The State of Networking: Interop 2014 Conference

Large technical conferences are the lifeblood of IT professionals. One of the more underrated conferences held in America is Interop. Interop 2014 recently took place in Las Vegas and the cloud was obviously a big topic of discussion. While Interop conferences focus on the networking infrastructure, ignoring the cloud would be like ignoring the pink elephant in the room. More specifically, the mobile cloud was a hot topic at Interop 2014.

Larry Quinlan is the CIO of Deloitte. The consulting firm focuses heavily on mobile technology. Quinlan noted in his presentation that “IT shops are not seen as enablers and inhibitors to technology.” Quinlan went on to say that when he gave his employees a choice of which devices they could use, adaption of the mobile cloud services skyrocketed. Deloitte offered its users a catalog of devices that contains over 150 approved devices. Giving users the choice helped them embrace the mobile workplace.

While mobile cloud was a hot topic, another trending topic that was discussed at length was the rise of Software Defined Networking. SDN will revolutionize datacenters all across the world. Citrix representative Steve Shah was quoted as saying “We actually have tangible products now.” Shah was also quoted as saying, “SDN in its essence is about introducing malleability into the network.”

Arpit Joshipura is the VP of Product Management and Marketing for Dell’s Networking unit. Joshipura mentions that there will be three different approaches to SDN. He says that there will be an overlay approach, an open-source approach and a proprietary approach. He went on to say that the SDN market is fragmented but as the technology matures, a clear SDN leader will emerge. The lack of maturity in regards to SDN has led some analysts to warn network engineers that expectations shouldn’t be too extraordinary. Since SDN is still in its infancy, there will be a wave of new players in the market as soon as the SDN approach to networking goes mainstream.