Whether you’re an IT administrator, developer, or just a business owner who likes to keep a firm ear to the ground, monitoring certain events throughout the year can help you identify what’s hot in technology, sharpen your business acumen, and even gain a competitive edge. The following is a list of dates you’ll want to mark on the calendar in order to make the most of your IT efforts in 2015.
(January 6-9, 2015)
The new year will commence with a bang when the 2015 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show comes back to Las Vegas. CES is a global event that attracts a worldwide audience to see the unveiling of the latest innovations in consumer-oriented gadgets, gear, and software. The event has played host to some of the biggest introductions in the history of modern technology, including the first CD player, HDTV, and Microsoft’s Xbox console. Last year’s shindig brought out a record-breaking crowd of 160,498 people.
Windows 7 End of Mainstream Support
(January 13, 2015)
Microsoft is giving users another reason to upgrade to Windows 8 or higher. In early January the technology firm will be ending mainstream support for Windows 7. The end of mainstream support means users across all Windows 7 platforms will no longer receive service packs that deliver new features and functionality. However, when mainstream support ends, extended support will officially go into effect, so users still receive security updates and fixes until the period ends in 2020.
Windows Server 2008 End of Mainstream Support
(January 15, 2015)
Windows Server 2008, Microsoft’s wildly successful server operating system, was originally slated to have its mainstream support yanked on July 9, 2013. The platform bought itself another 18 months with the launch of Windows Server 2012. In the Microsoft ecosystem, mainstream support is available during the software’s first five years on the market, offering free enhancements that include security updates, patches, and additional features. Through extended support, Server 2008 will still receive security updates and patches until its final expiration date on January, 14, 2020.
World Backup Day
(March 31, 2015)
In 2015, World Backup Day will fall on the eve of April Fool’s Day. You’ve probably guessed that World Backup Day is designed to create awareness around the scary reality of data loss and the importance of protecting your IT assets through backing up. But it’s more than that. This tech holiday is also observed to encourage IT administrators to test the effectiveness of their backup strategy. So if you haven’t already, designate March 31 as the day you make sure you can find and more importantly, restore the files, folders, and volumes you’ve stored on backup media. Don’t be a fool!
Interop Las Vegas
(April 27, May 1, 2015)
Put together by London-based media giant UBM plc, Interop is an international tradeshow designed to bring the global IT community together to share in vendor technology sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities. The show is annually held at five different locations, and the Las Vegas event usually serves as the opening kickoff. Interop Las Vegas 2015 is set to feature several key technology players, including Axis Communications, Barracuda Networks, Cisco, and virtualization leader VMware (who StorageCraft recently integrated with via plugin), who will offer up close and personal demonstrations of future products and innovations.
Google I/O 2015
(June 24-26, 2015)
Founded in 2008, Google I/O is a two-day developer-friendly conference Google holds each year at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. The search giant’s “Innovation in the Open” gathering features sessions focused on developing apps for web, mobile, and business use, as well as open Google technologies such as Android, Chrome, and Google Web Toolkit. Since 2009, I/O attendees have been treated to Android phones, tablets, Chromebooks, and other cool gadget giveaways.
While I continue to bumble my way around Windows 8 and still rely on XP in backup situations, the world is gearing up for the launch of Windows 10. The next chapter in Microsoft’s OS saga aims to make up for the shortcomings of its predecessor. In addition to a new and improved Start menu, file system, and support for legacy systems, the upcoming OS includes virtual desktops, multitasking in quad-style split screens, and what looks to be a connected app ecosystem. Windows 10 doesn’t launch until the middle of the year, but you can get your hands on a preview starting January 21, 2015.
Windows Server 2003 End of Life
(July 14, 2015)
At one time, Windows Server 2003 was the heart of the IT infrastructure for companies big and small. Well Microsoft has decided to move on and officially pull the plug on its old enterprise OS. With Server 2003 on the clock, organizations have to quickly devise their migration plans because EOF creates added vulnerabilities due to a lack of patching ,security updates, and general support. Things could get rather chaotic in some IT shops as reports show that an estimated 20 million-plus machines are still running Windows Server 2003.
System Administrator Appreciation Day
(July 31, 2015)
Started back in the year 2000, System Administrator Appreciation Day pays homage to the maestros of IT, the unsung heroes of companies around the world. Although they’re normally hidden behind the scenes, these professionals work diligently to keep the software up to date, the website up and running, and the network secure. IT administrators are often viewed in a Rodney Dangerfield type of light so on this day, we show our appreciation by showering them with thank you cards, pizza parties, and a proverbial tilt of the hat.
(September 15 – 18, 2015)
Organized by enterprise CRM leader Salesforce.com, Dreamforce is one of the world’s biggest events dedicated to cloud computing. Since 2003, hundreds of vendors and tens of thousands of people have been gathering at the Moscone Convention Center to share in moving keynote speeches, interactive sessions, and prosperous networking opportunities while discussing the emerging trends driving innovation in IT. Whether you attend or not, simply following the Dreamforce buzz across the digital landscape can help successfully balance mobile, social media, and other trends with your IT efforts.
Gartner Data Center Conference 2015
(December 7 – 10, 2015)
A leading authority in the IT space, Gartner is one of the most trusted sources on topics ranging from big data and cloud computing to mobile communications and virtualization. The firm’s Data Center Conference is among the largest of its kind, luring IT leaders from the world over to discuss the most pressing topics, trends, and technologies in the industry. The recent event took an in-depth look at fast growing enterprise concepts like web-scale IT as well as the zombie virtual machines that are steadily draining IT budgets while quietly stalking through public cloud infrastructures.
I know you’ve got at least one 2015 calendar ready to hang up. What IT-focused dates are you most looking forward to?
Top Photo Credit: Tech Cocktail via Flickr