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Zenoss #GalaxZ18 User Conference Recap


Last week, I had the pleasure of once again being invited to attend the now 4th annual Zenoss GalaxZ 2018 User Conference which took place in my home town of Austin, TX.   Austin may be the home of the breakfast taco, 1.5 million bats, 1,000+ food trucks and 250+ live music venues, but from June 20-22, 2018, the city transformed itself into the "Live Monitoring Capital of the World" as Zenoss, a leader in hybrid IT monitoring and analytics software, brought back its annual Zenoss GalaxZ global user conference to the downtown area.

If you follow Zenoss on Twitter (@Zenoss) you know they often make use of #CustomersForLife in their Tweets ... but if you really follow them, you know this isn't just a hashtag.  Zenoss believes in "customers for life" and that they are "better together," driving IT innovation to support a unique ecosystem.  Customer focus permeates the halls at the company HQ every day of the year, and that feeling or message gets multiplied at its user conference as they surround themselves with valued partners and customers.

This year, Zenoss welcomed over 600 customers and partners to the JW Marriott hotel, a fantastic venue for this event.  GalaxZ promoted learning, facilitated networking and cultivated collaboration among business leaders, industry experts and IT practitioners who build, manage and improve the future of hybrid IT monitoring for global enterprise organizations.  The event featured a diverse lineup of acts - from some of the industry's top visionaries, two days of on-site training, new product announcements, a host of breakout sessions, networking with industry experts and three live Austin bands and DJs.

The keynotes this year were once again educational and thought provoking, thanks to folks like Tom Mendoza, Vice Chair of NetApp, who gave an inspiring keynote talk about how to play a vital part in your company's corporate culture, ensuring its success for the future.  Right after Tom Mendoza shared his wisdom, Nancy Gohring, Senior Analyst, Application and Infrastructure Performance, 451 Research hit the stage to share key trends shaping IT today.  Attendees also heard from Mark Schwartz, Enterprise Strategist and Evangelist of AWS and author of The Art of Business Value and A Seat at the Table: IT Leadership in the Age of Agility.  Schwartz shared his insights about digital transformation strategies in the most complex IT environments and his experiences and strategies for increasing speed and agility with the cloud while at the same time devoting more resources to customers.  And finally, Google Cloud's Brian Matsubara, who leads the Strategic Initiatives team for Google Cloud's Global Technology Partner ecosystem, closed things out by sharing how Google is designing, launching and running innovative programs that are squarely focused on the success of software-defined IT operations.

The conference was made up of high-profile speakers from customers and partners of dynamic organizations such as Google Cloud, ServiceNow, Grainger, NetApp, NTT DATA to name but a few, covering IT Ops, DevOps and network management.  Sessions and discussions ran the gamut, and covered insight on strategies for enabling businesses through improved IT service health in hybrid IT environments, the latest best practices from Zenoss subject matter experts, Instructor-led hands-on technical training courses and certifications, and of course, wrapping up the event by honoring its partners and customers with the annual Z Awards, which recognized exceptional innovation, leadership and collaboration efforts.

But the big announcement at the show came from Brian Wilson, the company's chief customer officer, when he introduced a brand new solution called Zenoss Cloud, a true SaaS, multi-tenant intelligent operations management platform.  Wilson told attendees that "Zenoss Cloud incorporates the best of what Zenoss has historically delivered so well in a modern platform at incredible scale."

Wilson went on to explain, "Zenoss Cloud enables businesses to eliminate blind spots throughout their data centers, even as they deploy new technologies, cloud resources, microservices and IoT resources." 


Some of the key features found in Zenoss Cloud include:

  • Collection and contextual analytics for all data types, including metrics, model data, events, logs, agent data, application performance data, network performance data and ad hoc data
  • Virtually unlimited scale, including streaming and analytics capacity for machine data volumes and number of systems that can be monitored
  • Powerful machine learning capabilities to automate issue root cause, helping to predict and eliminate IT outages for cloud, on-premises and hybrid environments
  • Unmatched 99.9975% reduction in alert noise and false positives, immediately isolating actionable events and eliminating fatigue
  • Management of dynamic environments driven by ephemeral systems like containers and microservices with out-of-box support for Docker, Kubernetes and more
  • Seamless integration with other ITOM technologies to accelerate and automate resolution
  • Industry-leading built-in security at the chip level
  • Continuous innovation and enhancements through a true multi-tenant cloud platform

Something new this year that I wanted to also make sure and shine a light on was the first annual GalaxZ Women in Tech Luncheon.  Zenoss teamed up with Nutanix, one of their industry partners and a (spoiler alert) 2018 Z Award winner, to bring this luncheon event together.  The lunch quickly grew in size as word of mouth spread, ultimately bringing together a large group of very talented individuals across the spectrum of the technology field.  Lunch attendees had the opportunity to hear from a group of fantastic speakers such as Megan Lueders, chief marketing officer at Zenoss, Nalini Belaramani, engineering leader at Google Cloud, and Lynn Atchison, chief financial officer at Spredfast, and Rachel Gallaway, director of customer success at Zenoss.  In addition to the tech lunch initiative, Zenoss also teamed up with Nutanix to raise money to be donated to the global nonprofit group: Girls in Tech.

"As the number of women in technology continues to increase, the importance of a more inclusive tech community that empowers women and actively participates in the conversation is greater than ever," said Megan Lueders, chief marketing officer of Zenoss.  

And finally, when in Austin, eat BBQ and tacos and listen to some incredible local Austin musical talent.  And that's exactly what happened, as Zenoss GalaxZ took over Brazos Hall with its Zenoss City Limits Festival so that attendees could enjoy great food, drinks and conversation, and then listen to the musical talents of local legend Bob Schneider. 


At the conclusion of the event each year, I ask the Zenoss GalaxZ event team, "How are you going to beat this next year?"  And so far, year after year, they've done it.  I can't wait to see what Zenoss GalaxZ19 looks like.  Keep raising the bar!

If you weren't able to attend, you can check out some of my GalaxZ18 photos.

Once again, a special thank you to the Zenoss team for the invite to this year's event.

Published Friday, June 29, 2018 4:31 PM by David Marshall
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