I’ll be attending Networking Field Day 6 in San Jose, CA from September 11 - 13th. I am both honored and humbled to be a part of this event, and I am counting the days until my flight leaves for Silicon Valley. I love the area in general, as I’ve been there several times now - but having the privilege to go back for something like Networking Field Day is truly exciting.

What is Tech Field Day?

Tech Field Day is an event put on by Gestalt IT. I’ve always found it difficult to truly define what TFD means to the community when I’m speaking off the cuff to colleagues or customers - since it’s really a one-of-a-kind event, so I’ll do my best here. TFD events are a way for some of the most involved, passionate technologists to get together and talk candidly about the products that are on the market today, whether it’s data networking, wireless, security, virtualization, storage, or other. It’s one of the best mechanisms I’m aware of where one can cut right through the marketing fluff and get down to the truth about technology.

Vendors will sponsor a TFD event by paying for a portion of each delegate’s travel to attend the event. In return, the vendor gets to present to the delegates on what’s happening in their world, and hopefully start a lively discussion.

It is an amazing, independent forum for geeks to talk about what we love to do in a candid fashion. TFD events have had a huge impact on how I’ve entered the technology industry, so if you’re new to TFD I invite you to check out a few of the videos from past events.

Read the TFD site for more information.

What is Networking Field Day All About?

Networking  Field Day focuses on - you guessed it - the network. Both the delegate list and the vendor list is aimed at the networking industry. At Networking Field Day 5, we saw a LOT of content from nearly every vendor on Software-Defined Networking (and SDDC in general) as well as Network Virtualization. It’s clear that the industry is demanding more discussion on this topic, which is a good thing. NFD6 promises to capitalize on this by looking into some “non-standard” vendors. There is a time and place for big vendors like Cisco, Brocade, Juniper, etc. but I personally am glad that this NFD’s sponsor list includes exciting newer vendors like Plexxi and Big Switch

Networking  Field Day 6 is the latest iteration of this event, and I’m super excited to attend.

As a delegate, I’ll be watching the Twitter feed for this event’s hashtag - #NFD6. Use this hashtag with your questions and one of us will do our best to pass your question along to the vendors.

Sponsors

These are the vendors that will be sponsoring Networking  Field Day 6:

  • Aruba - Aruba has sponsored Tech Field Day events for quite some time, but mostly wireless-centric events like Wireless Field Day. I look forward to hearing what they have to offer the NFD delegates.

  • Big Switch - I expect to hear a lot about SDN from Big Switch. I’ve been interested in them back when they made an appearance at the OpenFlow Symposium back in 2011. Really looking forward to hearing from them.

  • Nuage - Nuage is big on automation and network virtualization. They want to make a data center network as readily consumable as the compute resources. These guys are high on my list as well.

  • Plexxi - I hadn’t really heard much about Plexxi until they presented at Network Field Day 5 and I’m psyched they’re coming back for more at NFD6. Plexxi adopts an affinity-based approach to SDN and have piqued my interest ever since I heard about their ring-based topology. This session is going to be really good.

  • Solarwinds - I’ve used Solarwinds in the past, and they’ve been around for a while. Their tools are hard NOT to find somewhere out there in the industry. Hopefully they come to NFD6 ready for a lively discussion.

  • Spirent - Spirent does a lot of work in testing and network measurement. I’m interested in hearing their take on how this works in the networks of tomorrow.

  • ThousandEyes - ThousandEyes works in the cloud biz - focusing on application performance and measurement.

  • WildPackets - It’s been a while since I’ve heard a lot about WildPackets - they traditionally focus on the wireless events, so I’m interested to see what they’ve been up to.

I will be putting together several blog posts in the coming few days, which will highlight each vendor and talk a little about what I would like to see from each.

Delegates

Delegates are selected by the Field Day community. Many of these folks are responsible for me getting into networking in the first place. Getting to sit at the table with them and talk shop is such an honor and I am so excited to meet each and every one of them.

Software-Defined Datacenter Symposium

In addition to Networking Field Day, I will also be attending the Software-Defined Datacenter Symposium on September 10th. This event focuses on the broader subject of SDDC from the perspective of vendors like Plexxi, but also non-networking vendors like Nutanix. I have spoken with folks from Nutanix as well as customers, and I look forward to hearing from them again.

Use the hashtag #SDDC13 (NOT #SDCC - comiccon is over, folks!) to chat it up with the attendees during the event, and watch for the live streams on Tech Field Day’s site.

Get Involved

There’s plenty you can do to get involved - as mentioned before, tweeting with the hashtag #NFD6 will get attention by each delegate, meaning we can pass along your question to the vendors. In addition, there will be plenty of live streaming video to watch and chat about. These streams will be posted both during and after each event on the Tech Field Day site.

Expect much more from me regarding Networking Field Day 6 both before, during, and after the event.


Matt Oswalt

Matt Oswalt is an all-around technology nerd, currently focusing on networking, software development, and everything in between. He is at his happiest in front of a keyboard, next to a brewing kettle, or wielding his silo-smashing sledgehammer. He spends his days diving deep into the intersection of networking and software, and likes to blog about his experiences when he comes up for air. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIN.