The following is an explanation of why I am not attending Uptime Symposium 2012
Many people ask me what Data Center conferences to go to. Everyone is a little different. The list of conferences to look at and I have attended are 7x24 Exchange, DatacenterDynamics, Uptime Symposium, Gartner Data Center Conference and Data Center World.
I've been going to Uptime for the last 5 years in Orlando, New York and Santa Clara. I've had a great time at the conferences.
One of my best memories is my first Uptime Symposium and some of my friends said there was a Google guy attending. i asked if they had talked to him. When they tried to have a conversation it didn't go far. 24 hrs later I caught up with my friends and told them I had talked to the Google guy. For an hour and a half and we sat next to each other during a few presentations. The Google guy's best compliment is you are one of the few who get what is going on. I have stayed friends with the Google data center guy who no longer works for Google. And, that is why events like Uptime Symposium are so great to meet new people.
But, after 5 years, I find I am not meeting the new people, and it is too easy to gravitate to the people you know almost like a reunion. This year I was on the fence whether to go to Uptime Symposium or not. Many of my data center friends where skipping Uptime Symposium this year, and we said we would all see each other at 7x24 Exchange in Orlando.
For the past 4 years I have attended as media and even spoke on a media panel discussion at Uptime with Kevin Heslin, Matt Stansberry, and Rich Miller. But, I am not a full time media guy. And, I don't want to be one. And that is the thing that helped me make the decision. The policy has changed this year and only full time media people get media passes to Uptime. i could attend the free expo and see the vendors. Or I could pay the conference fee. yah that is what I need I need to do is. Not.
i'll miss a few people's presentation, but the nice thing is they can shoot me their presentations if they want to me write a blog post. I can read the slides and figure out what they are presenting.
What about the stuff I learn from watching Uptime presentations? The #1 thing I learn at data center conferences is how much further ahead I am vs. what is being presented. How? Working in the tech industry in product development for over 30 years is a great background to figure out tough problems. The data center insiders I know and the research i do has me thinking of things years out. I blog about things, including presentations I think my friends and clients would find interesting. One of the best parts of running this blog is how quickly I can have conversations with people given they have been reading my posts.
What about The 451 Group and their expertise? I have never had a conversation with an Uptime person other than Matt Stansberry. So, not an issue.
i will be in SJ the week of Uptime Symposium though and a bunch of us are getting together. Some are attending Uptime, many are not. Here is a blog post on the social event last year.
With my current plan to attend 7x24 Exchange twice a year, I think I am reaching the main people I want to. I meet new people there all the time as there is much more time to socialize. To meet new people I go to GigaOm events, not another data center event.
Uptime Symposium was great at its time to learn the data center vendor ecosystem. Who has the marketing money and what messages they are presenting.
I totally understand Uptime Institute's change in policy. I would like to thank them for letting me attend in the past, and making it easier for me to get off the fence.