Cloud Forum
Format & Themes

The Call for Proposals for the 2022 Cloud Forum closed on Tuesday, May 31st.


The Cloud Forum is a venue for discussion and debate around the challenges and best practices of cloud infrastructure enablement at higher education institutions of all sizes. The Cloud Forum is designed to be a highly interactive event where the content is driven in large part by the experiences and plans of the attendees. The program consists of attendee presentations on topics of broad interest, lightning talks on the activities and ideas of the attending institutions, multi-institutional panels for deep exploration of a single topic, and researcher presentations showing the innovative use of cloud tools by faculty researchers working on the major cloud platforms. In addition, the Forum will include a half-day unconference where attendees will have the opportunity to select a topic, brainstorm with others and report out to the group in short “Cloudburst” presentations.

The discussions at the Forum focus on higher-level strategic topics rather than deep technical issues. The more technical cloud topics are discussed in the cloud track at the Internet2 Technology Exchange being held in Denver in December. To better understand the difference between the two events’ target audiences and their respective themes, read the blog post There is a Lot of Cloud to Go Around. It provides a useful comparison.


Theme 1 – Strategic

Competing forces in higher education can make a straightforward cloud strategy difficult to achieve. Whether you are navigating multi-cloud, supporting research, architecting for resiliency, or just trying to make sound fiscal decisions, you are not alone. This theme calls for proposals that address those challenges in a way that will prompt thoughtful discussions on striking the necessary balances.

Theme 2 – Tactical

IT professionals are problem-solvers and cloud technology serves up plenty of problems and many more ways to solve them. Luckily, we are a community that shares its challenges, failures, and successes. This theme is about the paths we take and the decisions we make as we stand up secure, managed cloud infrastructure. How are you leveraging automation to create operational efficiencies? Are you embracing multi-cloud or battling it? Come talk about how you make cloud work for you and your institution.

Theme 3 – Financial

This theme is all about the Benjamins, cash or credits. We will stick to the strategic side of cloud financials and let them tackle financial engineering at the Technology Exchange. What have you learned in the battle to combine resources at scale yet distribute the savings? Pre-commit to sharing your approaches to cost-optimization at the enterprise level or cost-education at the account owner level.

Theme 4 – Culture

“Cloud is just someone else’s computer.” “Cloud is just the latest swing of the pendulum between desktop and mainframe.” These are just some of the many misconceptions of the powerful tools that hyper-scale, or cloud, technology represent. Rather than grumble, let’s talk about the importance of and methods for raising our institution’s and our community’s Cloud IQ. This is the meta-theme. Come teach us how you are teaching others to support and use the cloud. Come share how you have set up mechanisms to learn and share on your campuses. Culture eats ignorance for breakfast.

Cloud Forum Timeline

  • Call for Proposals Opens: April 22
  • Call for Proposals Closes: May 31
  • Speaker Notifications: June 30
  • Schedule Posted: July 15
  • Registration Opens: August 1
  • Cloud Forum Convenes: November 8-11