Virtualisation, cloud computing to dominate Interop

Interop Las Vegas will focus on virtualisation, cloud computing, the impact of social technologies and smartphones on work, and much more.

Interop will hit Las Vegas May 8-12 as this important tech event celebrates its 25th anniversary. The impact of virtualization and cloud computing on the network will be explored in depth, and the conference will tackle how social technologies, smartphones and other mobile devices will affect the future of work. Two days of workshops and a CIO Boot Camp are on the agenda Sunday and Monday, and then special guest star Vint Cerf will kick off the main portion of the conference in the Tuesday morning keynotes.

Still deciding which sessions to attend? This guide will highlight some of the key events happening throughout the week.

Quiz: Can you identify the misfires, milestones and high jinks from Interops past?

Sunday, May 8 and Monday May 9

CIO Boot Camp 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday

Real-world CIOs will tell their "war stories" at this two-day boot camp to help fellow IT executives become better leaders while dealing with the reality that "IT folks have been under-funded and under-appreciated forever." Topics will include next generation leadership realities, managing social media, vendor management, green and sustainable IT, emerging technologies, IT innovation and business analytics. The overriding theme will be "informed, innovative and inspired personal leadership."

Boot Camp chairperson: Thornton May, Futurist, Executive Director and Dean, IT Leadership Academy


Christopher R. Barber, Former Senior Vice President of Enterprise Strategy and CIO, WesCorp

Bruce Barnes, CIO Emeritus, Nationwide Financial Services

Alan S. Cullop, CIO, Senior Vice President, The TriZetto Group

Cheryl Smith, Principal, Smith & Associates

Dr. Robert Rennie, VP, Technology & CIO, Florida State College at Jacksonville

Enterprise Cloud Summit, and Virtualization Days 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday

With 40 sessions across two days, Interop's Enterprise Cloud Summit will look at design, data privacy, economics and real-world lessons related to cloud computing. Sunday's sessions will focus on public cloud services, while the private cloud will take the spotlight on day two. A virtualization summit will also take place both Sunday and Monday, focusing on virtualization as an enabler of private clouds, and the ability to deliver virtual desktops and applications to users anywhere.

Enterprise Cloud Summit chairperson:

Alistair Croll, Principal Analyst

BitCurrent, Virtualization Days chairperson and instructor:

Barb Goldworm, President and Chief Analyst, FOCUS

A discussion with Interop general manager Lenny Heymann

Tuesday, May 10

Pick of the day:

8 a.m. Tuesday morning keynotes featuring Vint Cerf

Interop will start with a bang Tuesday morning with an all-star lineup of keynote speakers including none other than Vint Cerf, who helped create the Internet and is the Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. Dan Lynch, who founded the Interop conference in 1986, will interview Cerf on stage. High-ranking executives from HP, Citrix and Cisco will also make appearances.

Keynote Speaker - Dave Donatelli, Executive VP and General Manager, Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking, HP

Keynote Speaker - Mark Templeton, President and CEO, Citrix Systems

Keynote Speaker - Rebecca J. Jacoby, Senior Vice President and CIO, Cisco

Keynote Speaker - Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google

Keynote Speaker - Dan Lynch, Entrepreneur, founder of Interop

10:15 a.m. Emerging architectures and tools for the social enterprise

Microsoft SharePoint has become a seemingly ubiquitous product for enterprise collaboration, but it is not a "panacea," nor is it the only game in town. This session will examine maturation in the Enterprise 2.0 technology market, current state-of-the-art social and collaboration technologies, and "how enterprises should plan for emerging trends and standards."

Speaker - Tony Byrne, President, Real Story Group

11:30 a.m. What is the impact of cloud computing on the network?

Although cloud computing and virtualization can make IT more efficient, your network still has to be rock solid. This session will look at new challenges posed by cloud-related technologies and methods to head off problems resulting from management tools and processes being focused on static, rather than dynamic resources. For example, the deployment of virtual switches "will potentially result in IT organizations having to manage hundreds of new switches from multiple vendors," and "today's WAN can't effectively support the dynamic movement of VMs nor cloud bursting."

