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AWS re:Invent and VMworld: A tale of two conferences

Brandon Butler | Oct. 12, 2015
There's a great divide that exists in how customers are solving their IT challenges.

In the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to attend two major technology conferences, each on what seem to be opposite sides of the IT spectrum.

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VMworld 2015 Party at AT&T Park in San Francisco. 

At the end of August the venerable virtualization conference VMworld kicked off in San Francisco. Much of the technology discussed was about how to optimize on-premises environments. The company’s software defined data center components, extend into the hybrid cloud and manage mobile devices too. Fundamentally though, it felt like a conference with 20,000 people who are still managing their on-premises environment and are not quite ready yet to go all in on the public cloud.

AWS re:Invent is almost the complete opposite. It’s about 20,000 people who have all bought into the cloud. Startups are all-in on the cloud. Bigger enterprises are using it for real, production apps (like Capital One’s new mobile banking app). It’s no longer just for test and dev or DR.

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The re:Play party at Amazon Web Service's re:Invent conference. Another debate is which company throws a better party. Credit: @awsreinvent

It was a dramatic difference between the two conferences. So what does this all mean for the market? Different companies are taking very different approaches to solving their IT demands. Some customers are embracing the cloud – and loving it. But there are still a whole lot of companies who aren’t ready to break away from their data centers. My question is: Will they ever be?


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