While attending Interop New York a couple weeks ago, I caught myself reflecting on Interop experiences throughout my career. Since my first Interop in San Jose, CA in October, 1991 (I was only twelve at the time –really!) tons of things have changed, but many remain the same. For one, Interop was and still is a really big deal. As a huge repository for vendor-neutral technology forums, educational sessions and wide ranging product displays. Interop has helped us experience scads of new and cool “stuff” right there on the show room floor. In my nubile beginnings as a Systems Engineer, my company’s senior SEs had been so emphatic we attend Interop that we would pay for the trip ourselves if the company wouldn’t sponsor us!
This year at Interop New York, IXIA|Anue had a presentation: Big Data, Big Visibility, Big Control by Larry Hart, Chip Webb and Todd Kaloudis of Opnet. Check it out here, or download the whitepaper on Big Data. Contrast this with Interop ‘91, where one of the coolest exhibitions was the SNMP Managed Toaster with its very own toaster MIB. This wasn’t just the original toaster from the year before that controlled when to cook the bread but 1991’s toaster MIB had been extended to show off SNMP Get-Next requests so a little Lego crane could put the bread into the toaster all via network management software from the showroom floor.
Twenty one years ago we had monitored toasters. Today, we use Network Monitoring Switches like the Net Tool Optimizer to direct traffic to multiple monitoring devices doing Application Performance Monitoring, SIEM attack detection, network diagnostics, Web Customer Experience monitoring and more. We manage localized tool farms in huge data centers or distributed multi-interface devices like LTE MMEs and probes. We have an incredibly cool Enterprise MIB of our own that won’t toast whole wheat but will tell you how many PCI non-compliant protocol packets just floated in off your core network TAP and let you redirect that traffic to additional tools while changing the filter based on your conditions with our flexible API. Get-Next on that table! Quite the Interop evolution – from toasters to network clouds.
I also had the chance to talk to people from well, everywhere; literally. Maybe because it was the Big Apple or companies understanding that Interop is the place to go. Here management and engineers alike can listen and learn from the best in the industry and view products and trends in network technologies. The show is loaded with users from all walks of life and Interop provides the valuable chance to see and speak to others doing things they need to do too.
In ’91, Interop seemed like a lot of Silicon Valley types; today, it’s gone global and anyone who’s anyone has spread their wings with an international presence. Today, global is local. Whether its WebEx meetings about moving Big Data around the cloud or sitting on a marshmallow stool in our cool IXIA|Anue booth helping someone from Azerbaijan design a monitoring infrastructure to meet their needs, Interop lets people like me share experiences with others like we were next door neighbors.
Check out the Ixia booth at Interop NYC, as photographed with the nifty CamWow application. The booth featured the IXIA|Anue Net Tool Optimizer, and we announced our Advanced Feature Module 16 (AFM16) at the show.
Interop was great and NYC was friendly to us – we spoke with a lot of network engineers and data center managers, some of whom were already familiar with the network monitoring switch. Those who were not familiar were very interested, noting the power it puts at their fingertips.