Bob: Interop 2014 was, again, marked by a number of announcements by vendors with new products to bring to market, and a lot of end users attending to try and find out and learn about this new technology. Now clearly, software defined networking was one of the major themes. So it shouldn't be much of a surprise that a lot of end users were there trying to learn about SDN to address some of the transformational aspects of that. In a lot of the conversations that I had with end users, it was really interesting to learn about how they were leveraging the technology to transform their organization. And I think more importantly the transformational aspects extend beyond the technology, but also to the people and process.
Aviv: At Interop, we were able to meet with vendors and discuss their vision, and learn about the products. But perhaps more importantly, we were able to interact with a number of end users, and really hear their stories and thoughts about how these solutions are able to address their pain points.
Bob: Some of the organizations I was talking to had just deployed some new management software. And as a result of that software, and the visibility that they were able to get, they were really able to transform some of the processes and actually create new roles within their organization. So impact to the people and impact to their process, and being able to have that greater insight. Other organizations I talked to were able to leverage some of the technology, so that they could transform their data centers to better accept and better handle the requests of their customers. This one in particular was a service provider, and they were essentially extending optical inside their data center to provide greater high speed connectivity, and be able to turn up services more rapidly.
Aviv: So this is my first visit to Interop, and coming from a predominantly storage background I was really impressed with the wide variety of solutions out there. And really the different ways that companies are attacking the challenges of simplifying the network to enable greater functionality across the entire IT organization.
Bob: I spoke to an organization that was trying to accomplish some transformation not in the data center, but in the branch. And so products and technologies coming out that enable you to really transform the way technology is deployed at your branch office as well.
Aviv: A lot of what we're hearing from end users on the networking side correlate to what we're hearing from the server and storage side as well. It's really about them wanting to transform the IT department to become more agile and responsive to the changing needs of the business, and providing a service for the end user to support business operations that need to be more responsive, and available anywhere and on any device. It was great seeing the approaches that the big vendors are taking around software defined networking as well. It was a great panel with HP, and Citrix and Dell in which they shared some of their different positions on how and when companies might make the transition to SDN. Well, they've disagreed with how to get there, it was nice to see that they also shared a future vision of a more agile and programmable network.
Bob: In 2014, we're really looking to see as those products are coming to market, how they're going to be adopted. How they're going to be leveraged? And I think a lot of the organizations and end users that I spoke to were really interested in making sure that those solutions were validated, and they could actually be able to test those and deploy them into their own environments. Another area that was really popular this year was wireless networking. And this shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone as to why. A lot of the new applications that are being leveraged over those devices is a real need for organizations to upgrade that infrastructure, and be able to do it in a simple and meaningful manner. And so I think you're seeing a lot of response from those vendors to come out with new solutions, new products so not just the devices themselves, but also solutions tied to them. Meaning, how are we making it easier to unboard? How are we ensuring security, et cetera with those wireless devices.