Interop China has been growing steadily since its inception in 2013. It is part of the Cloud Connect conference in Shanghai. This year the conference will feature both DevOps and DevSecOps tracks and talks. Jayne Groll of the DevOps Institute is the DevOps track chair and Alan Shimel of DevOps.com and Security Boulevard is speaking at DevSecOps.com. We sat down with Molly Huang and Kelly Yao of UBM China to discuss this year’s event.
Molly and Kelly give us a little of the history of Interop & Cloud Connect China, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into selecting tracks and putting on a major event such as this. It is also a great look into the tech scene in China.
As usual, the streaming audio of our conversation is below followed by the transcript of our conversation.
Alan Shimel: Hey, everyone. This is Alan Shimel.
Jayne Groll: And this is Jayne Groll.
Shimel: And you’re listening to a combined podcast tonight of DevOps Chat, along with Continuous Chit Chat, which is, of course, the podcast from The DevOps Institute and the Community of Continuous Learning.
Groll: Hi, Alan, how are you? I don’t think we’ve done a podcast together in a little bit, huh?
Shimel: Well, we—[Laughter] that’s what happens when you travel around the world.
Shimel: And I’m traveling as well, but we have certainly been on opposite ends of the world, and that’s actually a great lead-in to tonight’s show, Jayne, where we talk about traveling around the world, because we’re happy and lucky to have two of our colleagues coming to us from China today. We have Kelly Yao, who’s a Project Manager at UBM in China, and Molly Wong, who works with UBM for Interop China, and it was a Cloud event, wasn’t it?
Kelly, Molly—welcome to our podcast.
Molly Wong: Hi! Hello, Jayne. Hello, Alan.
Kelly Yao: Hi, Jayne and Alan.
Shimel: Thank you.
Wong: It’s really nice to help out.
Shimel: Ladies, thank you. Molly, besides Interop China, what was the Cloud event you mentioned?
Wong: Okay. So, the whole name of our event is Interop and Cloud Connect China.
Shimel: Ah, I got it.
Groll: So, it’s one event?
Shimel: Yes, so—
Groll: It’s one single event.
Shimel: Got it.
Wong: Yeah, it’s one single event.
Shimel: Interop and Cloud Event China. Very good. Now, Molly, if you don’t mind me asking you, many people in our audience, I’m sure, are familiar with the Interop name. It’s been one of the top IT shows here in the United States for 20 plus years. But they may not be familiar that China has an Interop event. How long has Interop China been held? How many years?
Wong: So, as we all know, Interop is an international event focused on information technologies and the ecosystems of the cloud community. But when it was first introduced to China in 2013, however, only the deliberation of cloud computing was capped, because at that time, Chinese companies were just at the same point switching from hardware to cloud services for cost reduction.
So, that’s why, initially, the Interop China event is not called Interop, it was called Cloud Connect China.
Shimel: Ah, interesting!
Groll: And I was gonna ask, and it kind of makes some sense, if you think of Interop as an international event, which is really about operations, and Cloud Connect certainly is about operations. So, it sounds like, Molly, that the approach here was really to produce an event that spoke to not only cloud from an operational perspective, but also just IT operations in general. Is that correct?
Wong: Yes, because, you know, UBM, by its nature, is an event organizer. So, we have to keep up with the global trends and add different burning topics into the conference every year so as to make the event more compelling.
Wong: So, this year—and Alan, if you don’t mind, let me ask a little bit about DevOps. Because, as you know, I’m gonna be the track chair for the DevOps track. So, tell us why you decided to add a DevOps track to Interop, and even including DevSecOps, which is a security—obviously, DevOps and Security.
So, what are you hoping to come out of the DevOps track?
Wong: You are asking me, or Kelly?
Groll: Either one. We haven’t heard from Kelly, so maybe Kelly wants to answer.
Wong: Okay, I will answer that for Kelly, because I’m mainly responsible for the content.
Wong: So, I think nowadays, the technological benefits of DevOps is very obvious, and organizations that successfully implement DevOps, implement DevOps tools and practices in general, they tend to be ahead of their competitors across key metrics like profitability and growth. So, that’s why the Chinese DevOps communities are growing so fast, as a lot of professionals are flocking into the DevOps ________ and to learn and adapt.
