Lucky LISA 2013

Each year for the past 6 years I have felt compelled to return to the Large Install System Administrator tradeshow put on by USENIX to meet with some of the smartest Sys Admins in the world and get reacquainted with my inner geek. One must be careful though as LISA can be a humbling experience. I think I am an Opengear expert until I talk to these guys.  They know more than mere mortals with only half their brain and can type faster with both hands tied behind their back.

Without question, this show has the most innovative giveaways and best tee-shirts of any tradeshow I have been to (and you don’t need a scan to get one). I got a Dropbox shirt at this show a few years ago before people even knew what it was. Sys Admins love great tee-shirts and so do I! There was incredible energy and excitement again this year. Hot topics at the show were how to build a cloud, big data, data storage and the convergence of network, compute and data. The Twitter IPO contributed to that buzz on the last day of the show as it opened at $45/share.

The LISA crowd expects Opengear to show new innovations every year and this year we did not disappoint. 3G/4G cellular out-of-band management was a huge hit, I heard “man, that is so cool” at least two dozen times. Environmental sensors were also of interest to many of the attendees this year – they asked about IP cameras in particular.

There is nothing better for an exhibitor when an attendee walks up to your booth and says “tell me why I should buy your product” and another attendee will overhear it and actually step in and tell him. Awesome!

Best question at the booth? How do you transmit data from the bottom of the ocean? Heck if I know (you have to be honest as you can’t make something up and fool these guys) but I do know someone who would know that lives in Hawaii and is a great Sys Admin in his own right. See this Infoworld Article.

Next year the show is in Seattle, WA and we plan on being there. I love having the opportunity to speak with Netflix about how the IM4200 is the best investment the company could ever make, Harvard University about the IM7200 with fiber for their lab, Thomson Reuters about the need for console management of their servers in the data center and DOD/NIST who needs a FIPS 140-2 certified cellular OOBM solution for their remote offices.

Now it’s back to work and the final stretch run for 2013.

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