Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Network Field Day 25 May 12-14, 2021 - A Changing Networking Landscape

Here we go, Network Field Day 25 (NFD25) is May 12-14, 2021. It is a good line up of presenters and delegates so check out the full event schedule at the NFD25 website. First point, I thinks this NFD shows the changing networking landscape. Yes, some big network brands are still the focus but it is interesting seeing the list of presenters. What previously were second or third options for many companies are being first or second. Second point, the influence of a larger single vendor is slowing changing and the ecosystem is changing with it. I'm exciting to hear what all these sponsors have to say. Below I have some quick thoughts on some of the companies that I know something about.

Aruba/HPE - Just keeping up with all the changes and improvements Aruba has been doing can be tough now. They have built an impressive networking business around the Aruba product family and I believe they are a serious network vendor that enterprises should be evaluating. I'm looking forward to hearing what updates and product innovations they might have to share.

Juniper - It is going to be interesting to see if Juniper can make the sort of inroads that Aruba did in the Enterprise networking space. With Mist, they have a real chance and expanding their campus networking solutions seems to be a big goal for the company. I think their challenge is winning back trust after really stepping away from that market to focus on their core routing platforms. I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of talk around AI/ML.

Nokia - I have been hearing positive things around Nokia's networking products for a long time. I unfortunately haven't had the opportunity to actually work on and use their gear. I am hoping Nokia is out to change that and perhaps provide easier ways for those of us who aren't as familiar with their products to have the opportunity to learn more and perhaps see some good demos and use cases where they really shine.

Obviously, I will be asking each company their IPv6 plans, capabilities, use cases and such. I think there is a lot more weight to the question this NFD because of the White House OMB Memo M-21-07. Federal agencies need to put a focus on getting IPv6 deployed, and products that don't support IPv6 are going to have issues. So I won't be satisfied with some of the dismissive answers of the past like "our customers aren't asking for it" or "it is on our 3 year roadmap" or "we have IPv6 support, but I'm not familiar with it, can we get back to you?" Those presenting should know and understand IPv6 at this point, and it is NOT my job to explain it to you, justify why it is needed, or what the market for it is, seriously, that ship has sailed. We are in the early majority stage for IPv6 adoption and it will only accelerate from here.

If you are at all into networking then I encourage you to follow along live for the events on the Tech Field Day website or keep up with the activity via twitter by following the hashtag #NFD25. 

- Ed

In a spirit of fairness (and also because it is legally required by the FTC), I am posting this Disclosure Statement. It is intended to alert readers to funding or gifts that might influence my writing. My participation in Tech Field Day events was voluntary and I was invited to participate in NFD25. Tech Field Day is hosted by Gestalt IT and my hotel, transportation, food and beverage was/is paid for by Gestalt IT for the duration of the event, if travel was involved. In addition, small swag gifts or donations were/are provided by some of the sponsors of the event to delegates. It should be noted that there was/is no requirement to produce content about the sponsors and any content produced does not require review or editing by Gestalt IT or the sponsors of the event.

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