Highlights from Southern California Linux Expo

On the road again! I spent this past weekend at the Southern California Linux Expo, also known as SCALE. This was the 13th year of this conference, and my 5th year of attending. SCALE is the largest community-organized and operated conference in the United States, with approximately 3,000 people in attendance this year. While I suspect a large portion of that audience is from the southern California area, there were attendees and speakers present from all over the world for 4 days of talks, trainings, learning, and fun.

As with most conferences, there was an expo hall, which is where Suyog Rao, Kurt Hurtado, Katy Wendland, and myself spent the majority of our time talking to folks either coming by the booth, or visiting other open source projects at their booths. Kurt and Suyog had a demo going on our table, capturing the Twitter stream for the conference (#SCALE13x), which caught many folks' eyes. (Including those of Larry Cafiero, who is in charge of social media for the SCALE conference; not surprisingly, he was the most prolific tweeter at the event.)

Of course, as a conference with its roots in the Linux community, there were many Linux enthusiasts present, as well as many folks who have careers in systems administration. For many of these attendees, there was familiarity with Logstash, but not necessarily with the rest of the ELK stack. But in seeing the demo we had going, many were curious about other ways Elasticsearch and Kibana could be combined with their existing Logstash instances for more sysadmin-focused purposes. Kurt and Suyog pulled together a demo for an Apache web server logging case using the newly released Kibana 4, which I think definitely was more relatable for many of the attendees.

Another highlight of the conference for us was the Elasticsearch Birds of a Feather (BoF) session, in the prime-time slot of 7pm on Friday night. With 60+ people in attendance over the course of the hour, Suyog and Kurt gave an overview of the ELK stack, handled questions, and encouraged sharing of stories like pros! Wrapping up the evening we were fortunate enough to have a ticket to Elastic{On} to give away, and with some attendees hailing from the northern part of California and thus easily able to attend, we drew names out of a hat for the lucky winner.

Speaking of Elastic{On} — this will be my next major event to which I'm travelling. This is our first user conference, coming up soon on March 9 – 11 in San Francisco, California. I'm looking forward to meeting many of you there!

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