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Applications Are the Key
A look into the future of the Linux desktop

In this month's column, Dr. Migration takes a look at the Linux desktop from an applications point of view. Although widespread adoption of desktop Linux isn't a reality yet, the prognosis is good.

I recently wrote an article for LinuxWorld.com on a user-oriented Linux distribution coined UserLinux. In the article I discussed what the ideal noncommercial desktop Linux distribution would look like (www.linuxworld.com/story/37872.htm). The emphasis is on identifying features that would be attractive to the mass PC-user market. Bruce Perens, Linux evangelist, former leader of the Debian project (www.debian.org), and harbinger for UserLinux (www.userlinux.com), also added his comments, and this sparked a lively debate on what would constitute a distribution with mass appeal. This debate gave me a good idea of what PC users want from a Linux distribution, and it led me to reflect more on where desktop Linux is today and what needs to happen for its continued growth and success. There is simply no commercial product that compares to Linux's low-cost entry point and the variety of applications that can be added at no additional charge. Hence my favorite saying, "Linux is just a free ticket to a spectacular show." Linux on its own is great, but the supporting cast of Free/Libre Open Source Software, paired with the stable, extensible OS, makes it a powerful and affordable alternative to existing commercial solutions.

It's without debate that the idea of a free, community Linux desktop platform, under widespread use, is appealing to a huge contingent of PC users. There is an ongoing and heated discussion about what needs to happen for desktop Linux to become appealing to the mass market. Two areas of contention seem to arise. The first is usability, and the second is application availability.

Platform Usability
The Linux desktop has to evolve in the area of usability, and specifically configuration. Configuration includes hardware detection, which I must say has improved dramatically since I started using Linux as a desktop platform in the mid 1990s. But it still needs to improve; hopefully this will happen with hardware vendor support in addition to a strong community effort. Additionally, I have issues with docking and undocking my laptop, as I know many fellow users do. It's gotten to the point where I simply use my laptop and its own screen rather than my monitor because of the issues I've had with switching displays. I also find it easiest to reboot when I dock and redock so that the laptop and wireless card devices (versus the docking station input devices and network) can be rediscovered. I'm sure there are tools and procedures to make this all happen, but they aren't automatic or executable with a single button push. These features were available and worked flawlessly for me as a Windows 2000 laptop user. In this area, Linux still needs further work for the opera-ting system to see widespread acceptance, especially since earlier adopters are often the toughest customers.

Distribution vendors are solving usability problems and including this valuable work with their packaged versions of Linux. Also, despite widespread hardware vendor support for Linux, the community is still addressing driver support. I don't think it will be long before these hurdles are overcome. It is in the vested interest of companies like Mandrake, Sun, and Novell/ SUSE to solve these problems if they're truly going to be desktop Linux vendors (in my mind, desktop PCs and laptops are equally important). If there comes a day when these aren't inhibitors to desktop adoption of Linux, then what inhibitors will remain? The applications.

Linux Distributions and 'Shovelware'
Very few people go about looking for their ideal operating system. They don't often say, "I really need a cool operating system." Typically, they want to do something. That something may be accessing the Web for news or to do some shopping, sending e-mail to their friends, or writing a letter on a word processor. All these applications are of a task-based nature; they all do something.

The following are the most commonly needed applications, based on our readers' feedback.

  • E-mail applications
  • Web browser
  • Word processor
  • Games
  • Simple spreadsheets
  • Personal finance applications
  • Multimedia players to listen to music and to view movies (either downloaded or via DVD)
PC users new to Linux may be overwhelmed by their choices for meeting these needs. Also, once they make their choices they may have a learning curve to overcome, or in the case of e-mail, a migration issue.

The needs seem simple enough, so I looked at what applications are available, starting with the existing Linux installations in my lab. These include Mandrake 9.2, Red Hat 9.0, and Knoppix. Each comes with a cadre of applications that my friend Greg refers to as "Shovelware," in other words, the applications that the distribution providers shovel onto the distribution as a value add. No offense intended to the application makers or the distributions - my friend's point is simply this: Why do we need three or more browsers, five e-mail clients, and various other applications we won't use? Conversely, it's nice to have them preinstalled so that there are no snafus in the installation. Vendors can test for compatibilities and resolve conflicts between applications before users run into problems.

