There Is a Lot of Cloud to Go Around

Subscribe for more like this



By Bob Flynn - Internet2 Program Manager, Cloud Infrastructure & Platform Services

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

We are well into our second decade of higher education use of cloud computing. Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are commonplace, and the sophistication and breadth of application of cloud infrastructure and tools have grown from single accounts with a few virtual machines to enterprise organizations embracing the public cloud platforms. There is now so much work being done in the cloud in higher education that this year we have two events to give sufficient room to the cloud stories that need to be told. This post provides an overview of the Cloud Forum and the cloud track at the Internet2 Technology Exchange to help presenters and attendees map their interests to the right event.

Bob Flynn
Bob Flynn

When Sarah Christen, director of IT infrastructure at Cornell University, created the Cloud Forum in 2015, the event was conceived as a gathering for strategic and leadership conversations around the use of cloud infrastructure in the unique framework of research and education institutions. The Cloud Forum underscored the need to make space for the broader spectrum of cloud conversations the research and education community wanted to have. These ranged from the deeply technical topics raised by the DevOps community to the all-important needs of the academic research community. For years, these conversations were only taking place at small gatherings of schools, token sessions at larger conferences, or through the grassroots efforts of individuals participating in the higher education Cloud Computing Community Group.

2022 presents an opportunity to give voice, and space, to the full spectrum of topics a more mature cloud community needs to discuss. The Higher Education Cloud Forum will resume its focus on cloud strategy and leadership topics, and the cloud track at the Internet2 Technology Exchange will be devoted to more complex technical topics. 

Unsurprisingly, the line dividing these ends of the topic spectrum is more cloudy than clear. (See what I did there?) This post is designed to help the discerning attendee- and presenter-to-be see through the mist and understand what will be covered at each event. 

Internet2 Technology Exchange

The Technology Exchange will be held in Denver on December 5-9. “TechEx 22” brings together technologists from across higher education to dive deep into topics around networking, identity, security, research, and cloud technology. This broad range of expertise presents an ideal opportunity to explore the intersections and interdependencies of these domains. Whether that is networking architectures for multi-cloud environments, building secure and compliant research environments in the cloud, or automating the creation and maintenance of infrastructure with code, TechEx 22 is the place where we get into the technical weeds of higher ed cloud. 

The target audiences for the Technology Exchange are developers, architects, engineers – the doers, those that roll up their sleeves, tie technologies together, and make things happen. Given that audience, the topic focus areas highlight technologists building solutions. Proposals are accepted from anyone in the higher education community. I encourage you to visit the 2022 Technology Exchange site, read the descriptions for each track, and submit your proposals. NOTE: Industry members are able to submit proposals to TechEx, but we generally encourage them to work with universities to have a better chance of acceptance. The 2022 Technology Exchange Call for Proposals closes on May 6, 2022. 

Higher Education Cloud Forum

Cloud Forum logo

The 2022 Higher Education Cloud Forum will be hosted by Washington University in St. Louis on November 8-11. The event is hosted by the higher education community for the higher education community. It is a single-track, single-room event. Attendance is capped at 100 with each institution limited to a maximum of three attendees. The goal is to allow as many institutions to attend as possible, with a desire to welcome new institutions each year.

The target audiences for the Cloud Forum are CIOs, infrastructure and cloud enablement leadership, and architects – the strategists, and planners of the higher ed cloud community. Given that audience, the topic focus areas are strategy and tactics of running cloud at the higher ed enterprise. Proposals are accepted from anyone in the higher education community. NOTE: The Cloud Forum does not accept proposals from any commercial vendors. The Cloud Forum Call for Proposals runs from April 22 to May 31, 2022. 

Which Event is For Me?

The target audience and general focus of each event are listed in the descriptions above. It’s entirely possible you have a topic that could be submitted to both events. It’s also possible that you fall into the target audience for both events. You be the decider! The Cloud Forum proposal review committee and the Technology Exchange Cloud Track proposal review committee are working closely together to ensure the proposals find their best home. They have collaborated to create the graphic below to help inform you. If in doubt, submit to both. And naturally, we will be happy to see you at both events.