Friday, September 10, 2021

Network Field Day 26 -

Excuse the bit of pre-ramble before the actual NFD26 content:

It is a bit unusual to do back-to-back Network Field Day event, mainly because diversity in delegates is a good thing for the community and for the vendors presenting. It means a greater mix of opinions, use cases, and influence around a topic, the technology and how it is being applied to the market. Those are all wins (at least I think so) until something like a worldwide pandemic makes in person events difficult to impossible to do and also the reality that delegate's time is a harder commodity now. There are two aspects as a delegate that are important that go unspoken, but given the current situation, I want to say specifically out loud.

1. You get access and a platform to interface with vendors because you give your time to participate and;

2.  also because you get a dialog going in the community about what you saw and heard!

The second part has been the challenge as of late. There have been a lack of blog posts, of YouTube videos, of missing podcast content, etc.. Honestly, like many of you, I am not sitting in my car for hours on end to listen to some of my favorite podcast shows because I no longer commute to an office location or to customer sites. I do still listen while going on my daily walks, or for the very short drives to the grocery store or gym. But honestly, my listening is way down, as I assume many of the rest of you are too.

How does this relate to Network Field Day 26?

It relates in a few ways. The delegates who are going to get invited back to participate in Tech Field Day are actually producing the content.* There are delegates who are able to free up their schedule to find the time to participate, and that is a good thing. But it appears, a good number can't find the time to do the second part. The reality is, that the second part is WHY the vendors choose to do Tech Field Day. Because the get feedback, community engagement and an open dialog about their product, how it applies in the technology landscape and what practitioners think of it. Without the second part, the first part doesn't happen. This is the reason you are seeing some repeat Field Day delegates, because they know the second part is just as important as the first. Okay, off the ramble, I just wanted everyone to know that, content and doing the work matters.

* - note: I also know that many of the delegates have a policy that if you don't have something nice to say about a technology, solution or product, then don't say anything. I get that, but you can still write something about the event overall to acknowledge the participation and effort. I know that personally, I tend not to write about companies that don't have a reasonable IPv6 answer and solution. Other delegates have their "thing" too.

- Now to the NFD26 post!

Network Field Day 26 (NFD26) is happening Sept 14-16, 2021. You can check out the full event schedule at the NFD26 website. The sponsors list has been growing so checking the site is the best until the event starts. I recommend watching live if you can, the playback later doesn't line up with the live twitter interaction so sometimes it is hard to get all the context.

First point, I thinks this NFD has a particularly strong list of delegates. So the interaction will be excellent, and I anticipate some of the blogging content will be good as a result. Also, because this is a virtual event, the fact that I know some many of the delegates on a personal level already means the event won't feel as awkward as many of the vendor events I have watched where you could tell this is the first time they have worked or even seen each other!

Second, I am going to say upfront that not addressing IPv6 is a big negative for me for the sponsors. To repeat my NFD25 blog post:
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.

So, there you go, let's get ready to have some serious fun with NFD26! 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 #NFD26. If you are interested in being a delegate, you can check out the website, they have all the details up there.

- 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 NFD26. 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 (this event is virtual so none of that happened). In addition, small swag gifts or donations were/are provided by some of the sponsors of the event to delegates (I didn't accept the swag gifts offered but did ask the sponsors to donate to causes that support Mental Health since this is Suicide Prevention week). 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. So all the spelling mistakes and grammar errors are my own.