Hadoop World, the conference now called Strata Data was created in 2012, when O'Reilly and Cloudera brought together their two successful big-data conferences. Since then, the conference has added a London location to its annual schedule. Topics cover cutting-edge data science, artificial intelligence, big data, and new business fundamentals. It's a deep dive into emerging data techniques and technologies. You'll dissect case studies, develop new skills through in-depth tutorials, and share emerging best practices in data science.

Who should attend? Business decision makers, strategists, architects, developers, data scientists, data analysts, CxOs, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, product managers, marketing pros, and researchers

June

Monitorama

Twitter: @Monitorama / #monitorama
Web: http://monitorama.com/
Date: June 4-6
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Cost: General-admission tickets are $600.

Monitorama is a fairly new conference that has exploded in popularity thanks to its commitment to purely technical content without a lot of vendor fluff. The conference brings together the biggest names from the open-source development and operations communities, who then teach attendees about the tools and techniques that are used in some of the largest web architectures in the world. Its focus is strictly on monitoring and observability in software systems, which the organizers feel is an area in much need of attention, with the increasing importance of performance monitoring, operations analytics, and site reliability engineering (SRE). The goal of the organizers is to continue to push the boundaries of monitoring software, while having a great time in a casual setting. Check out videos from past sessions here.

Who should attend? Developers and DevOps engineers, operations staff, performance testers, and site reliability engineers

Cloud Expo-East

Twitter: @CloudExpo / @SYSCONmedia / #CloudExpo
Web: http://www.cloudcomputingexpo.com/
Dates June 5-7
Location: New York, New York, USA
Cost: Expo is $100 to $725; conference, $995 to $2,500; see the registration page for complete pricing info.

Cloud Expo offers a wide selection of more than 120 technical and strategic industry keynotes, general sessions, breakout sessions, and signature power panels. The exhibition floor features vendors with specific solutions and comprehensive strategies. The expo floor also features a Demo Theater that gives attendees the opportunity to interact with technology providers.

Who should attend? CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, directors of infrastructure, vice presidents of technology, IT directors and managers, network and storage managers, network engineers, enterprise architects, communications, and networking specialists

Gartner Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit

Twitter: @Gartner_Events / #gartnerio
Web: https://www.gartner.com/events/emea/infrastructure-operations-management#
Date: June 5-6
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Cost: Standard conference price, €2,700 plus VAT; public-sector price, €2,125 plus VAT (eligibility to be verified); early bird, save €325

This conference primarily focuses on scaling DevOps along with cloud computing and operations automation. Attendees come to learn about the biggest IT infrastructure and operations challenges, priorities, and trends.

Who should attend? Infrastructure and operations executives and strategists, IT operations managers, data center and infrastructure managers, I&O architects, and project leaders

Cisco Live

Twitter: @CiscoLive / #CLUS
Web: http://www.ciscolive.com/us/
Date: June 10-14
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Cost: Ranges from $2,295 to $3,195.

Cisco’s annual user conference is designed to inform attendees about the company’s latest products and technology strategies for networking, communication, security, and collaboration. The conference draws about 25,000 attendees and 200 exhibitors and features about 600 sessions.

Who should attend? Cisco customers, from IT and business areas

Velocity

Twitter: @velocityconf / @OReillyMedia / #velocityconf
Web: https://conferences.oreilly.com/velocity/vl-ca
Date: June 11-14
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Cost: Past prices have ranged from $825 to $2,500; expo passes have been around $100.

The O'Reilly Velocity conference provides attendees with real-world advice from top industry experts for building, deploying, and running complex, distributed applications and systems. At the event, web ops and systems engineering professionals learn best practices for building, refactoring, and monitoring modern systems and applications.

Who should attend? Developers, operations specialists, and IT Ops staff

DockerCon

Twitter: @DockerCon / #dockercon
Web: 2018.dockercon.com
Date: June 12-14
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Cost: Full conference pass, $1,150 (unconfirmed for 2018)

With the rise of containers in IT operations, this conference has become one of the hottest gatherings in the IT industry. The conference speakers share their large-scale use cases and innovative container strategies during advanced technical talks and hands-on lab tutorials. Each day starts with a general session, followed by breakout sessions. Expect over 4,000 attendees and more than 100 sponsors at this conference.

