Red Hat Summit 2014, day zero recap

Although April 14 was the first day of the full Red Hat Summit, the event really kicked off April 13 with a reception in the partner pavilion (think expo hall) with…

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…finger food…

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…games…

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…energizing conversation…

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…and, yes, full demos in each booth (it wasn’t all play!). We also did a little Fedora Spotting:

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The evening was capped off with a couple keynotes, the first by Red Hat president and CEO Jim Whitehurst:

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Here’s Jim getting set to hit the stage

Jim’s keynote began with a comment about how this year is the tenth anniversary of the Red Hat Summit. He noted that he prepared for his keynote this year by looking at his keynote from last year and realizing just how far the industry has come in just a year. This inspired the Summit’s theme — Advance.

Jim noted that, for IT in enterprises, it’s no longer enough to just keep the lights on. They are thinking about how to tap into innovations through systems, processes, culture. But they face a challenge of layering new technology onto older infrastructure…a problem faced by cities worldwide as they adapted to meet the needs of citizens. 

For cities, while the ideal solution was generally clear, many constituencies arose that complicated modernization processes. So cities such as London, ripe for renovation after a great fire in 1666, ended up rebuilding  on existing infrastructure, unable to come to some other, better consensus. CIOs have the same issue.

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Jim talked about the power of open, user driven innovation with Red Hat as the catalyst. He pointed to OpenDaylight, a collaborative project under the Linux Foundation founded less than two years ago that has already won a few INTEROP awards despite not being a full product yet…but it has involved and catalyzing communities, a necessary component for innovation.

Jim later traded the stage with IBM’s general manager of cloud and smarter infrastructure, Deepak Advani.

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Deepak said that IBM’s emphasis is on data and analytics, cloud, and engagement. He shared fascinating new insights with the audience, such as the fact that 85% of new software is being build for cloud, and that 2.5 billion gigabytes of data is created every day…and that end users expect a response time of five minutes. 

Meeting that response time is difficult for IT due to the heterogeneous nature of infrastructure. When new technology comes around, the old doesn’t necessarily go away! Therefore giving customers choice is key — and that means interoperability.

The evening ended with a surprise performance by cover band Alter Ego.

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And confetti cannons. Here’s Jim making a hasty exit!

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Stay tuned to this blog — a recap of day one is coming!

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