The ideal situation is the custom solution - the distribution can include a mechanism for the Linux user to select core applications and go from there, at installation time and throughout the lifetime of the installation. Today, many distributions already include many configuration options in their installer. For many years, Red Hat offered a workstation and server installation option depending on the user's need, but still there was a common template used by all users depending on the computer's intended use. Or you could pick your applications, but to do this you would be picking through thousands of applications - a daunting task. I've decided it's easier to just install the whole kitchen sink rather than risk forgetting something. If a new application comes out, I need to go through another process of downloading and installing from the Internet because the CD from my Linux distribution becomes outdated. This break in continuity, or switching to a second interface for updates, adds one more level of complexity. Red Hat has done a good job with their Red Hat Network (http://rhn.redhat.com), which supplies network updates for their Enterprise Linux offerings, however this is only available for Red Hat's Enterprise Linux. Lindows (www.lindows.com) seems to have gotten this formula right with their Click-N-Run solution for adding applications to their base distribution. The problem with this model is simply that it's distribution dependent. Ximian's Red Carpet has broadened its horizons a bit as well, but they also have selected a few select distros to support. The ideal solution, which I realize presents some hurdles, is a distro-independent updater and installation, backed commercially, so that user demand could dictate product direction.

Filling the Gaps
The problem I keep coming up against is the bridging of the gaps. It's an issue because many more people would make the move to Linux if they didn't have to leave those few critical applications behind. The ones that come to mind are the financial applications like Quicken and TurboTax, and the PIM/CRM applications like GoldMine, ACT!, and Outlook. Many organizations have invested heavily in proprietary applications to handle their business systems, and these applications run exclusively on Windows and would require significant investment to port to Linux. Despite this existing Windows application quandary, there are a couple of ways to fill those gaps and migrate to Linux. The first is to run the applications in a hosted environment. Another is to run the application locally in an emulator, or virtual machine.

Hosted Environments to Supplement the Linux Desktop
Some users of Windows applications choose to run their critical applications on a Windows Terminal Server. This solution allows the applications to be run on Windows server and then redisplayed over the network to their Linux PCs. The solution allows them to run the applications as they were intended but makes them portable. Linux users can connect to these Windows Terminal Servers using the rdesktop client (www.rdesktop.org). This isn't a bad idea but can be expensive. I think a better solution in this case is to run Windows on Linux through NeTraverse Terminal Server (www.netraverse.com/products/wts/), which allows the applications to be hosted on the server and then redisplayed using open source technology like X.11 or VNC. This solution still requires the Windows client licenses but gets the applications to run on the Linux platform. Also, it's the first step to weaning yourself from the Windows server platform.

Hosted applications are a double-sided coin. The upside is that the applications can be executed as the manufacturer intended and can be redisplayed to any network-connected PC. In addition, these applications can be administered centrally, which is advantageous to those users in a multi-user environment. In the corporate environment this solution makes sense, but unless the home user could purchase hosted applications through an application service provider that could be redisplayed to their PC, it seems impractical in the home-user environment.

Virtual Machines and Emulation
The other way to run Windows applications on the Linux desktop PC is by creating a situation in which the Windows applications can execute locally. I have spoken about this topic in the past and divided the solutions into the following three categories: virtualization, emulation, and integration.

Virtualization allows the installation of the whole Windows OS as a guest on the Linux OS. The solution that does this most completely is VMWare (www.vmware.com). The VMWare model provides a virtual computer to install the Windows operating system within. This solution is very popular in the server world for consolidating servers, but in the desktop world it may be overkill. It does require a fairly powerful PC to operate at reasonable speeds and is considerably more expensive than equally suitable solutions. It also requires a fully licensed copy of Windows to execute. However, the product has significant merit. VMWare is available for a retail price of $299 USD.

Other solutions provide an emulated Windows API so that Windows applications can be executed on Linux without the need for the native operating system (in this case Windows). CodeWeavers (www.codeweavers.com) offers a small set of productivity applications via a technology known as WINE (www.winehq.org). The advantages are that there's no need for a Windows license and that the files live locally on one file system. The disadvantages are that the number of applications supported via the method is very small and the configuration of applications to run natively on Linux can be challenging. Often the user does not enjoy the same fidelity of experience as compared to running natively or running a copy of Windows in the Linux environment.

