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Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO, Cloudflare, speaks at the 2018 GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Our second annual GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit brought together some of the most interesting people in cloud computing for a full day of talks, interviews, and presentations that painted a clearer picture of this fast-changing world.

Over 600 people joined us Wednesday at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue a little more than a year after our first Cloud Tech Summit to hear from speakers at top cloud companies like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google, as well as several Seattle-area startups that are defining the next generation of the technology and tools that will be used to build the tech products and companies of the future.

Microsoft introduces new data and edge-computing services for Azure customers at the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit

Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

The day kicked off with Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich announcing several new features for edge computing and data storage in the cloud. He also shared his view of Microsoft’s recent GitHub acquisition, and explained why the promise of the blockchain is starting to become real.

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Carlos Guestrin, senior director of machine learning and AI, Apple and University of Washington professor. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Carlos Guestrin of Apple and the University of Washington followed with an interesting and inspiring talk on the role machine learning should play in tech products and society, warning aspiring machine-learning users to be careful about the data they use to inform their systems.

David vs. Goliath in the cloud: Do investors see an opening for startups to take on AWS and Azure?

Madrona Venture Group’s Tim Porter, left, and Tola Capital’s Sheila Gulati on stage at the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Our business track focused on the money-making opportunities in the cloud, as venture capitalists identified the areas that they’re betting will produce big returns.

“If we found the right entrepreneur, who came to us and said ‘we are going to go start something that is going to take on AWS’ … If they have the right approach, absolutely,” said Chris Kelly, principal of DFJ.

Why some CIOs are walking, not running, to the cloud

(L to R): Charu Jain, CIO, Alaska Airlines; Janice Newell, CIO, Providence St. Joseph Health speak at the 2018 GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

The CIO panel provided the reality check, reminding everyone in attendance that there are lots of companies that need to move slowly into the cloud and modern software development practices to avoid breaking their businesses. And three Seattle-area CEOs — Geeman Yip of BitTitan, Michel Feaster of Usermind, and Joe Duffy of Pulumi — shared their view of the modern cloud and what it takes to build a business amid some of the tech industry’s biggest companies.

Who will win the cloud? CEOs offer wildly differing picks on the tech titan with the greatest opportunity ahead

(L to R): Michel Feaster, CEO, Usermind; Joe Duffy, CEO, Pulumi. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

“The idea that there is going to be one monolithic AWS or Azure — no way,” Feaster said. “Abstraction will emerge, Kubernetes, multicloud, containers, that’s where value moves. To me it’s just the same ideas being repeated.”

Upstairs, tech tracks continued throughout the day on artificial intelligence and machine learning, serverless computing, DevOps, SaaS, and hybrid cloud.

Jin Zhang, Director, Product Management VMware & Hybrid Computing, Amazon (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)
Susan Galbraith, Sr. Manager of Software Development, Smartsheet (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)
Donna Malayeri, Product and Community Manager, Pulumi (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

A highlight of the event was the lunch session hosted by Stripe that focused on “the engineer’s path” and the importance of diversity and inclusion in any organization.

The diversity and inclusion panel, hosted by Stripe, at the 2018 GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)
(L to R): Dana Fried, Google; Amy Chen, Heptio, at the 2018 GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)
(L to R) Uma Chingunde and Amy Nguyen, Stripe, at the 2018 GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)
Emily Fox, Amazon Professor of Machine Learning, University of Washington (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Amazon Web Services’ Peter DeSantis, vice president of global infrastructure and customer support, closed out the event discussing some of the recent advances the cloud leader has made in developing custom silicon for evolving cloud workloads.

Peter DeSantis, vice president of global infrastructure and customer support, Amazon Web Services, speaks at the 2018 GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

It was also fun welcoming back Guillaume Wiatr, who sketched drawings inspired by on-stage interviews and presentations.

Check out some candid shots from the photo booth here:

A big thanks to the presenting sponsor of the 2018 GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit: Salesforce.

Also, thanks to gold sponsors: OfferUpStripeExpediaF5, Joyent, University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education and Skytap.

And to our silver, supporting and exhibitor sponsors: City of BellevueMozAcumaticaColocation NorthwestAvalaraFirst Tech Federal Credit UnionBellevue College, Imperva, Foster School of Business, Pluralsight, Procogia, Acute Angle, AWS and Qumulo.

We’ll see you all at our next event, the GeekWire Summit, Oct. 1-3, at the Sheraton Seattle.

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