Looking forward to Networking Field Day

nfd-logo-400x400There’s nothing quite like a Field Day event and I have the privilege of being invited to Networking Field Day on Nov 17th and 18th. At Field Day events, you have the opportunity to hear deep in the weeds technical content from several presenting companies. We can have conversations about how their technology really works and how it works in our environments. While it’s great to be there, they are also very useful to attend virtually through the live stream and Twitter. Twitter is great because you can send the delegates your questions and they can ask the presenters right then! If you can’t watch live, it’s all recorded and posted to YouTube for later perusal. Even if I attend an event, I often end up watching the YouTube videos to help make sure my blog posts are accurate.
This week is a unique one in that two Field Day events are taking place back to back! Tech Field Day 12 is running on the 15th and 16th, so there’s an opportunity to really take in a lot of content! Enough about Field Day in general, let’s look at what’s coming up at Networking Field Day, November 2016 edition!

Apstra is all about network automation. I’ve heard some high level talk about them, but haven’t looked into them before. Their website says they are intent-driven vendor-neutral data center network automation. I’ll be interested to hear if they are going to move beyond the data center. I like the concept of the intent-driven network, which is telling the network what you want to accomplish and letting it figure out how to configure it instead of you having to specify all the details. This kind of automation is good and should make networks more reliable, so I’m looking forward to learning more about their solution.

I’m a big fan of Solarwinds products. They usually work well and do 80-90% of what vendor and other big name management products do for a fraction of the price. Most of the time that’s still more features than you actually will use in a given deployment. Reasonably priced and easy to use, Solarwinds is my go-to for network management. It’s always great to hear what they’ve been up to and see what new features they have in store.

This is exciting! From their website: “Forward Networks is bringing the best ideas in Computer Science to networking. Our mission is to dramatically improve networking for companies of all sizes.” Doesn’t tell us much, but it sounds like they are working on ways to make network configurations testable and to detect misconfigurations. I’m certain that’s a gross oversimplification, but they are exiting stealth mode and telling everyone what they have up their sleeve at Networking Field Day! Be sure to catch this, it should be interesting. [Update] They exited stealth mode on Nov 14, so their website has more information now. Read about it here.

Who doesn’t want a good SD-WAN solution? I think I first heard about VeloCloud on Packet Pushers episode 257. There’s an ever growing number of SD-WAN vendors and solutions out there and the claims are so similar, it’s hard to differentiate between them. It’ll be great to deep dive into this one!

Ixia has one of my favorite ad graphics:
I’m OK with Mostly Networks, but not so much with the mostly watertight. :) Ixia makes a number of tools for network testing, security, and visibility. I’m not sure what they’ll be talking about; perhaps a bit of everything. I’m familiar with Ixia by name and am aware mostly of their very well regarding network testing equipment, however I really don’t know much more about them or their products. I’m eager to learn more about them.

More SD-WAN! I’m eager to see their presentation and I’m pretty sure Packet Pushers episode 223 introduced me to Viptela, as well. SD-WAN is the future of WAN connections, so the more you know about the solutions available the better. Knowing is half the battle!

I presume NEC will be talking about SDN and OpenFlow. I’ll be honest, this isn’t an area I’ve been paying much of attention to. OpenFlow just hasn’t really been on my radar for a while. Time to up my game, get reacquainted with OpenFlow, and find out what NEC is doing with it. I’m sure this one will be educational.

There’s your quick overview of the presenters for Networking Field Day 13. Be sure to tune in live on November 17th and 18th for Networking Field Day and on the 15th and 16th if virtualization, containers, and the like up your alley. All the live streams will be playing at http://techfieldday.com/. Participate by watching the stream and submitting your questions via Twitter using the hashtag #NFD13. You can ask your questions ahead of time, too, especially if you can’t watch live. The delegates will try to make sure your question is asked. It’s going to be a great week for Field Day content!