Who should attend: Developers, system administrators, operations engineers, site reliability engineers, security engineers, managers, and executives

Big Data Toronto

Twitter: @BigDataTO / #BigDataTO
Web: http://www.bigdata-toronto.com/index.html
Date: June 12-13
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada (2017 venue was the Metro Toronto Convention Centre)
Cost: Free and up to $300 (unconfirmed for 2018)

A conference and trade show, Big Data Toronto brings together a diverse group of data analysts, data managers, and decision makers. The event features more than 80 speakers, over 75 exhibitors, and in excess of 4,000 attendees—making it an optimal Canadian conference for networking with other data scientists.

Who should attend? Data scientists, data analysts, and business analysts

DataWorks Summit-California

Twitter: @DataWorksSummit / #DWS18
Web: https://dataworkssummit.com/san-jose-2018
Date: June 17-21
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Cost: $1,390 to $3,350 (unconfirmed for 2018)

DataWorks Summit is co-hosted by Yahoo and HortonWorks. The event features two full days of content in eight tracks dedicated to creating next-generation data platforms. Speakers will share success stories, best practices, cautionary tales, and technology insights that provide practical guidance to novices as well as experienced practitioners in data science and analytics development. Attendees will learn how leading enterprises are using advanced analytics, data science, and artificial intelligence to transform the way they deliver customer and product experiences—at scale.

Who should attend? Developers, data scientists, business managers, security pros, app developers, architects, and storage managers

AWS Public Sector Summit

Twitter: @awscloud
Web: https://aws.amazon.com/summits/washington-dc/
Date: June 19-21 (unconfirmed)
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Cost: N/A

The AWS Public Sector Summit features a keynote address, customer testimonials, technical sessions led by AWS engineers, and hands-on technical training for AWS users working in the public sector. Attendees will learn best practices for deploying applications on AWS, optimizing performance, monitoring cloud resources, managing security, cutting costs, and more. Participants will also have opportunities to meet AWS staff and partners, who will answer their technical questions.

Who should attend? AWS users in the public sector

July

Google Cloud Next

Twitter: @googlecloud / #GCPNext
Web: https://cloudnext.withgoogle.com/
Date: July 24-27
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Cost: $999 to $1,499 (unconfirmed for 2018)

Google Cloud Next focuses on Google's infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service cloud computing services for businesses. Tracks include infrastructure and operations, app development, and data and analytics.

Who should attend? IT Ops pros, and developers using Google Cloud Platform services

August

Gartner Catalyst Conference

Twitter: @Gartner_Events / #GartnerCAT
Web: http://www.gartner.com/events/na/catalyst#
Date: August 20-23
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Cost: Ranges from $3,050 (for public-sector attendees) to $3,575.

Featuring more than 50 Gartner analysts, Catalyst promises a deep dive into the digital enterprise's architectural requirements, touching on areas such as mobility, cloud architecture, data analytics, enterprise-scale security and identity, software-defined data centers, DevOps, and digital productivity via mobile and cloud. Gartner has described Catalyst as "technically focused and committed to pragmatic, how-to content" so that attendees can return to their workplaces "with a blueprint for project planning and execution."

Who should attend? Technical professionals in roles including applications, business intelligence, infrastructure, operations, security, and risk

VMworld

Twitter: @VMworld / #VMworld
Web: https://www.vmworld.com/en/us/index.html?
Date: August 26-30
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: $1,795 for a full conference pass (unconfirmed for 2018)

VMworld is a five-day conference with general sessions on the trends that matter most to the business and IT. The conference also includes breakout sessions, group discussions, hands-on labs, VMware certification opportunities, expert panels, and one-on-one appointments with leading subject-matter experts.

Who should attend? Sysadmins, IT engineers, software architects, vice presidents of IT, and CxOs

September

Strata Data Conference-New York

Twitter: @strataconf / @OReillyMedia / #StrataHadoop
Web: https://conferences.oreilly.com/strata/
Dates: September 11-14
Location: New York, New York, USA
Cost: Conference passes range from $1,595 to $2,395, depending on the type of ticket, while training passes are either $3,495 or $2,145 (unconfirmed for 2018).

Formerly known as Strata + Hadoop World, the conference now called Strata Data was created in 2012, when O'Reilly and Cloudera brought together their two successful big-data conferences. Topics cover cutting-edge data science, artificial intelligence, big data, and new business fundamentals. It's a deep dive into emerging data techniques and technologies. You'll dissect case studies, develop new skills through in-depth tutorials, and share emerging best practices in data science.

