Parallels Summit – If you were thinking of going: GO.

This year’s New Orleans event resonated all the best qualities of hosting industry conventions: Deep sessions, Great keynotes, Interesting venue, and, of course, Excellent networking opportunities.

We typically post answers to server-related questions or how-tos for common server-related tasks, but today it seems like giving Parallels a little love is well deserved as many of our readers deploy at least one Parallels product and many more could benefit from a deeper understanding of APS and the future of Cloud Computing. To both audiences, I say this: Parallels Summit 2015 will be in San Antonio next February (9th to 11th); add that to your Google calendar today.

Here is what you missed this week:

• Parallels Automation Workshop with structured Lab activities and Business Consulting Best Practices (with Exams)
• Application Packaging Standard (APS 2) Training Workshop including Labs and Go-To-Market Best Practices (with Exam)
• Parallels Plesk Panel: Professional Level Training Workshop
• Parallels Cloud Server: Professional Level Training Workshop

• Birger Steen (CEO of Parallels)
Putting the cloud to work for real businesses. Proven models for success in a true multi-service world.
• Blake Irving (CEO and Board Director of GoDaddy)
Mashing Up The Future of Cloud Services
• Abhijit Dubey (Partner at McKinsey & Company)
Big Business in Small Business: 5 Strategies to Win in Cloud Services
• Serguei Beloussov (Exec. Chairman and Chief Architect)
Cloud computing is now IT. Play to your strengths to win the business customer
• Nicholas G. Carr (Best-Selling Author of The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google)
Building A Bridge to the Cloud

Breakout Sessions:
Track 1
• Show and Tell: Exclusive First Look at New APS 2 Packages
• APS Roadmap: Creating New Channels and Enhancing Integration
• Technical Deep Dive: Building APS Packages that Expand Market Opportunity
• APS Lifecycle: Building Packages, Landing Deployments and Selling Services
• Technical Deep Dive: Build User Experiences that Drive Sales and Maximize Usage Like Never Before
• APS Lifecycle: Accelerate Developer Productivity with New APS Tools and Resources

Track 2
• Key Market Trends to Refine Your Parallels Automation-based Cloud Services Offerings
• Insights into the SMB Customer Experience to Increase Wallet Share for Cloud Services
• Building a Channel Strategy That Goes Beyond the Online Marketplace
• Taking Advantage of APS Ecosystem and Microsoft to Differentiate Your Cloud Portfolio
• The Parallels Automation Vision and Roadmap
• Beyond the Sale: What Parallels is Doing to Help You Grow

Track 3
• Long Live Hosting: Using Solution-based Offers to Re-position Your Business and Reach New Audiences with Plesk
• Protect Your Network and Grow from the WordPress Opportunity
• Protect Your Assets with Server-to-site Security for Hosting
• Parallels Plesk Technical Deep Dive: Tips & Tricks
• Parallels Plesk Automation Technical Deep Dive
• Websites that Sell: Top Digital Optimization Strategies to Increase Online Traffic and Sales
• Best Practices to Extend Plesk Using the SDK
• Build a Multi-service Cloud Business with Parallels Plesk Automation

Track 4
• How to Boost Infrastructure Performance with Parallels Cloud Server
• Your IaaS, Your Choice: Delivered Through APS
• Parallels and OpenStack: Making it Work for Service Providers
• Parallels Cloud Storage Workshop

And, of course, the ever-popular attendee party, this time featuring Ra Ra Riot at the House of Blues (which you can probably imagine is pretty good in a town like New Orleans).

While attending, I was able to catch up with a few exhibitors and attendees that had nothing but good things to say about their Parallels Summit experience:

“It’s been fantastic! I’ve been here with the Internet Infrastructure Coalition as a guest of Parallels and it’s amazing to see how many member companies are a part of the Parallels community. We’ve been able to come together at events and really build a broad community of people that care about the future of the Internet and care about Internet freedom, and it’s great.” – Christian Dawson, Co-Founder and Board Chair, Internet Infrastructure Coalition

“We knew Parallels Summit would be an integral part of our channel development efforts and this year’s event didn’t disappoint. The speed and ease of which we were able to engage with other attendees is almost unbelievable. We will absolutely make this event a staple in our overall channel development strategy.” – Jennifer Cunningham, Partner Manager, McAfee Secure

“I enjoy the show for networking … and I actually love the New Orleans location, I think it’s just the right place to do things. House of blues was very fun; being dragged through Maple Leaf was probably the best jazz bar I’ve ever been to…” – Sharon Koifman, President, Distant Job

Check out a few pictures from the exhibit hall (if you’re anything like me, you will immediately appreciate how accessible the people are; always room to engage, never a Black-Friday-esque stampede):