Structure 2014: Come for the slapfights, stay for the drinks

Given the events of the past few months — public cloud giant Amazon(S amzn) pushing ever more aggressively into the enterprise, enterprise leaders putting their public clouds online — Gigaom’s Structure event later this month comes at an opportune time for anyone who wants to hear from the powers behind all the moving and shaking.

Amazon(s amzn), the cloud of choice among startups, last week sharpened its enterprise focus, launching a console for VMware admins who might want to manage resources in AWS as well. Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels can address that.

Meanwhile, VMware is touting vCloud Hybrid Services as the preferred cloud for business workloads and pushed back with warnings about the dangers of buying cloud based on price or locking into a single provider. I’ll ask VMware SVP Bill Fathers about that.

Microsoft(s msft) Azure has made big progress, but can it catch AWS in public cloud? Does it even need to if it can sell Azure to all the existing Windows- and Office-heavy enterprise accounts out there? Those are questions for Microsoft EVP Scott Guthrie.

Microsoft EVP of cloud and enterprise Scott Guthrie.

Microsoft EVP of cloud and enterprise Scott Guthrie.

Last summer, IBM(s ibm) put SoftLayer — its $2 billion present for itself — in charge of its cloud effort, and that’s starting to bear fruit. Can IBM retain existing Big Blue enterprise shops and perhaps woo startups as well? Lance Crosby, CEO and GM of IBM’s SoftLayer Unit, can address all that.

Lance Crosby CEO of IBM's SoftLayer business.

Lance Crosby CEO of IBM’s SoftLayer business.

OpenStack patron Rackspace(s rax) is already in the spotlight since hiring Morgan Stanley last month to evaluate options, including mergers or an acquisition. Rackspace President Taylor Rhodes will be on hand — we can at least try to ask him about that.

As for Google(s goog) — with more money and resources than nearly anyone, it’s proved to all but the most hardened skeptics that it’s serious about cloud. One big question is whether it will initially target enterprise accounts or concentrate for now on catching up to AWS in public cloud. Urs Hölzle, Google SVP and technical fellow, will be on stage.

And then there’s the open-source cloud melee, where a scrum of companies ranging from Rackspace to Red Hat(s rhat) to HP(s hpq) and a half-dozen other vendors all hope to ride their versions of OpenStack to success. But is there really room for all of them, plus CloudStack, plus Eucalyptus, in the open-source cloud camp? Nebula CTO and OpenStack pioneer Chris Kemp, Citrix(s ctrx) Group VP Sameer Dholakia from the Cloudstack camp and Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos are coming back for Version 2.0 of their, um, energetic debate on the future of open-source cloud at Structure two years ago.

We’ll also have a discussion on the state of privacy in the cloud era with Microsoft general counsel and EVP Brad Smith, and Gigaom research analyst Ashar Baig will lead a discussion on how we should rethink security in the age of the Heartbleed vulnerability and too many data breaches to mention.

There will also be mapping sessions on application security in the cloud era and whether or not virtual desktops are (finally) gaining traction.

But in addition to all of that, there will be cocktails at Novela on Tuesday, June 17 (thanks Virtustream). You’ll have a day to recover before the Gigaom Run bright and early Thursday morning.

Check out the full Structure agenda, then make your plans to join us. And for a taste of what to expect, check out last year’s fireside chat with Amazon’s Vogels.