Who should attend? Business decision makers, strategists, architects, developers, data scientists, data analysts, CxOs, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, product managers, marketing pros, and researchers

451 Research’s Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit

Twitter: @451Research / #451HCTS
Web: http://www.451research-hcts.com/
Date: September 24-26
Location: Bellagio Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: Ranges from $1,199 to $2,695.

The Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit brings together corporate leaders, industry visionaries, IT practitioners, and financial professionals to map out strategies that enable the digital transformation.

Who should attend? Service providers, hardware/software vendors, and investors

Microsoft Ignite

Twitter: @MS_Ignite / #MSIgnite
Web: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/ignite
Date: September 24-28
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Cost: $2,220 for a standard ticket (unconfirmed for 2018)

Microsoft created Ignite in 2014 to consolidate several smaller conferences: Microsoft Management Summit, Microsoft Exchange Conference, SharePoint Conference, Lync Conference, Project Conference, and TechEd. Attendees will learn where various Microsoft tech is headed and meet with Microsoft employees and partners. The Ignite conference covers architecture, deployment, implementation/migration, development, operations, security, access management, compliance, and adoption. Although Ignite is organized by Microsoft and focuses on its products, it also draws more than 100 vendors that participate in the expo and as session speakers.

Who should attend? Microsoft developers and tech professionals or managers

Salesforce Dreamforce

Twitter: @salesforce / @Dreamforce / #dreamforce
Web: https://www.salesforce.com/form/dreamforce/df18-save-the-date.jsp
Date: September 25-28
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Cost: $1,999 for a full conference pass (unconfirmed for 2018)

Sponsored by Salesforce, the 2017 Dreamforce conference was a four-day event and one of the largest software conferences in the world. It included more than 2,700 breakout sessions, featuring world-renowned leaders, Salesforce experts, and hands-on training.

Who should attend? Salesforce customers

Velocity

Twitter: @velocityconf / @OReillyMedia / #velocityconf
Web: https://conferences.oreilly.com/velocity/
Date: September 30-October 3
Location: New York, New York, USA
Cost: Past prices have ranged from $825 to $2,500; expo passes have been around $100.

The O'Reilly Velocity conference provides attendees with real-world advice from top industry experts for building, deploying, and running complex, distributed applications and systems. At the event, Web ops and systems engineering professionals learn best practices for building, refactoring, and monitoring modern systems and applications.

Who should attend? Developers, operations specialists, and IT Ops staff

Fusion

Twitter: @itsmf_usa / #SMFUSION
Web: http://sm-fusion.com
Date: September 30-October 3
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Cost: Tickets range from $1,395 to $2,195, with discounts available.

Presented by the organization for service management professionals, Fusion is a four-day conference that includes keynotes, breakout sessions, and workshops focusing on service management trends, with presentations led by some of the brightest thought leaders in the community.

Who should attend? Developers and IT professionals involved with IT service management

October

Spiceworld

Twitter: @Spiceworks / #spiceworld2018
Web: https://www.spiceworks.com/spiceworld/
Date: October 8-10
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Cost: $199 early-bird pricing

Spiceworld brings together thousands of IT pros, dozens of sponsoring vendors, and hundreds of tech marketers for three days of practical how-to sessions, tech conversations with key vendors, in-the-trenches stories from IT pros, networking, and "tons of fun," according to organizers.

Who should attend? IT managers, operations engineers, help desk staff, and system administrators

Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo

Twitter: @Gartner_Events / #ITxpo / #GartnerSYM
Web: http://www.gartner.com/events/na/orlando-symposium
Date: October 14-18
Location: Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA
Cost: Standard conference price is $6,000; public-sector price is $4,425; group discounts are available.

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is aimed specifically at CIOs and technology executives in general, addressing topics from an enterprise IT perspective. These include mobility, cybersecurity, cloud computing, application architecture, application development, the Internet of Things, and digital business.

Who should attend? CIOs and senior IT execs

IT/Dev Connections

Twitter: @devconnections / #ITDevConnections
Web: http://itdevconnections.com/dc18/Public/Enter.aspx
Date: October 15-18
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
Cost: Tickets range from $1,299 to $2,699

IT/Dev Connections is a deep-dive technical conference designed for IT professionals and developers looking for hands-on training without the marketing messages or pitches. The conference focuses on topics such as big data and business intelligence, virtualization, DevOps, enterprise management and mobility, cloud and data center, development platforms and tools, and enterprise collaboration. Emphasis is on Microsoft products, including Azure, Exchange, SQL Server, and SharePoint, although other vendors are also discussed.

