This is an exceptionally busy but rewarding week. I’m traveling to the San Jose, CA area for two events I’ve organized: The OpenFlow Symposium and the second Networking-focused Tech Field Day. I’ll be surrounded by some of the smartest and most interesting folks in networking all week, which is both daunting and exciting for a storage guy like me. I invite my readers to follow along on Twitter, in blogs, and through live streaming video.
The OpenFlow Symposium
OpenFlow is a huge challenge for datacenter networking. OpenFlow is a type of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) in which a controller directs the actions of switches using a standard protocol. It’s really in its infancy, having burst onto the scene after promising deployments at Stanford, Google, Yahoo, and similar massive scale data centers. Now the enterprise networking folks are starting to get interested.
Greg Ferro of Packet Pushers and Etherealmind has been a partner on Tech Field Day planning since the very beginning, and he helped put together the OpenFlow Symposium concept. It’s a simple event, with two long panel discussions planned for Wednesday. But actually pulling it off was quite a challenge!
Our OpenFlow panel includes experts from key companies in the space: BigSwitch Networks, Brocade, Cisco, Juniper, and NEC. We’ll also welcome end-user experts from Google and Yahoo, and the whole thing will be moderated by the Packet Pushers crew.
I expect a very lively discussion on the technology involved as well as the basic concept. Ivan Pepelnjak of IOSHints has been very critical of the need for OpenFlow in general, so it’s great to have him involved as a Devil’s Advocate!
Networking Field Day
The Tech Field Day concept has really grown beyond my wildest expectations. Beginning with a one-off “Gestalt IT” event in 2009, we’ve now blossomed to include a number of focused events including this week’s datacenter-networking themed Field Day.
Networking Tech Field Day 2 (“Net Field Day”) has become the go-to event for the best independent networking folks, and we’re pleased to be bringing back many folks from our 2010 event as well as some newcomers.
Presentation-wise, we’ve got some solid returning companies like Juniper, Force10 (now part of Dell), and Cisco. But we’re also glad to welcome Brocade, Gigamon, NEC, and networking startup Embrane.
I’m thrilled just to be part of the great group of companies and thought leaders who are gathering in San Jose this week. To be the “ringleader” and orchestrator is more than I thought possible! Watch live at TechFieldDay.com Wednesday through Friday, and join us on Twitter. If you’re in the area, drop me a line – maybe you can join us at the Symposium or our Thursday night party!