Integration is the ability for Linux to comanage file systems, process, and other resources with Windows. The solution that best does this is Win4Lin (www.win4lin.com), which allows users to run Windows as an application on the Linux desktop. This solution is a good Linux citizen as it runs with minimal resource needs and adheres to the management systems available in Linux. It does however, like VMware, require a Windows license and Windows 95/98/ME media to install and run the software. Win4Lin is available for $89.99 USD.

As Linux adoption grows, these applications will have a lesser role in desktop Linux, but at this turning point in desktop computing they all provide important bridging technology. For some niche and legacy applications that do not warrant investment in porting, however, these solutions are a cost-effective way to ensure the applications are available to Linux users.

Distribution-Independent Application Installer
Now, are you ready for the killer app for Linux? It's the distribution- independent application installer. It doesn't exist today, but it should. So far there are a number of semi-solutions to one big problem. Most are distribution specific. Red Hat has the Red Hat Network, Lindows has the Click-N-Run warehouse, and Ximian tries to cater to a handful of distributions, including SUSE, Mandrake, and Red Hat. No one has solved the problem of taking a platform (Linux) and finding a vendor-neutral supplier to provide applications, especially for the home user of Linux. I think the technology exists, but it has yet to be executed in a way that allows it to proliferate into a wide audience of Linux desktop adopters. I believe this type of technology could accelerate Linux desktop adoption at a rate faster than that of the Linux server.

The following examples of common installation and application problems indicate the need for this type of service.

  • Browser plug-ins: This is my pet peeve. I'm always installing a new version of Linux on one of my lab machines. And, invariably, I am forced to go out and find the Java and Shockwave plug-ins for my browser. However, I am not locked into one browser. I am a fan of Mozilla; I always have been. Back in the early days of Netscape, I beta tested version .49B of Netscape and have used it ever since, though I have strayed into and out of Internet Explorer, always appreciating Netscape when I return. I also like to play with the variants of Mozilla, including Galeon and Firebird. When I do, what I would love is to just go to one page and download all the plug-ins I might need.
  • MP3, DVD, and movie playback: In some distributions this is downright painful. For example, in Red Hat I have MPlayer installed. It can play a few types of multimedia files, but technically you could be in violation of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) if you try to use the community-provided methods for playing media you have already legally purchased. I commend Lindows, who has licensed their DVD player to allow users to legally play DVDs, solving both the legal and installation issues.
  • Library updates: Just as in Windows, there needs to be a common set of libraries used by applications. On Windows the problem is easily solved because Microsoft ships the libraries with the operating system. In the realm of the Linux OS, the vendors pick libraries a la carte and may choose to include only a common set of libraries in the public domain. If someone could include the right engine, and not just the engine to figure out what libraries are needed, and then give the user one-stop shopping to download, that would be great.
These are but a few examples of how a one-stop shopping solution for Linux would play well. The ability to find aggregated applications from a trusted source would overcome one of the final hurdles for widespread Linux adoption on the desktop.

Conclusion
In my mind the future of the Linux desktop is assured. It will become a widespread reality, with many of the factors contributing to success being financial. Other factors will include the introduction of high-quality applications that fit the needs of a large corps of PC users. For this to become a reality, a few critical events need to occur. More production-grade applications have to become available. These applications need to be able to be easily installed, as well as easy to use. This is no small feat given the need for supporting libraries, compilers, and the like to be universally available across Linux distributions. Additionally, these applications must reach a broad level of adoption where feedback and community support can ensure that they will be around for a considerable length of time. Many users, especially business users, will want to know that they will not be left in the cold before they make a commitment to Linux.

I like to think of this column as a look into the future rather than a call to action, as I think the call is being heeded. I would love to reflect back on these thoughts in the not-too-distant future and be able to say this was a foreshadowing of things to come.

About Mark R. Hinkle
Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Soure Solutions at Citrix. He also is along-time open source expert and advocate. He is a co-founder of both the Open Source Management Consortium and the Desktop Linux Consortium. He has served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxWorld Magazine and Enterprise Open Source Magazine. Hinkle is also the author of the book, "Windows to Linux Business Desktop Migration" (Thomson, 2006). His blog on open source, technology, and new media can be found at http://www.socializedsoftware.com.

