IM Leadership Summit – Sunnyvale
“The network is still the computer” – Scott McNealy (1984)
On 19 April senior level Infrastructure Masons, Sun alumni, and a few invited VIPs came together to connect, grow and give back at iMasons 3rd Leadership Summit. The sold-out event was kindly hosted by Microsoft at their Sunnyvale campus on Enterprise Way.
Dean Nelson, iMasons Founder and Board Chair, welcomed the participants and shared his vision for iMasons as the global professional association for the builders and operators of the digital age. “As an association of people, of individuals, this meeting is about you. We leave our companies and roles at the door and come together as a community of like-minded professionals to connect, grow and give back”, said Nelson.
He went on to describe iMason’s focus on accelerating the flow of talent into our industry by forging partnerships with digital infrastructure-specific education and training programs, providing scholarships to students in and entering those programs with a 50/50 gender diversity goal, providing career mentors in our industry, and helping connect graduates with internships and jobs.
Fireside Chat with Scott McNealy
In iMasons first 2016 Leadership Summit Andy Bechtolsheim and Ken Duda, Founder/CEO and CTO of Arista Networks respectively, spoke on the state of the art in networking technologies. We continued the theme of inviting luminary industry guest speakers by hosting Scott McNealy, co-founder and long-time CEO of Sun Microsystems. Not that Scott needed much prompting, but Dean was able to slip in an occasional interview question.
Scott talked about some of the projects he’s currently involved with (curriki.org, wayin.com, drivescale.com), offered his opinions on internet privacy (“there isn’t any, get over it”), provided advice on how Mark Zuckerberg should have approached the recent Senate hearings, and offered his views on the value (or lack thereof) of most college educations.
Rich’s Miller’s article recapping Scott’s session is available online.
Think Tank 1
iMasons continued the practice of leveraging the talent in our community by putting the participants to work answering some questions. This year the questions were proposed by Rich Miller of Data Center Frontier, and the community was polled to determine which questions were most interesting to focus on in the meeting. Two questions rose to the top, and the community did not disappoint with some very interesting input. The first question was:
Smart Cities and our Digital Urban Future – The Smart Cities movement advances a vision of cities using data from urban sensor networks to automate and manage many elements of everyday life. Advances in autonomous vehicles raise additional possibilities, including the deployment of V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) and V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) technologies to manage traffic flow, parking and loading/unloading. What’s the real potential for Smart Cities, and what are the key steps in realizing these visions of a digital urban future?
The group’s comments included:
- Question is should we develop from scratch or mesh an IoT network on top of a current city?
- Some believe we can begin from a private/public development opportunity. Others believe we should build upon current infrastructure.
- Reduced parking load. Cars come and get you when you need them. No need to park. Do I even need a car?
- Your car is your edge computer. The biggest computer in the home (with its own built in power source).
- Organized and optimized evacuation in case of natural disaster.
- Partnership for companies and government on data sharing.
Rich’s Miller’s article recapping the Smart Cities discussion is available online.
Think Tank 2
Edge – Our things are getting smarter and more powerful, bringing the computing power of the cloud into devices in our pockets. The power of these new chips and devices will move more workloads and tasks to the very edge of the network. How will 5G wireless and neural networks running on smartphones and cars change how – and where – we deploy infrastructure?
- Cloud is the lifeline of the internet. Edge is the lifeline of the human race.
- The utility model of connectivity will have to be changed.
- Ubiquitous network will have to be neutral and frictionless to edge environments.
- Opportunity will be dynamic – we do not know all of the use cases that will be created. The infrastructure will need to be dynamic, resilient and intelligent – self scaling, healing, renewable energy, sustainable. Edge cases will create new social, business, and legal issues.
- Do we really need to store data forever, 5 years, 5 months, one day?
- Edge provides untold new use cases, will require DC capabilities closer to the application – physical layers and redundancy through security.
As usual, iMasons ended the afternoon with an opportunity to get to know 150 of the builders and operators of the digital age over a beer.
The event was a huge success and we are already looking forward to our first Leadership Summit outside the US. On 6 November 2018 iMasons is hosting our second Leadership Summit of the year in London. We hope to see you there!