NFD13 Forecast – Cloudy With a Chance of Software

Well, this week is a week of firsts — or at least, firsts in a while. It’s my first time actually posting something new on the blog in a while, and it will also be my first Tech Field Day event in a while.


I’m honored to have been invited back to NFD13, happening on Thursday, 11/17 and Friday, 11/18. I’m very excited to be joining the TFD team for another event! The delegate panel includes some of the most experienced and well respected names in the networking industry (myself excluded, obviously), and the sponsor list is really quite exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends, and making some new ones along the way.

I really like when NFD events have a mix of focuses (foci?). It keeps the conversation varied and interesting for both the delegates and the audience. For NFD 13, I see several big themes for the sponsor list:

Data Center Fabric/Automation/Orchestration

apstralogo-100x22             400px-nec_logo-svg_

Network Testing/Modeling/Audit/Management

forward-networks_above_logo-100x57                 ixia_logo-100x47           400px-solarwinds_logo

Software Defined WAN

velocloud_logo_m             viptela

Note: I could be mis-classifying a couple of these, the above represents my best guess on the topics each sponsor will be covering.

Additionally, there are the two big themes that permeate just about every networking industry discussion these days: The Cloud, and Software-centricity. Every one of the sponsors listed above is focused on their software, not their hardware, and most of them have a significant cloud-integration component. If that doesn’t tell you where this industry is headed, I don’t know what will.

Some of these sponsors are well established and some are startups. Some are TFD veterans, and some are first-timers. I think this variety really makes the event more enjoyable and I hope those following along will feel the same.

What I am excited for? Honestly, I think I am most excited for the SD-WAN vendor presentations. In my day job as a presales network architect for High Availability, Inc., this is one of the topics that is gaining the most interest and attention from my customers. Velocloud and Viptela are two of the leading names in the startup SD-WAN scene, and I’m really looking forward to learning more.

Velocloud has had nearly 2 years of baking time since I last got a briefing at NFD9, and I’m really looking forward to hearing how their vision and products have progressed.

Viptela often bubbles to the top of SD-WAN vendor research and while I don’t know that much about them I’m really interested in learning more about their Secure Extensible Network architecture.

Be sure to tune in to the NFD13 live streams on the event page later this week to catch the presentations. I’m certainly planning to post my thoughts on several of the sponsors after the event, and of course I’ll also be blasting your Twitter feed with #nfd13 tweets both days so buckle in!

This post is part of my coverage of Networking Field Day 13. The companies named in this are sponsors of Networking Field Day 13, and as such indirectly helped to pay expenses associated with my attendance. At no time did they ask for, nor where they promised any kind of consideration in the writing of this article. The opinions and analysis provided within are my own and any errors or omissions are mine and mine alone.

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