A view from Brainshare 2008
Data Centers and Fossas
Novell vendors, developers, and users exchanged metaphors and business cards in Salt Lake City.
About 5,500 people from 60 countries arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah the week of March 17 for Brainshare 2008, Novell's signature partner and marketing event. The show rolled out a fairly typical trade show floor, and the guests kept busy with a well-attended series of breakout sessions. One of the more entertaining elements of Brainshare this year was the "World of Warcraft" theme; quite a few attendees and trade show booths enthusiastically embraced this theme; a number of booths also played up the "Guitar Hero" theme – proving that Novell is still making room for the young and geeky.
The best element of Brainshare was the breakout sessions, which involved more than just the latest tech talk. Vendors made an effort to go the extra mile: At these breakout sessions, Novell's customers and developers can mix and mingle together. Several times, I saw a presenter casually request a feature in a product (e.g., ZenWorks or GroupWise), only to have one of the actual developers stand up and say something like, "Let me know what you're looking for, and we'll see what we can do."
In the DNA
Last year, Brainshare was all about how Novell's SLES and SLED Linux distros worked, played, and thrived in everyone's ecosystem. The talk then was about virtualization, identity management, and interoperability – the underlying point being that the Microsoft deal was good for Novell and good for Linux (and also good for Microsoft).
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