Speaker - Jim Metzler, Vice President, Ashton Metzler & Associates

1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon keynotes

Microsoft's Windows Azure team and Juniper's fabric and switching group will discuss "the growth and future of IT," and the vendors' approaches to next-generation technologies.

Keynote Speaker - Zane Adam, General Manager of Azure and Middleware, Microsoft Corporation

Keynote Speaker - David Yen, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Fabric and Switching Business Group (FSG), Juniper Networks

2:15 p.m. Future of work: the great debate

The proliferation of personally owned mobile devices and social technologies are changing the way employees do work, and IT must adapt as well. Unified communications, video, mobile and social networking are driving the shift today, "but their real value may still lie ahead as these technologies come together to truly redefine the work experience." Participants in this session will give their take on the future of work in the enterprise.

Panelist - Eric Krapf, Editor,, Co-Chair, Enterprise Connect

Panelist - Steve Wylie, General Manager, Enterprise 2.0 Conference

Panelist – John Bartlett, Voice Video and Data Application Performance, NetForecast

Panelist - Craig Mathias, Principal, Farpoint Group

3:30 p.m. Virtualization security and compliance

Moving from physical to virtual infrastructure can create gaps in compliance, requiring new frameworks to secure virtual data centers and private clouds. This panel will discuss specific regulatory areas such as FISMA, DIACAP, PCI, HIPAA and SOX/GLBA, and examine how physical security constructs like "zones" can be applied to virtual infrastructure. The coupling of hypervisor security architectures with virtual machine introspection and automation to provide greater insight into security will also be on the agenda.

Moderator - Michael Dortch, Director of Research, Focus

Panelist – Eric Chiu, President & Founder, HyTrust

Panelist - Mike Wronski, VP Product Management, Reflex Systems

Panelist - Tamar Newberger, VP, Marketing at Catbird

25 “critical” things you need to know about Interop, Las Vegas

Wednesday, May 11

8:30 Wednesday morning keynotes

Data center executives from Avaya and Intel will deliver the second-day keynotes, followed by a panel involving Rackspace, Citrix and Terremark. Given the companies involved, it's safe to say cloud computing, virtualization and the software and chip architectures needed to drive these technologies will be discussed.

Keynote Speaker - Steve Bandrowczak, Vice President and General Manager, Avaya Data Solutions

Keynote Speaker – Kirk Skaugen, Vice President and General Manager, Data Center Group, Intel

Keynote Panelist – Andy Schroepfer, Vice President of Enterprise Strategy, Rackspace

Keynote Panelist - Simon Crosby, CTO, Datacenter and Cloud Division, Citrix Systems

Keynote Panelist - Randy Rowland, Senior Vice President of Product Development, Terremark Worldwide

10:15 a.m. FCoE vs. iSCSI – making the choice

The debate over storage network protocols isn't so clear-cut as it once seemed, as "the notion that Fibre Channel is for data centers and iSCSI is for SMBs and workgroups is outdated." Improving LAN speed and the potential of lossless Ethernet make iSCSI a possible fit in the data center. This session will examine how factors like "current product set, future application demands, organizational skill-set and budget" will determine your choice of FCoE or iSCSI.

Speaker - Stephen Foskett, Community Organizer, Gestalt IT

Pick of the day:

11:30 a.m. How do we finally get to IPv6?

The IPv4 address space is running out, whether you like it or not, and the world's Web infrastructure has to be upgraded and tested to make the transition to IPv6 a success. This panel will identify steps enterprise IT organizations should take to prepare for IPv6, the steps ISPs and network hardware vendors must take, and present a status report on how the major vendors are doing.

