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Virtual events and conferences are part of the new normal, and the IBM Systems Technical University is no exception. It has been scheduled for October 26-29, 2020 in a new virtual edition format using a virtual presentation technology. An abbreviated IBM TechU was held online in April to replace the in-person event that was cancelled due to COVID-19, however it was limited in scope and put together quickly with open attendance.
The October IBM TechU 2020 virtual conference promises to be loaded with content featuring IBM Power Systems, IBM Storage, IBM Z, and IBM LinuxONE presentations that will resemble the “normal” TechU sessions. IBM plans to offer many sessions including technical, deep technical, labs, and keynotes that present the leadership content and directions of the IBM brands represented. Interestingly, there will also be a Virtual Solution Center with demos from both IBM and vendors on new products and services and even the chance to virtually network. It is unlikely that IBM has figured out how to offer virtual food or drinks to attendees, though, so plan for BYO as you “view” the Solution Center.
Registration, Fees, and Logistics
The October IBM TechU virtual event will be fee-based, with the attendee tuition being $550 for the full week. To register, go to the IBM TechU web page. The session preview is being built out and soon the full agenda of more than 500 sessions will be available via this page. The sessions will be a combination of live, semi-live (recorded but Q&A monitored during the session) and on-demand pre-recorded. The good news here, unlike the in-person sessions, is you won’t have to miss anything due to scheduling conflicts. All sessions will be made available for four weeks after IBM TechU ends.
Suggested Sessions to Attend
There will be over 500 technical sessions, four of which each day will be live. Choosing which to “attend” could be an interesting task, however here are a few suggestions:
- The Power Systems AI strategy has changed with all the Power artificial intelligence products being transferred to the IBM Software Group. If you are using Power AI solutions today, the Power Session on AI Strategy would be beneficial.
- Performance is always a key topic. There will be Power Performance sessions by Earl Jew and Steve Nasypany, which are always informative based on latest hardware and software changes. And the sessions by Alexander Paul are excellent and always informative about network performance on Power Systems.
- This year POWER9 and AIX-enabled XIVE should be of interest to all since XIVE changes the I/O performance in a positive way.
- There will be the usual product roadmap and update sessions, which are valuable for planning purposes, including:
- AIX by Carl Burnett
- The management tools update (PowerVM, PowerVC, PowerSC, and HMC) by Ian Robinson
- The Linux on Power update by Steve Roberson
- The I/O product update by Doug Gibbs
- The high availability topics by Steve Finnes and Mike Herrera covering PowerHA SystemMirror, VMR-HA, and VMR-DR
Some other important sessions revolve around the strategic direction of the Power Brand, mainly the Hybrid Cloud and the POWER10 announcement.
- The Hybrid Cloud sessions will include deep discussions on EP2.0 Dynamic Capacity, mobile cores, Red Hat OCP, the IBM Cloud Power Virtual Server offering, and the IBM Cloud Pak family. In the various IBM Cloud Pak sessions, you may be interested in the IBM Cloud Pak for Applications session which will cover DevOps as well as containers and K8S. There will also be topics addressing IBM support of Digital Transformation and Data Protection in the IBM Cloud Pak for Data session. These capabilities support the current market trends and customer application modernization.
- The POWER10 technology was announced in August and there will be multiple sessions on the topic by Bill Starkey and Jeff Stuchelli.
- Mainline will be contributing to the technical sessions with Laura Tuller, Stephen Ulmer, and Ron Gordon presenting sessions covering storage, Ansible, Linux, and the tooling that supports Power Systems AIX, Linux, and IBM i.
The daily Solution Center with presentations on IBM and Partner solutions is included in this fall’s agenda and replays of these, along with all other sessions, will be available during and after the event. There will also be learning paths and digital badges, 10+ interactive meet-the-expert sessions, and the ability to book 1:1 live sessions during the conference with Power Systems technical experts and the session speakers. No hotel bookings or travel needed!
As the agenda continues to be built out, the web page will reflect updates, so revisit the site frequently for added content. If you wish to schedule 1:1 sessions with technical experts, reach out to your Mainline representative who can work with IBM to accommodate your requests. As always, please contact us for any assistance with your IBM Power Systems needs.
Until COVID-19 passes, we will be adapting to this new world of virtual events for the foreseeable future. It will be interesting to see the new business opportunities that arise from this creative way of connecting. Stay up-to-date by following #IBMTECHU and we’ll “see” you there!