Who should attend? Developers and IT pros

Oracle OpenWorld

Twitter: @oracleopenworld
Web: https://www.oracle.com/openworld/index.html
Date: October 28-November 1
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Cost: N/A; 2017 prices ranged from $125 for a Discover pass to $2,650 for the full conference. You can fill out this form for registration notification.

Oracle’s biggest event of the year, OpenWorld draws tens of thousands of customers, partners, and Oracle executives from around the world eager to hear the latest about the company's products, including its databases and business applications.

Who should attend? Oracle customers, partners, developers, and IT Ops pros

Velocity-London

Twitter: @velocityconf / @OReillyMedia / #velocityconf
Web: https://conferences.oreilly.com/velocity/
Date: October 30-November 2
Location: London, England, UK
Cost: Ranges from $825 to $2,500; Expo passes are around $100 (unconfirmed for 2018).

The O'Reilly Velocity conference provides attendees with real-world advice from top industry experts for building, deploying, and running complex distributed applications and systems. At the event, web ops and systems engineering professionals learn best practices for building, refactoring, and monitoring modern systems and applications.

Who should attend? Developers, operations specialists, and IT Ops staff

November

Cloud Expo-West

Twitter: @CloudExpo / @SYSCONmedia / #CloudExpo
Web: http://www.cloudcomputingexpo.com/
Date: November 6-8
Location: Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, California, USA
Cost: Expo $100 to $600; conference $995 to $2,500 (unconfirmed for 2018)

Cloud Expo offers a wide selection of more than 120 technical and strategic industry keynotes, general sessions, breakout sessions, and signature power panels. The exhibition floor features vendors with specific solutions and comprehensive strategies. The expo floor also features a Demo Theater that gives attendees the opportunity to interact with technology providers.

Who should attend? CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, directors of infrastructure, vice presidents of technology, IT directors and managers, network and storage managers, network engineers, enterprise architects, and communications and networking specialists

AWS re:Invent

Twitter: @AWSreInvent / @awscloud / #reInvent
Web: https://reinvent.awsevents.com
Date: November 26-30
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: $1,799 (unconfirmed for 2018)

AWS re:Invent is the Amazon Web Services annual user conference, which brings customers together to network, engage, and learn more about AWS. The event features keynote speeches, training sessions, certification opportunities, technical sessions, an expo floor, and networking activities. "Amazon certainly knows how to go big at a conference," says Chance Coble of Blacklight Solutions. "With nearly 50,000 attendees AWS re:Invent was spread across Las Vegas hotels and included fully booked sessions from end to end." If you're a first-time attendee, read the FAQ before planning your trip, so you can make the best use of your time and ensure that you hit the sessions and events you're most interested in.

Who should attend? AWS customers, developers and engineers, system administrators, and systems architects

December

Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference

Twitter: @Gartner_Events / #GartnerDC
Web: http://www.gartner.com/events/na/data-center
Date: Typically first week in December (unconfirmed for 2018)
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (unconfirmed for 2018 )
Cost: $2,900 for public-sector attendees; $3,400 for standard tickets (unconfirmed for 2018)

Guided by the latest insight from Gartner and IT operations experts, this conference covers strategies around a variety of topics, including cloud computing, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, DevOps, containers, microservices, and serverless computing.

Who should attend? IT pros involved with operations and facilities, servers, storage and backup/recovery, mobile, cloud and desktop virtualization, data center, and networking

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon

Twitter: @kubecon_ / #kubecon / @CloudNativeFdn / #cloudNativeCon
Web: http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/kubecon-and-cloudnativecon-north-america
Date: December 11-13
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Cost: $150-$700 (unconfirmed for 2018)

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s flagship conference gathers technologists from leading open-source and cloud-native communities. Join the open-source developers of Kubernetes, Prometheus, Fluentd, Linkerd, gRPC, CoreDNS, containerd, rkt, CNI, and more, as the community gathers for three days to further the education and advancement of cloud-native computing and container orchestration.

Who should attend: Developers, system administrators, operations engineers, site reliability engineers, security engineers, managers, and executives

Review the options and make your choices soon: Prices may vary based on how early you register. Also, remember that hotel and travel costs are generally separate from the conference pricing.

What are your favorite conferences and why? Post your comments below. And let us know if there are any other events or conferences we missed.

Image: Courtesy of AFCOM

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