So, from our part, we think we would love to contribute to build up a platform for these lovers and learners to communicate, to collaborate, and to excel.
Shimel: Excellent. Jayne—so, Molly, if you don’t mind, I’d like to hear from Kelly a little bit. Kelly, in your role of Program Manager, how are you sourcing content? Where is the content for the DevOps and the DevSecOps and so forth? Is it internal to the Chinese community? Are you bringing in also people from around the international DevOps community? You know, I imagine it must be quite a job putting this all together.
Kelly Yao: Yes, yes. Exactly. Like, for us, it’s just a platform. We are an event organizer. So, we are not professionals who are familiar with this content. So, what we do is, we will have a—what is it? Like—
Wong: An advisory board.
Kelly Yao: – yeah, advisory board. So, we will have the board meeting like twice a year to put up all the content. So, this year, we decided to put this DevOps tracks, and so, it will benefit our event, it will benefit the whole content for this event. So, that’s when, but you recommended it to us—you and Jayne recommended it to us by Interop ITX, because it’s like—yeah. We’re like partners, so both Interop ITX and Interop China, we’re working together to deliver the content.
And so, when we decided to make the DevOps tracks and then that we reached out to you at DevOps.com and also for Jayne—
Wong: Yes, for Jayne at the DevOps Institute.
Kelly Yao: – yeah, DevOps Institute. And, of course, you are the expertise that—you are the experts, that you will know how to make the content right and how to recruit speakers for, the most suitable speakers for this content, for this topic.
Shimel: Understood. Fantastic. And ladies, how has—you know, from what we understand, and of course, we’re on the other side of the world, but it’s a small world in today’s Internet, right? We’re all connected.
Wong: Uh huh, yeah.
Shimel: We know that the DevOps community in China is, as you said, Molly, is growing very fast. It’s already very large, and I’m wondering, what kind of have you gotten from the community about adding the DevOps tracks? Has it been a positive reaction?
Wong: I think everybody here are fully aware of the benefits of DevOps. But, you know, the challenges of actual adoption remain huge. Because, you know, for the DevOps design for the architecture, it’s all about the tradeoffs. The development of DevOps in China now stands between the early and middle age, because, for the DevOps professionals, they need to consider what they deem as the most important thing and what are they willing to sacrifice or give up for and, really, how to lower the costs when running in a public cloud.
So, I think there are a lot of concerns. There is a need to figure out the full implementation.
Shimel: Understood. And, you know, Molly, just—Interop ITX in Las Vegas is a large show, thousands and thousands of people. How big is Interop China? How many attendees do you expect?
Wong: I think the estimated number would be around 3,000.\
Shimel: That’s a big, that’s a—
Wong: Yeah. Each year, like—
Groll: It’s a nice sized continent, you know?
Wong: – around 3,000 people are coming to—yes, 3,000.
Shimel: Very interesting. And, you know, DevOps is great, but give our listeners a sense—what are some of the other tracks about, besides DevOps?
Wong: Besides DevOps, this year, we also have AI—
Kelly Yao: Artificial intelligence—
Wong: – big data—
Kelly Yao: – big data, and data mining.
Kelly Yao: Yeah, as well as information security.
Wong: Information security, yes.
Shimel: Mm-hmm. So, I have to tell you ladies that listening to both of you talk about the challenges of DevOps and what other areas are of interest to the crowd, you know, to the community in China, it really is a very small world. Because these are the same issues, the same topics that we see here in the United States, it’s the same thing that we see in London and in the rest of Europe. Jayne, you can talk, you were just at a few conferences in Europe.
There are some things that just seem to be universal in today’s technology scene, and everyone is excited about artificial intelligence and machine learning. Cyber security information or InfoSec is top of mind; every day, we seem to hear of more breaches and hacking. And, of course, DevOps is very exciting.
Jayne, as Molly said, you are the DevOps chair for Interop China. I mean, that’s very exciting. Give us a little idea of what you’ve done in your role there.
Groll: So, I’m also the DevOps Track Chair for Interop ITX U.S. So, it’s been very fascinating working with both teams, because, you know, Alan, as you said, the challenges, the successes, the emerging practices in DevOps in particular are very, very universal. And some are starting to emerge differently. Some are, for example, to start, reliability engineering in the U.S. is starting to gain some momentum. I’m not sure, specifically, around the world, but I do know in Asia-PAC ________, there’s conferences like that as well. So, that’s an emerging practice.
