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USENIX LISA 2018: CFP Now Open

30 Apr 2018

Join us for 3 days in Nashville at LISA'18. Post by Brendan Gregg and Rikki Endsley.

USENIX’s LISA conference is the premier event for topics in production system engineering. LISA is a vendor-neutral event known for technical depth and rigor, and continues to attract an audience of seasoned professionals. You'll find sysadmins from Wall Street banks sharing stories with SREs at tech giants, as well as experts from many other industries. LISA is where the latest challenges and solutions are discussed face to face, and in more detail than you can find online. It's where important connections are made with other industry professionals, and where they catch up year after year. LISA is a gathering of the pros.

The CFP for LISA18 is open now, and we’d love for you to submit talks and tutorials ideas by May 24th, 2018.

This is a special year for LISA, which typically alternates between the US east and west coasts. Occasionally, LISA is held in a central location, to attract new people and ideas locally, as well as others remotely who would like a change in destination. In 2018, for the first time, LISA will be in Nashville, Tennessee, October 29-31, and will be hosted at the Omni Nashville Hotel, next to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Another exciting change for 2018: LISA is now a 3-day event, rather than 6 days; check out the Announcement of Changes to Future LISA Conferences for more details.

One of the greatest honors in our industry is to chair a conference, and we (Brendan and Rikki) are excited to be doing this for USENIX LISA 2018. In addition to our passion for the important role that USENIX plays in our community – a vendor-neutral 501(c)(3) non-profit computing association that advances our industry with conferences, awards, inclusion initiatives, and grants – we also have a strong affection for the LISA conference community. We both have had long careers supporting system administration, and LISA has always felt like a homecoming, reuniting with old friends while welcoming newcomers. We first met each other at LISA, in addition to making many other important industry connections over the years.

Apart from networking, attending conferences like LISA in person is an effective way to upgrade your skills: you can block out work interruptions and absorb new knowledge that's been neatly summarized into sessions. You can not only hear from subject matter experts, but also ask them questions from your own environment, and get immediate answers. You could even be that subject matter expert: give a talk or a tutorial, and find people at other companies who want to collaborate, or to give you immediate feedback.

LISA evolves with the industry

USENIX 1984 speakers: USENIX has been running tech conferences since before the World Wide Web. Photo by Perry Kivolowitz.

Now in its 32nd year, LISA started in 1987 and is one of the longest-running tech conferences. In fact, we’d link to the first LISA conference website for reference, but this conference not only predates the Wayback Machine – it also predates the World Wide Web! LISA originally stood for "Large Installation System Administration," where "large" meant systems with more than a gigabyte of storage, or with more than 100 users. Today's LISA attracts attendees working on all sizes of production systems, and its attendees include sysadmins, systems engineers, SREs, DevOps engineers, software engineers, IT managers, security engineers, network administrators, researchers, students, and more.

To survive 32 years, a conference must evolve to stay current with our fast-changing industry. The first LISA events covered topics including email administration, cron, network management, tape backups, uptime, backup and restore, modems and serial ports, and UUCP. Some topics are still present at LISA, such as network management and uptime (reliability), but many others have been updated over the years. In this year's CFP we’re looking for topics covering the latest trends and best practices in cloud computing, containerization, machine learning, big data, infrastructure, scalability, DevOps, IT management, automation, reliability, monitoring, performance tuning, security, databases, programming, datacenters, and more. And we believe that everyone has valuable stories to share: Your tales of trial and error, analysis and workarounds, or architecture migrations, can happen at any company.

Submit Your Work!

We hope you'll consider submitting a talk or tutorial, and plan to attend LISA 2018. Check out the Call for Participation for details about what we’d like to see at this year’s event and to see the great mix of individuals on the organizing committee. And please help us find LISA speakers by sending suggestions to, and by sharing the CFP:

The @LISAConference CFP is open! Have something to say on the present & future of #ops? Submit #lisa18 talk, training, panel, and demo proposals by May 24

Hope to see you in Nashville!

– Brendan and Rikki

P.S. In addition to from supporting USENIX’s important work and commitment to open access by attending events, you can also join USENIX as a member, and get a subscription to the ;login: technical magazine.

P.P.S. To learn more about how LISA has evolved, browse last year's LISA17 conference program, and see the slides and talk videos.

Thanks to Liz Markel, USENIX Community Engagement Manager, for edits.

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