Wide area networking sessions at Interop 2012 in Las Vegas

This column highlights the conference sessions to do with wide area networking at Interop 2012 in Las Vegas.

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SearchEnterpriseWAN.com is uniquely positioned as the only outlet in the industry dedicated to publishing material on corporate wide area networking. As the site's editor, I often struggle to find resources on so specific a topic, but not this year. Many enterprises have become more global, creating a demand for technology that improves wide area networking. WAN acceleration has become a hot topic, and many conference sessions at Interop 2012 in Las Vegas highlight why.

I invite anyone tracking the WAN industry at the Interop Las Vegas 2012 conference to join me in attending these wide area networking sessions:

Implementing IPv6 in the InteropNet
Why attend? Anyone who manages a WAN has probably been asked to create an IPv6 migration strategy. Deploying the new Internet protocol might sound daunting, but the managers of InteropNet -- the network that supports the Interop conference -- do it every year. In this session, InteropNet creators explain how they deploy IPv6 time and time again.

Is This the End of Physical Appliances?
Moderator
- Jim Metzler, Vice President, Ashton Metzler & Associates
Panelist - Kevin Murphy, VP of Product Management, Certeon
Panelist - Mark Day, Chief Scientist, Riverbed
Panelist - Karl Triebes, Sr VP, Product Dev & CTO, F5 Networks
Why attend? Can you imagine a world where WAN optimization controllers (WOCs) and application delivery controllers (ADCs) will all be virtualized? Or are there still benefits to using the old-fashioned box? All the software-based WOC/ADC vendors tell us to sign up for their service while the traditional WAN solution providers defend the use case for hardware. I’ll be interested to see how the panelists hash out their differences.

Breakthroughs in Network and Application Optimization
Moderator - Jim Metzler, Vice President, Ashton Metzler & Associates
Panelist - Kevin Murphy, VP of Product Management, Certeon
Panelist - Mark Day, Chief Scientist, Riverbed
Panelist - Karl Triebes, Sr VP, Product Dev & CTO, F5 Networks
Why attend? Moderator Jim Metzler writes in his session description that venture capitalists have been funding significant investments in a wide range of optimization technologies to respond to the growing pressure on IT organizations -- pressures such as supporting the movement of large files between data centers, improving the performance of Web-based applications, supporting mobile workers and enabling IT initiatives like desktop virtualization. I’m interested to hear what new developments are stirring up the market. I’m also interested to know why last year’s session focused on breakthroughs in WAN technology, while this year they’ve added “application optimization” to the title. More to say on that…

How to Redesign Your WAN
Moderator - Jim Metzler, Vice President, Ashton Metzler & Associates
Panelist - David White, VP of Business Development, Ipanema
Panelist - Neil Cohen, VP, Product Marketing, Akamai Technologies, Inc.
Panelist - Jack Rynes, Product Line Manager, Avaya
Panelist - John Dickey, VP of Engineering, Talari Networks
Why attend? As a forager of WAN content, I’m certainly not going to miss a session with "WAN" in the title. How do WANs need to be redesigned for today’s demands? This session will hopefully answer that.

User Experience: Monitor the Network or Monitor the Application?
Moderator - Jim Frey, Managing Research Director, Enterprise Management Associates
Panelist - Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc.
Panelist - Ron Wilson, VP of APM Strategy and Product Management, Compuware
Why attend? IT’s mission is to deliver applications and services to users and those users demand a good experience.  But does delivering good user experience boil down to monitoring the network or the application? Are network and application optimization technologies converging? We’ll see how moderator Jim Frey assesses the answers from his two panelists.

Out-of-Band Remote Infrastructure Management (RIM) Used by IT and OT
Why attend? Chances are, if you’re managing a wide area network, you’re managing remote offices and network infrastructures. This InteropNet classroom session will cover how remote infrastructure management (RIM) solutions can satisfy the needs of both Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT).

InteropNet Tour
Why attend? Since some of the solutions discussed in the Remote Infrastructure Management (RIM) classroom presentation (above) are being used in the Interop Network Operations Center (NOC), I don’t see a better way to end an information-packed Interop than by seeing all these wide area networking technologies in action.

While that tops off my Interop session schedule, that’s not to say there aren’t more WAN-related sessions. If I were cloned, I might also check out these sessions:

The Impact of Cloud Computing on the Network
Speaker - Jim Metzler, Vice President, Ashton Metzler & Associates 
Why attend? Reporter Jessica Scarpati revealed that those with experience running a WAN shouldn’t be scared of cloud computing. That’s because, in many ways, the WAN is much like a private cloud. I’d recommend sleuthing for answers on how cloud computing will impact the WAN-cloud during this session.

Capacity Planning 101
Speaker - Dave Peters, Manager, Systems Integration, Environmental Systems Research Institute 
Why attend? IT architects who understand capacity planning fundamentals can design a WAN that has enough bandwidth for the applications IT needs to support.

Less is More: Why SSL VPN is Not What You Think It Is
Speaker - Rainer Enders, CTO, NCP Engineering, Inc
Why attend?  Network managers rely on virtual private network (VPN) technology for secure remote access. Yet, VPN security breaches have eroded industry confidence in the protection provided by SSL VPNs. Session speaker Ender Rainers intends to clarify the capabilities and limitations of SSL VPNs.

Last but not least are the vendor-sponsored sessions. While these can sometimes mimic long infomercials, they are still worthwhile to IT pros who want to learn more about vendor-specific technology.

New Strategies for Overcoming SaaS Performance Challenges: Presented by Riverbed and Akamai
Why attend? I recommend this session if you are or are interested in becoming a Riverbed customer. Riverbed first started reverse-engineering applications to accelerate them, but now that apps are in the cloud, the vendor must partner with providers like Akamai to make that strategy fly. Last Interop, they began announcing how they will improve SaaS performance. I expect this session to be a bit little less nebulous than what they announced last year.

The Transformation of Performance Management: Assuring Voice, Video and Data Service Delivery: Presented by NetScout
Why attend? Because 2012 seems to be the year of the real-time app -- namely, voice, video and data service delivery. While it's my reporter's instinct to take everything a vendor says with a grain of salt, I’d be interested to hear how Netscout proposes to transform performance management to improve user experience.

Three Ways to Make Your Enterprise Branch-WAN Network Cloud Intelligent: Presented by Cisco
Why attend? While Cisco has its hands in plenty of honey jars, they've spoken to me personally about why the branch WAN matters more this year than others. I'm convinced Cisco is putting money where their mouth is when they dedicate a session on the topic at Interop.

Redesigned, Cloud-Optimized WAN -- Any Application, Any Location, Any Device -- One Network: Presented by Aryaka Networks
Why attend? No one does cloud WAN optimization quite like Aryaka -- the vendor running this session. If you’re interested in outsourcing your WAN optimization woes to a provider, these guys might be worth checking out.  

Network Optimization Strategies for Social Media and Video: Presented by Blue Coat
Why attend? A competitive enterprise no longer asks whether it should allow social media and video traffic over their WAN; It asks how. This Blue Coat Systems-lead session explains why and what strategies IT can employ to enable these apps.

Let us know what you think; email: Tessa Parmenter, SearchEnterpriseWAN.com Site Editor.

This was first published in May 2012

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