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Day one at IBM Edge 2016: Acceleration and innovation in Las Vegas

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Edge 2016 started off with a bang as thousands of excited attendees arrived for the world’s premier IT infrastructure conference!

IBM Edge 2016 underwayAfter arriving in Las Vegas on Sunday, I headed to the registration booth to get my badge and a map from one of the volunteers. Then, it was on to exploring.

I was blown away by the extensive IBM Edge signage that guided me around the entire conference, and was surprised I didn’t get lost! That evening there was a welcome reception at the Solution EXPO with delicious food and drinks. I was amazed by all of the cool things to see at the EXPO. From a Red Bull Racing car simulator to engaging booths from the IBM Systems brands and our IBM Business Partners, there was enough going on to learn something new whichever way you looked.

Red Bull Racing car

The General Session

On Monday morning I grabbed some breakfast and coffee from the North Pavilion and made my way through the crowd of high-energy badge wearers to the MGM Ballroom, where the Day 1 General Session was being held.

general session at IBM Edge 2016Every seat in the ballroom was filled as we anxiously awaited new and exciting announcements. Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President of IBM Systems, took to the stage to kick off the session with a warm welcome and to introduce the theme of the day — innovation.

Next we were introduced to a series of speakers who shared their successes using IBM Systems solutions in their businesses. From Matt Cadieux, CIO Red Bull Racing, to Jacob Yundt, Senior Enterprise Architect at UPMC, we got a look at how these companies are teaming up with IBM Systems to accomplish big things. Last but not least, Terri Virnig, Vice President of IBM Power Ecosystem and Strategy, announced two exciting Power Systems partnerships. One with Hortonworks, giving clients more choices in open source Hadoop distribution for big data processing, and an extension of IBM’s partnership with Red Hat.

Trends and Directions

Following the General Session came the Trends and Directions sessions for all of the IBM Systems brands. I attended the IBM Power Systems session with Doug Balog, General Manager for Power Systems, who talked about why leading public cloud providers are choosing Power Systems architecture, and how the Power Systems and OpenPOWER ecosystem bring together best-of-breed cloud partners.

Doug Balog, IBM Power Systems

Guest speakers from Staples and Bosch shared how Power Systems makes efficient and cost-effective on-premises private and hybrid cloud strategies a possibility. To wrap up the session, Jeff Stuecheli, IBM Power Hardware Architect, gave deep dive insights into Power architecture and into recent advances, as well as a glimpse into the future.

Thought Leadership Session – Acceleration Speeds Innovation

On my afternoon agenda, I made sure to check out the Thought Leadership session with Calista Redmond, President of the IBM OpenPOWER Foundation.

acceleration speeds innovation

Throughout the session we heard from industry and IBM thought leaders who demystified acceleration. Among these thought leaders were Eric Mizell, VP of Global Solutions Engineering at Kinetica, who took the stage to give a demonstration using GPU acceleration, and Steve Pawlowski, VP Advanced Computing Solutions at Micron, who explained why accelerators are key to driving continued innovation in the data center. At the end of the session, the six OpenPOWER Developer Challenge finalists were announced. The winner will be announced at the OpenPOWER Summit in Barcelona, October 26-28.

Finalists, OpenPOWER developer challenge

Throughout the rest of the day, I attended several of the breakout sessions. It was exciting to see all of the new innovative technological advances being discussed. That evening, I headed back to the Solution EXPO for the evening reception and to explore the booths and demos. I can’t wait for what’s to come this week at IBM Edge 2016!

IBM Power Systems at Edge

Stay tuned in to the In the Making blog for daily recaps during the event and reflections in the weeks to follow. And sign up for IBMGO and tune in to the IBMGO Edge Channel for free, on-demand access to the conference.

IBM Edge 2016

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