Earlier this month I was able to attend part of Interop this year, overall it was a good show, but I’m still not certain it’s as good as other conferences in the networking space. The quality of the end users tends to vary wildly, since you can attend for free, and many do so trying to get free “stuff”, so the value from a vendor perspective is questionable. There were other highlights from my time there including the enterprise cloud summit (ECS), consisting of a two day event of 15 minute presentations. The first day about cloud platforms, I was able to give a short session on APM in the cloud era. Other sessions which were interesting were on cost modeling, OpenStack, Sourcing (which is an increasing topic coming from vendors as well), the legal an intellectual properties issues, DevOps, NoOps, and of course APM. I wasn’t able to make day 2, but the agenda looked excellent as well, more focused on big data and private cloud. The following days I was mostly engaged with vendor meetings, and speaking to end users. Some of the highlights included spending time with Quest, who was running the network monitoring of the NOC, as well as Splunk who was assisting with the NOC by using their indexing and search technologies. Watching the various vendor teams interact and solve problems was fun especially since most of the staff had never worked together. There were some good engineers who were interesting to speak with, especially considering they were coming from all over the world. The time which I spent on the floor was mostly browsing and speaking to end-users. I did have some interesting conversations with the folks from Big Switch Networks, who are behind the open source floodlight openflow controller. Overall the openflow lab and vendor areas were the most interesting, as this is a large shift which has the potential to disrupt the way networks are built and understood currently.
I was also able to spend time with many of the network packet broker (NPB) vendors, one of which (Anue Systems) was acquired the day before I spoke with them. As expected in my research on this market, we will continue to see acquisitions in this space as well as new entrants. The conversation I had with cPacket networks CEO Rony Kay was interesting and engaging, he’s a passionate CEO with some great ideas. These products will continue to have increased market demand as the need to capture and analyze network traffic becomes more critical for security and monitoring use cases. Look for more coverage of this market from a research perspective.
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