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

The other issue that will trip you on converting your friends who aren't clearly set on Windows is all of the web sites out there which expect Internet Explorer, and the sites which stream video (Quicktime, RealPlayer, etc.).

Yes, you can have your browser fake its OS in some cases if you are an advanced user. Yes, you can get beta-grade video plugins for the web (which thus far crash Mozilla almost as often as they work).

In the end you need to be careful about who you convert. A non-savvy user may attribute these faults to Linux inadequacies (it's a matter of perspective).

I think we still have many bridges to cross before desktop Linux is a real threat to Windows for the average user, but I look forward to that day with unchecked anticipation.

Something to consider.
Last year I convinced no less than a dozen of my friends to finally purchase their first PC. None of them would be able to give a reason for wanting to have Windows installed on their new system, other than that is what they see on most computers. If these same friends were given a choice of paying for windows and its installation, or just paying to have a much cheaper alternative installed, including some powerfull applications that they don't have to pay extra for, my bet would be they chose the less expensive option, especially after shelling out $400 - $500 bucks just for hardware.
Unfortunately, the store where I was able to get an affordable PC for them only offered Windows pre-installed, at almost full price.


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To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.

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@ThingsExpo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

MATTHIEU
Octoblu

MAHADEV
Cisco

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

FELICIANO
AMDG

PAUL
VenueNext

SMITH
Eviot

BEAMER
goTraverse

GETTENS
goTraverse

CHAMBLISS
ReadyTalk

HERBERTS
Cityzen Data

REITBAUER
Dynatrace

WILLIAM-
SON

Cloud
Computing

SCHMARZO
EMC

WOOD
VeloCloud

WALLGREN
Electric Cloud

VARAN-
NATH

GE

SRIDHARA-
BALAN

Pulzze

METRIC
Linux

MONTES
Iced

ARIOLA
Parasoft

HOLT
Daitan

CUNNING-
HAM

ReadyTalk

BEDRO-
SIAN

Cypress

NAMIE
Cisco

NAKA-
GAWA

Transparent
Cloud

SHIBATA
Transparent
Cloud

BOYD
Neo4j

VANDER-
MINDEN

Flatiron
Strategies

JAME-
NSKY

Embotics

KOCHER
Grey Heron

SPROULE
Metavine

BLACK
SQLstream

WARD
DWE

MILLER
Covisint

EVAVOLD
Covisint

MEINER
Oracle

MEEHAN
Esri

WITECK
Citrix

LIANG
Rancher Labs

BUTLER
Tego

ROWE
IBM Cloud

SKILLERN
Intel

SMITH
Numerex
@ThingsExpo New York All-Star Speakers Include

CLELAND
HGST

VASILIOU
Catchpoint

WALLGREN
Electric Cloud

HINCH-
CLIFFE

7Summits

DE SOUZA
Cisco

RANDALL
Gartner

ARMSTRONG
AppNeta

SMALLTREE
Cazena

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

DELOACH
Infobright

QUINT
Ontegrity

MALAUCHLAN
Buddy Platform

PALIOTTA
Vector

MITRA
Cognizant

KOCHER
Grey Heron

PAPDO
POULOS

Cloud9

HARLAN
Two Bulls

GOLO
SHUBIN

Bit6

PROIETTI
Location
Smart

MARTIN
nfrastructure

MOULINE
Everbridge

MARSH
Blue Pillar

PARKS
SecureRF

PEROTTI
Plantronics

HOFFMAN
EastBanc

WATSON
Trendalyze

BENSONOFF
Unigma

SHAN
CTS

MATTELA
Redpine

GILLEN
Spark
Coginition

SOLT
Netvibes

BERNARDO
GE Digital

ROMANSKY
TrustPoint

BEAMER
GoTransverse

LESTER
LogMeIn

PONO
-MAREVA

Google

SINGH
Sencha

CALKINS
Amadeus

KLEIN
Rachio

HOASIN
Aeris

SARKARIA
PHEMI

SPROULE
Metavine

SNELL
Intel

LEVINE
CytexOne

ALLEN
Freewave

MCCALLUM
Falconstor

HYEDT
Seamless

@ThingsExpo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

SCHULZ
Luxoft

TAMBURINI
Autodesk

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

THURAI
SaneIoT

TURNER
Cloudian

ENDO
Intrepid

NAKAGAWA
Transparent

SHIBATA
Transparent

LEVANT-LEVI
testRTC

VARAN NATH
GE

COOPER
M2Mi

SENAY
Teletax

SKEEN
Vitria

KOCHER
Grey Heron

GREENE
PubNub

MAGUIRE
HP

MATTHIEU
Octoblu

STEINER-JOVIC
AweSense

LYNN
AgilData

HEDGES
Cloudata

DUFOUR
Webroot

ROBERTS
Platform

JONES
Deep

PFEIFFER
NICTA

NIELSEN
Redis

PAOLALANTORIO
DataArchon

KAHN
Solgenia

LOPEZ
Kurento

KIM
MapR

BROMHEAD
Instaclustr

LEVINE
CytexOne

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

GORBACHEV
Intelligent
Systems

THYKATTIL
Navisite

TRELOAR
Bebaio

SIVARAMA-
KRISHNAN

Red Hat
Cloud Expo New York All-Star Speakers Included

DE SOUZA
Cisco

POTTER
SafeLogic

ROBINSON
CompTIA

WARUSA
-WITHANA

WSO2 Inc

MEINER
Oracle

CHOU
Microsoft

HARRISON
Tufin

BRUNOZZI
VMware

KIM
MapR

KANE
Dyn

SICULAR
Basho

TURNER
Cloudian

KUMAR
Liaison

ADAMIAK
Liaison

KHAN
Solgenia

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

SUSSMAN
Coalfire

ISAACSON
RMS

LYNN
CodeFutures

HEABERLIN
Windstream

RAMA
MURTHY

Virtusa

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE MENO
CommVault

GRILLI
Adobe

WILLIAMS
Rancher Labs

CRISWELL
Alert Logic

COTY
Alert Logic

JACOBS
SingleHop

MARAVEI
Cisco

JACKSON
Softlayer

SINGH
IBM

HAZARD
Softlayer

GALLO
Softlayer

TAMASKAR
GENBAND

SUBRA
-MANIAN

Emcien

LEVESQUE
Windstream

IVANOV
StorPool

BLOOMBERG
Intellyx

BUDHANI
Soha

HATHAWAY
IBM Watson

TOLL
ProfitBricks

LANDRY
Microsoft

BEARFIELD
Blue Box

HERITAGE
Akana

PILUSO
SIASMSP

HOLT
IBM Cloudant

SHAN
CTS

PICCININNI
EMC

BRON-
GERSMA

Modulus

PAIGE
CenturyLink

SABHIKHI
Cognitive Scale

MILLS
Green House Data

KATZEN
CenturyLink

SLOPER
CenturyLink

SRINIVAS
EMC

TALREJA
Cisco

GORBACHEV
Systems Services Inc.

