Event Announcement: March Madness 2017 at AHEAD!

If you’ve been keeping up with NCAA basketball this year–or even if you haven’t (it’s a pretty big deal!)–you probably know that the March Madness championship tournament is just around the corner! To kick off the round one games and celebrate your favorite teams advancing the bracket (or cheering on the Cinderella story of a major upset!), we’re hosting a March Madness event at our brand new multi-floor headquarters on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.

About this Event

Date:March 16, 2017
Time:3:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Place:AHEAD’s office
401 N. Michigan Ave.
Suite 3400
Chicago, IL 60611

Together with our sponsors, Dell EMC, VMware, Cisco, AppDynamics, Citrix, Nutanix, HashiCorp, and ServiceNow, we’re hosting March Madness on Thursday, March 16, from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. At this event, you can expect demonstrations from our staff and partners on innovative cloud technologies, countless opportunities for networking with fellow IT professionals, and plenty of free food and drink to enjoy while you watch the games on 10-foot projection screens. In between demonstrations, enjoy the views from our 35th floor penthouse with unobstructed views of Lake Michigan where you can participate in games and activities for your chance to win Chicago Bulls tickets and other cool prizes.

Best of all, AHEAD and all of our sponsors will be available for one-on-one conversations and networking with expert advisors and staff attendees. Come to March Madness for food, fun, and basketball, and leave with your own strategy for accelerating your cloud adoption! This event will be “open house”-style, so stop by anytime you can before 8:00!

About the Sessions

Beginning at 3:45 p.m. AHEAD staff and selected partners will be presenting and giving demonstrations on innovative cloud technologies and solutions. AHEAD will kick off the presentations and then each of our partner sessions will run simultaneously. The partners will each give their presentations twice so you won’t miss the ones on your must-see list.

An Introduction to AHEAD’s Cloud Delivery Framework (3:45 p.m.)

To kick off AHEAD’s March Madness event, Solutions Principal, John Cole, will introduce AHEAD’s Cloud Delivery Framework (CDF); the CDF is the comprehensive framework developed by AHEAD that enables IT to adopt and accelerate the delivery of applications and infrastructure to the business. John will walk us through the five core platform solutions–Cloud Management and Operations, Data and Analytics, DevOps, End-User Computing, and Cloud Infrastructure–and their components to discuss how your organization can break down barriers, accelerate service delivery, and increase transparency throughout the business.

Using Automation and Orchestration to Create Self-Healing Applications (4:15 p.m.)

Join AHEAD’s Technical Architect, Tim Carr, and Senior Technical Architect, Tim Franklin, to learn how application monitoring data from Cisco AppDynamics allows us to create self-healing applications hosted on vSphere and AWS. By integrating Cisco UCS-Director, we respond to capacity challenges by creating and destroying additional application servers in our demo application. This process shows how we can reduce operational overhead through orchestration and automation, reducing the number of manual changes in the environment.

Leveraging VMware’s vRealize Suite as Part of Your Cloud Strategy (4:30 p.m.)

AHEAD’s Technical Architect, Tim Carr, will jump into our lab vRA and vRO instance to show off how vRA and vRO can be used as the CMP portion of your organization’s cloud strategy. AHEAD will highlight how vRA and vRO can be used together to design meaningful business services. We will discuss the differences between vRA and vRO and highlight how they tie together to form a cohesive stack. Over the course of the session we’ll highlight why a Portal, Orchestrator, and Configuration Management engines are all needed for this process.

Automated Provisioning of Amazon WorkSpaces with ServiceNow (4:30 p.m.)

Nick Frank, AHEAD’s Practice Lead of End-User Computing, will give a demonstration showing you how to leverage custom-built workflows in ServiceNow to deploy Amazon WorkSpaces via a self-service portal. This uses AWS CloudFormation and Amazon WorkSpaces APIs to provision a new Amazon WorkSpace from a custom image template. With this automation, organizations can control costs per user and provide transparency into their end-user computing environment.

Bringing Cloud Benefits to On-Premises Infrastructure with Nutanix (4:30 p.m.)

In this session, Technical Architect, Yon Ubago, will present AHEAD’s perspective of the HCI market. He will uncover the history of HCI, the major players in the market, and the primary reasons our customers are investing in HCI. He will also highlight market adoption and common use cases and will explore some of the key attributes of the Nutanix platform.

Dell EMC Modern Data Center Enabling the Future-Ready Enterprise and Digital Transformation (5:00 p.m. & 5:35 p.m.)

In this session, Dell EMC’s Adam Mozill, Infrastructure Sales, National Team Lead, will discuss the digital transformation that’s evolved over the last 20 years and continues to do so as we look toward the future. From building and managing infrastructure to the rise of mobile devices, cloud computing, and IoT, the next 15 years ahead will look very different when it comes to meeting customer demands. And because every customer is unique and can’t just start over and acquiesce to new developments, this session will focus on discussing how Dell EMC is delivering future-ready solutions to help bridge the gap between both traditional and new IT solutions.

Citrix + Microsoft = Any Cloud! (5:00 p.m. and 5:35 p.m.)

In this session presented by Ashfaq Iqbal, Principal Sales Engineer at Citrix, he’ll be discussing recent major announcements revolving around Microsoft and the cloud that came out of Citrix’s annual partner conference, Citrix Summit, earlier this year. He’ll provide a high-level overview of the latest developments around the Citrix and Microsoft partnership and discuss Citrix’s overall cloud strategy.

Secrets Management at Scale with HashiCorp Vault (5:00 p.m. and 5:35 p.m.)

HashiCorp, a San Francisco-based company focused on helping organizations with their journey to the hybrid cloud, works to empower organizations with a common approach to provision, secure, and run any infrastructure for any application. In this session led by HashiCorp’s Senior Solutions Engineer, Brian Green, see how HashiCorp Vault Enterprise can provide you with a highly-available and secure way of storing and exposing secrets to applications and end users such as encryption keys, API tokens, and database credentials. When you attend this session, you’ll learn how HashiCorp can help your organization secure secrets across any infrastructure.


Registration for March Madness at AHEAD is now open and FREE for attendees. Sign up now to enjoy the games at our new office on March 16!

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