Probably the best talk that I have been to in recent memory occurred in November 2012 at the Venetian Hotel. Amazon was holding their inaugural Amazon Web Services Re:invent conference. James Hamilton is an Distinguished Engineer at Amazon and brought insights into providing data service at massive scale. This talk has caused me to think differently about how to deploy services and manage risk in the IT environments (admittedly smaller than AWS) that I work in. It also challenges me to think more concretely about delivering IT service in relation to resource costing and efficiency. I still go back to YouTube for a listen from time to time!
Mr. Hamilton's website: