Brian McKeiver's Blog

Cloud Power GR Wrap Up

CloudPowerGR, a cloud computing eventYesterday, a collection of System Administrators, CTOs, Business Owners, and IT Workers gathered at Grand Valley State University's Eberhard Conference Center for the first ever Cloud Power GR event. The event was run by BizStream and NVINT. It featured four presentations explaining what exactly cloud computing is and how the cloud can benefit organizations large and small alike.

Patrick Foley from Microsoft kicked off the morning with a discussion of where the whole cloud computing concept originated from and how Microsoft is positioning it’s public cloud and private cloud offerings. Patrick did a great job of explaining the various cloud models, IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.

Up next was Patrick McKenney of NVINT. Patrick talked about the benefits of utilizing the cloud in any business, i.e. automatic provisioning of resources, high availability, and improved redundancy. I thought the best point of Patrick’s session was the real world case studies he showed on implementing private clouds and even hybrid cloud solutions in a few local west Michigan companies.

Brian McKeiver presenting Kentico CMS at CloudPowerGRI was third of the four presenters. My presentation centered around how Kentico CMS can power up any website when used in conjunction with the cloud. Especially since Kentico CMS is the first ASP.Net based CMS to run natively on Windows Azure.

I introduced a few key concepts to the audience on how Kentico leverages cloud concepts. For example, with it’s built in capability to run as a Web Farm, Kentico CMS allows any website to take full advantage of load balancing and content synchronization out of the box. You really can scale to meet any need on an on demand basis with this tool.

The audience asked a few good questions during the Q&A session near the end of my time, so I think I got through to them with what advantages Kentico CMS offers.

Finally, Patrick Gryzan of BizStream gave a great talk on Microsoft SharePoint 2010. I think my favorite part of the presentation was when Patrick defined how SharePoint can be used as a platform. “If we had enough time, I’m pretty sure we could figure out a way to get SharePoint to wash your car.”

We ended the event with a few giveaways. There were a few happy winners I think. Next year maybe we can drum up a few more prizes.

Overall I feel that the event was a success. The feedback we received at the end of the day was all positive. At the very least, I think we delivered a good educational experience. There is already talk of what the next event could look like.

And by all means, if you were at the event, please don’t hesitate to give us any feedback via the CloudPowerGR event website. We would love to know how we could do better.

Thanks again to all the sponsors: NVINT, BizStream, Microsoft, and Kentico.