By: Amy Wohl (email@example.com)
The best reason to go to a conference or briefing is to learn something new.
By that standard, IBM's briefing on Linux and OPen Standards was a standout.
My favorite part was information on IBM's new thinking on improving the performance and agility of enterprise data centers by a kind of simplification. They want to organize work into like types of Ensembles and then distribute these Ensembles across a virtualized infrastructure. The more modular work is, the easier it is to organize in this fashion, and SOA style architecture is used to connect the services in the ensembles.
IBM refers to the whole thing as a cloud, but they mean an enterprise data center. Since we also use the term cloud to mean shared infrastructure accessed via the Internet (as in Amazon's E-3), we may need another term -- or a footnote.
Also lots of lively discussions about how to use IBM's Expeditor tools (they come with its Symphony office productivity suite, a version of OpenOffice) to create custom widgets to extend the user experience and integrate existing customer applications. All runninng (among other places) on Linux.