Interop is the last of a proud breed: A truly vendor-independent trade show with some fantastic technical presentations to boot. And Interop Las Vegas is the biggest Interop show. So I was pleased to be able to bring Tech Field Day to Interop for the first time, including technical roundtable discussions with Spirent, Juniper Networks, and NEC.
But what I’d really like to talk about is the great conversations that come at Interop. From the Roundtables to lunch and dinner to the show floor, it’s always amazing to witness spontaneous discussions of key topics. This just seems to happen when you put great people together!
Watch all of my video from Interop over at Vimeo!
For example, the Tech Field Day discussion with NEC began with an overview of their OpenFlow integration. But before long, the delegates began to muse on the role of integrated networking, what software-defined networking (SDN) really means to the future of the datacenter, and even the implications of SDN on the career of a networker!
It’s really an interesting question: What does it mean to a networker when they have an API to program their switches in a generic manner? Do they need to do this? Who will help them out? Thanks to Jason Edelman, “Mrs. Y”, Rob Novak, and Colin McNamara for picking up this thread!
This discussion continued when Juniper Networks’ Bob Muglia took to the table. Although this talk was ostensibly focused on that company’s software integration efforts, it quickly turned to the same idea: What does OpenFlow mean for networking and networkers? Colin McNamara kicked this off right from the start, asking about talent sourcing, certifications, and what companies like Juniper and NEC can do to foster this new skill.
This is far from resolved, and the rise of “software-defined storage” and the greater “software-defined” datacenter movement makes it relevant beyond networking. Are we infrastructure folks to become programmers? Will SDN lead to a shift towards the DevOps mentality? And is any of this really relevant to non-service provider enterprise IT?