Looking at continuous delivery and how it relates to operations is a theme that’s carrying through from both conferences. So, I’m particularly excited about really visiting with the Chinese community, as you know, DevOps Institute is a very, very global organization, and really having some face to face time, bringing content, bringing learning to Interop China and the Cloud Connect.
The other thing we’re gonna do at this event is, we’re gonna do some DevOps training. So, working with one of our Chinese partners, we’re going to do a half-day Essential DevOps workshop. So, for those that are not even so much, “What is DevOps?” but really, a visit to, “What are these practices?” like continuous integration, continuous delivery. I mentioned site reliability engineering. So, in addition to a traditional conference program, we’re going to also bring a half-day workshop to Interop China and Cloud Connect. So, I’m really very, very excited about that in particular. And we will have one of our Chinese colleagues, one of our Chinese partners deliver it so that it can be localized, and he’ll bring not only being able to deliver it in a native Chinese language, but also bring some very, very good local examples and case studies to the training as well.
Shimel: Excellent, excellent. You know what? We didn’t really get the details that, Kelly and Molly, if you can share with us, what are the dates for Interop China?
Wong: Yeah, it will kick off on May the 9th to 11th this year.
Shimel: Okay, and it’s in Shanghai.
Groll: In Shanghai—in Shanghai.
Shimel: Yes, it is, it’s in Shanghai.
Wong: Yeah, in Shanghai.
Shimel: And for people who may be listening to our podcast who are in the area or maybe would like to attend, where can they go on the web to get information about that?
Wong: Yeah, sure. They can register online through our official web portal, cloudconnectevent.com.
Shimel: And that is for Interop China. So, this—if I’m understanding, this is the fifth year for the event.
Wong: Actually, it’s the sixth year, yeah.
Shimel: Sixth year—yes. So, Molly and Kelly, how many years have you been involved with the event?
Wong: Yeah, actually, we two are—we’re jumping into this platform, this event from last year, 2017.
Shimel: And so, from ’17 to ’18, do you see a big change?
Wong: Yes. I think the market is changing itself. Like, most of our exhibitors, sponsors, most of the cloud enterprises, they’re changing themselves and also their knowledge, their application on the technology. So, it’s changing themselves, and also ________, it’s like, we’re also changing our content to adapt to the market.
Shimel: Like any good event organizer should, correct? You’ve got to adapt to what the market is there.
Shimel: Well, I have to tell you that I am personally very excited to be coming to Shanghai and delivering a presentation on DevSecOps and why security, it’s vital that security become part of the DevOps equation, we’ll talk more about it. And to be there with Jayne and Jayne will be delivering as well, as well as some DevOps Institute training. It promises to be a great event for the Chinese DevOps community as well.
Molly and Kelly, I want to thank you for joining us. We’re just about out of time, unfortunately. But—
Shimel: – this was great. We’re looking forward to coming out to Shanghai in May, and we’re hoping that this will be a tremendous event, and we hope to see you there soon. Thanks very much for joining us tonight.
Groll: Really enjoyed it.
Wong: Thank you, Alan and Jayne.
Shimel: Thank you.
Groll: And maybe we could do a podcast from the event.
Shimel: That would be great!
Groll: So, let’s—you know, [Cross talk] maybe we can do a live podcast from the event.
Wong: Yeah, yeah. We’re really excited to see those in the event.
Wong: And I’m also looking forward to—yeah, looking forward to the podcast if we can have, on site, the Interop China.
Shimel: That would be fantastic. Jayne, I’m gonna give you the last word tonight.
Groll: [Laughter] Well, thank you. Molly, Kelly—it’s a pleasure to work with you. For those that are listening, if you do have the ability to attend, it really does promise to be not only a fantastic event, but an event where there’s lots of opportunities to learn and really track some of the emerging trends not only in DevOps, but particularly on the operational space. So, if you’re going to be in Shanghai, we all look forward to meeting with you. Molly, Kelly—see you in a few weeks. Alan, see you in a few weeks. And for everyone, thanks for listening.
Shimel: You’ve just listened to a Continuous Chit Chat and DevOps Chat. Have a great day, everyone! Bye bye.