On to Interop 2012

I'll be on an airplane in a few hours bound for Las Vegas and Interop 2012. Here's what I'm expecting at the show:

  1. SDN, the sequel. With the Open Networking Summit (ONS) last month and Interop this week, software-defined networking is the gift that keeps on giving. Interop will feature an OpenFlow plug-fest and lots of rhetoric. What I'm looking for, however, are real use cases, mature products, and actual implementation. I'd like to see an SDN-based data center fabric for example - perhaps IBM and NEC will have something to show.
  2. Speaking of fabric architecture. Fabric, fabric, fabric was all you heard last year. Brocade announced VCS, Cisco was touting Fabricpath, Juniper came out with QFabric and HP trumpeted IRF. I've seen progress with clustering of access layer switches but no end-to-end single hop implementation. It will be interesting to see how the vendors assess their progress here.
  3. Network segmentation over distance. VMware and friends introduced VXLAN at VMworld last year to extend VLANs over distance. Good idea if you want to move VM-based workloads between data centers or to cloud service providers. Soon after the introduction of VXLAN, Microsoft, Intel, and Dell brought out a similar technology, NVGRE. Once again, I'm having a tough time finding enterprise organizations who even know what these standards are, let alone deploying them. I hope to hear more about how these technologies are progressing.
  4. BYO LAN. Last year's focus was on the data center but mobile devices and BYOD policies will drive a lot of campus LAN chatter this year. I expect to hear a good deal about network access control, wired/wireless convergence, application controls, location awareness, etc. These discussions will be worthwhile. Why? While technologies like VXLAN and OpenFlow remain theoretical for most enterprises today, they need help with the army of mobile devices already invading their networks. Cisco, Enterasys, Extreme, and Juniper have already made announcements in this area.

It will be interesting to see the attendance and feel the vibe at this year's Interop. Will it continue to be a technology industry star or will the focus on cloud computing, virtualization, and orchestration turn it into a mere infrastructure detour? I'll let you know more this week. Viva Las Vegas.

You can read Jon's other blog entries at Insecure About Security.

Topics: IT Infrastructure Networking ESG on Location