COLLISON
Apcera

PRABHU
OpenCrowd

LYNN
CodeFutures

SWARTZ
Ericsson

MOSHENKO
CoreOS

BERMINGHAM
SIOS

WILLIS
Stateless Networks

MURPHY
Gridstore

KHABE
Vicom

NIKOLOV
GetClouder

DIETZE
Windstream

DALRYMPLE
EnterpriseDB

MAZZUCCO
TierPoint

RIVERA
WHOA.com

HERITAGE
Akana

SEYMOUR
6fusion

GIANNETTO
Author

CARTER
IBM

ROGERS
Virtustream
Cloud Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers

TESAR
Microsoft

MICKOS
HP

BHARGAVA
Intel

RILEY
Riverbed

DEVINE
IBM

ISAACSON
CodeFutures

LYNN
HP

HINKLE
Citrix

KHAN
Solgenia

SINGH
Bigdata

BEACH
SendGrid

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE SOUZA
Cisco

PATTATHIL
Harbinger

O'BRIEN
Aria Systems

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

BIANCO
Solgenia

PROCTOR
NuoDB

DUGGAL
EnterpriseWeb

TEGETHOFF
Appcore

BRUNOZZI
VMware

HICKENS
Parasoft

KLEBANOV
Cisco

PETERS
Esri

GOLDBERG
Vormetric

CUMBER-
LAND

Dimension

ROSENDAHL
Quantum

LOOMIS
Cloudant

BRUNO
StackIQ

HANNON
SoftLayer

JACKSON
SoftLayer

HOCH
Virtustream

KAPADIA
Seagate

PAQUIN
OnLive

TSAI
Innodisk

BARRALL
Connected Data

SHIAH
AgilePoint

SEGIL
Verizon

PODURI
Citrix

COWIE
Dyn

RITTEN-
HOUSE

Cisco

FALLOWS
Kaazing

THYKATTIL
TimeWarner

LEIDUCK
SAP

LYNN
HP

WAGSTAFF
BSQUARE

POLLACK
AOL

KAMARAJU
Vormetric

BARRY
Catbird

MENDEN-
HALL

SUPERNAP

SHAN
KEANE

PLESE
Verizon

BARNUM
Voxox

TURNER
Cloudian

CALDERON
Advanced Systems

AGARWAL
SOA Software

LEE
Quantum

OBEROI
Concurrent, Inc.

HATEM
Verizon

GALEY
Autodesk

CAUTHRON
NIMBOXX

BARSOUM
IBM

GORDON
1Plug

LEWIS
Verizon

YEO
OrionVM

NAKAGAWA
Transparent Cloud Computing

SHIBATA
Transparent Cloud Computing

NATH
GE

GOKCEN
GE

STOICA
Databricks

TANKEL
Pivotal Software


Testimonials
This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
@SteveMar_Msft
General Manager of Window Azure
 
How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
@SOASoftwareInc
 
Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
Yasser Khan
CEO of @Cnnct2me
 
One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

@Peak_Ten


Who Should Attend?
Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs & Vps of Technology, Chief Systems Engineers, IT Directors and Managers, Network and Storage Managers, Enterprise Architects, Communications and Networking Specialists, Directors of Infrastructure.

Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, & CIOs , Presidents & SVPs, Directors of Business Development , Directors of IT Operations, Product and Purchasing Managers, IT Managers.

Download Cloud Expo Show Guide
Cloud Expo Show Guide
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Join Us as a Media Partner - Together We Can Rock the IT World!
SYS-CON Media has a flourishing Media Partner program in which mutually beneficial promotion and benefits are arranged between our own leading Enterprise IT portals and events and those of our partners.

If you would like to participate, please provide us with details of your website/s and event/s or your organization and please include basic audience demographics as well as relevant metrics such as ave. page views per month.

To get involved, email Lissette Mercado at lissette@sys-con.com.

