Comparing Technical Conferences - IBM Impact vs. AFCOM Data Center World

Most of my readers are data center folks who would go to AFCOM Data Center World, Uptime Symposium, DatacenterDynamics, Gartner Data Center Conference and/or 7x24 Exchange.  I’ve gone to all of them as well as Intel Developer Forum, GigaOm Structure, and IBM Pulse.  In prior jobs I used to go to all kinds of Microsoft, Apple conferences, and Seybold Publishing.

Last week I was in Las Vegas when a bunch of other data center people were in town.  I’ve gone to AFCOM data center world and unfortunately, I really don’t learn much as I know plenty of people i could ask about power, mechanical systems, and the presentations really don’t interest me.  I’ve spent so much of my time writing executive presentations whether for Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, or other data center folks that I don’t have the patience to sit in most presentations.  So, looking for options of what to given I was going to LV anyway I found that IBM had a conference called Impact.  I had gone to IBM Pulse 2 years ago, and found it useful.  Last week I spent two days at the IBM conference, and I am going to contrast some of the differences between a conference like IBM Impact vs. AFCOM data center world.

Data Center World is promoted as 

Data Center World

Data Center World is the premier educational conference and Expo for data center and facilities management professionals providing real-world solutions for critical data center infrastructure through comprehensive, vendor-neutral education, peer-to-peer networking and unparalleled access to technology service providers.

More than 1,000 data center professionals from 26 countries around the world gathered this week in Las Vegas for Data Center World Spring 2013 at the Mandalay Bay conference center.

IBM Impact

IMPACT 2013 was a success!

More than 8,500 technology and business leaders representing every industry gathered from around the world at Impact 2013. They discussed how to make the best use of technologies such as mobile, social, cloud computing and big data. IBM customers described how they have re-imagined operations, processes, and technology, sharing their stories and expertise.

Data Center World is a 1,000 people focused on the data center building.  IBM Impact has 8,500 people focused on Social, Cloud, Mobile, and Big Data.

It has been a while since I went to DataCenterWorld, but usually there is DataCenterKnowledge covering the event which is owned by iNET Interactive and also owns AFCOM and DataCenterWorld. Media coverage on a Google search showed a few posts.

TEXT100 is the PR company supporting IBM Impact which is the same company that supports Schneider Electric.  There were 30 - 50 media and analysts (quite possibly many more were registered) that I could see at the IBM Impact event.  Media and Analyst there were companies like ZDNET, IDG, Forrester Research.

Many of the media and analyst had access to executives in media presentations which made it easier to drill into more details and ask more questions.  There were also 1-1 meetings for some.

I was able to learn more about IBM’s MessageSight Appliance and PureSystems.  The MessageSight Appliance is a new announcement. Curious I went to Google News to see the coverage.

IBM Crunches Internet Of Things Data


-InformationWeek-Apr 29, 2013

The above was considered by Google News to be in-depth, but this post had no details on the test hardware used by IBM to support the performance numbers.  The software architecture of the system addresses the challenge of how to handle a huge amount of streams that can’t be handled by a typical database, creating the need for an appliance, a server system that can handle millions of devices.I reached out to the folks at Text100 and IBM to get more details on MessageSight Appilance.  There is some cool stuff that IBM put in MessageSight and I hope to discuss details in the future.

Finding something as cool as MessageSight Appilance at AFCOM Data Center World is not really possible.  At some point you may see the MessageSight Appliance show up in your data center, connecting to millions of devices.  But, I don’t know if the MessageSight Appilance is going to look any different than any other IBM System P Series Server which it is built upon.