@ThingsExpo Blogs
This is the time of year when everyone makes his or her predictions for 2018. I have my predictions as well, but wanted to do something a bit more fun. So I thought I’d look backwards to the state of technology 50 years ago to gain some insights that we can use to make projections about 2018. That is, what “predictions” made in the 1950’s might tell us about 2018. However, it’s really hard to find predictions about the future made in the 1950’s. There was no Internet or Social Media or Reality TV, so I found the next best proxy…sci-fi movies! I decided to review the most popular sci-fi mo...
Our cities have been connected since the dawn of urbanization in the Indus Valley and on the plains of Mesopotamia nearly ten millennia ago. Cities exist to gather and connect people, bringing us together into communities and joint ventures that need complex networks of communication. But in recent years the connected city has come to mean something more. Today and in the future, the connected city will not just be about people connecting with people, but people with machines, people with people via machines, and perhaps most importantly, machines with machines.
The time of year when crystal balls get a viewing and many pundits put out their annual predictions for the coming year. Copying off since 2012, rather than thinking up my own, I figured I’d regurgitate what many others expect to happen. Top 10 Cyber Security Predictions for 2018 – Infosec Institute kicks off this year’s Top 10, Top 10 list with a look back at their 2017 predictions (AI, IoT, etc.) and dives head first into 2018 noting that Ransomware will be the most dangerous threat to organizations worldwide; cryptocurrency will attract fraudsters looking to mine; cloud security will (ag...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development process, accelerating application delivery times, and ensuring that developers will become hero...
A strong declaration from a historically antagonist foe should put chills in the hearts of Americans preparing themselves for the world ahead: Russian President Vladimir Putin says the nation that leads in AI will be the ruler of the world [1]” … The ruler of the world! From the article (with some modification to avoid political landmines), we get the following: “The development of artificial intelligence has increasingly become a national security concern in recent years. It is China and the US (not Russia), which are seen as the two frontrunners, with China recently announcing its ambi...
This month, an AI (artificial intelligence) system passed a medical exam in China for the first time. I wonder how its bedside manner will be? In addition, Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to a robot named Sophia. With all these rapid advancements, I think it is time we explore the spiritual life of robots. Up till recently, programmers coded and configured algorithms, AI, automation and machine learning system and took personal responsibility for all the code. Today, however, AI has escaped the confines of human oversight and has been empowered and employed to self-program, self-optimize, ...
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been the subject of much discourse in the last several years. They were widely anticipated in the gaming and entertainment industries, but in marketing and corporate settings, the benefits were murky at best. Today, these technologies are becoming more of a reality in all areas of business. For example, the new IKEA® shopping app leverages augmented reality to help shoppers determine how certain popular items will look in their homes – no trip to a crowded megastore necessary. Marriott® deployed virtual reality for customers to see its hot...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As we end 2017, I’m tired of writing “lecturing” blogs about what organizations should be doing to master data monetization in order to power their business models and achieve digital transformation. While the objective of every organization should be to master big data and data science (artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning) to drive “data monetization,” let’s take a breath and have some fun. My recent ankle surgery afforded me the opportunity to binge watch “Game of Thrones.” As I watched the impending battle between the White Walkers and humanity, I couldn’t help but ...
For better or worse, big data has irrevocably altered the digital landscape. The explosion in variety, velocity, volume and value of information presents an abundance of previously unimaginable opportunity. But it also creates a number of challenges that need to be successfully navigated. This reshaped technical world poses the following question to organizations: do you risk presenting, stale, incorrect or erroneous data to your customers? Because, with 2.5 quintillion bytes of data now being created every day, finding a way to manage and harness such potential is a new experience for everyo...
Net Neutrality rules were originally enacted to ensure that all Americans would have equal access to a free and open Internet. We can argue about what Net Neutrality rules did and did not accomplish in a moment, but now I want to explore the most sensational of all the post–Net Neutrality fears: the death of the Internet. If you’re still reading, you know that the FCC voted to repeal Net Neutrality rules (aka the Open Internet) and replace it with the “Restoring Internet Freedom” order. The outcry from the Open Internet camp has been loud, hyperbolic, hypothetical, and mostly based on the fun...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be looking at some significant engineering investment. On-demand, serverless computing enables deve...
“Why incur the expense of generating and collecting all of this IoT data if you’re not going to monetize it?” Organizations are racing to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) as the pundits create “visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.” McKinsey Global Institute released their study “The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value beyond the Hype” in June 2015 that highlighted the staggering financial value that IoT could create! (See Figure 1.)
Recently I read somewhere this statement – As we end 2017 and look ahead to 2018, topics that are top of mind for data professionals are the growing range of data management mandates, including the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation that is directed at personal data and privacy, the growing role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in enterprise applications, the need for better security in light of the onslaught of hacking cases, and the ability to leverage the expanding Internet of Things.
There is a war a-brewin’, but this war will be fought with wits and not brute strength. Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration that “the nation that leads in AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be the ruler of the world,” the press and analysts have created hysteria regarding the ramifications of artificial intelligence on everything from public education to unemployment to healthcare to Skynet. Note: artificial intelligence (AI) endows applications with the ability to automatically learn and adapt from experience via interacting with the surroundings / environment. See the b...
What's disruptive innovation, and why does it matter to leaders in the C-suite? It's how the savvy non-conformist will target market opportunities. How does this happen, when established companies seem to have the advantage? Creative software developers can quickly apply new technologies and digital business models to capture untapped demand.

Moreover, the most disruptive new companies will eventually reshape entire industries, swiftly pushing aside the legacy incumbent players -- it's a form of Digital Darwinism. The global networked economy will blossom, thanks to the pervasive In...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to iterate use cases, bring understanding to those seeking to explore complicated technical concepts and ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infras...
So data warehousing may not be cool anymore, you say? It’s yesterday’s technology (or 1990’s technology if you’re as old as me) that served yesterday’s business needs. And while it’s true that recent big data and data science technologies, architectures and methodologies seems to have rendered data warehousing to the back burner, it is entirely false that there is not a critical role for the data warehouse and Business Intelligence in digitally transformed organizations.