Moderator - John Curran, President & CEO, ARIN

Panelist – Dimitri Desmidt, Technical Marketing Engineer, A10 Networks

Panelist - Martin Levy, Director IPv6 Strategy, Hurricane Electric

Panelist - John Sweeting, Chair, ARIN Advisory Council

2 p.m. On-demand SLAs: cloud terms of service

The status of service-level agreements is one of the major sticking points preventing some enterprises from adopting cloud computing. While traditional computing products are location-specific, cloud networks can exist anywhere, making it difficult to ensure compliance and analyze risk. This session will provide an overview of U.S. and European laws, highlighting aspects of cloud computing that regulators might target.

Speaker - Nolan Goldberg, Attorney, Proskauer LLP

Speaker – David Snead, Attorney + Counselor, W. David Snead, P.C.

3:15 p.m. The real next generation network

The "next generation" of networks will be driven by dramatic shifts related to virtualization and cloud computing, and it's time to ask whether we should keep building networks the way we always have. Drawing on the latest information from researchers and lessons learned from leading cloud computing vendors, this panel will examine new approaches to designing networks that can build a "truly dynamic, virtualized data center."

Moderator - Jim Metzler, Vice President, Ashton Metzler & Associates

Panelist - Martin Casado, Co-Founder and CTO, Nicira Networks

Panelist - Nick McKeown, Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

Panelist - Igor Gashinsky, Network Architect, Yahoo

Panelist - Manish Muthal, Director, Strategic Planning, Networking Components Division, LSI

3:30 p.m. Dissecting the three major threat vectors – insiders, industrialized, and advanced persistent threats

Virus and malware attacks are coming at the enterprise from all angles, from the rudimentary to the highly complex. Using research from McAfee Labs and the experiences of real customers, McAfee will "paint a clear picture of today's threat landscape" to illustrate the differences "between insiders, industrialized hackers, and advanced persistent threats." Session attendees will learn about attacker motives, attack vectors, and the countermeasures enterprises can take that don't rely on a specific vendor or product.

Speaker - Brian Contos, Director Global Security Strategy, McAfee

Thursday, May 12

9 a.m. Off the hook: Advances in wireless LAN technologies

Wireless LAN is constantly evolving with new standards, specifications and technologies. This session will explain important developments, discuss implications for enterprise network planning and operations, and offer a glimpse into "the farther-term future of the wireless LAN."

Moderator - Fanny Mlinarsky, President, OctoScope

10:15 a.m. Social networks and security – can you have both?

It's getting more and more difficult for businesses to block employees from accessing social networks. They're not only popular, but they provide important business benefits, yet also "unheard-of security risks." This session will detail the security and privacy troubles posed by social networks while showing how enterprises can use them effectively without putting security and data at risk.

Speaker - Ben Rothke, Senior Security Consultant, British Telecom

11:30 a.m. The new age of WAN optimization

Deploying a WAN optimization controller yourself or obtaining one as part of a managed service aren't the only ways to handle "chatty protocols and the need to transmit large files" anymore. As the lineup of Interop sessions comes to a close, this panel will debate the pros and cons of various new WAN approaches, including software-as-a-service providers that offer network and application optimization functionality and WAN services with embedded optimization functionality.

Moderator - Jim Metzler, Vice President, Ashton Metzler & Associates

Panelist - Mark Weiner, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Virtela

Panelist – Neil Cohen,, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Akamai Technologies

Panelist - Tony Kourlas, Business Services Product Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Pick of the day

InteropNet tour and OpenFlow Lab

The InteropNet, the network that powers the Interop conference, is among the most impressive temporary computing networks in the world. The network is sponsored by Cisco, VMware, F5 Networks, HP, McAfee and many others, and this year features an OpenFlow Lab to help attendees examine the emerging OpenFlow network standard.

Interop network experts will use OpenFlow to demonstrate "How to extend a single management domain across a physical and virtual switch infrastructure made up of devices from a variety of vendors … how to provide unique load balancing functionality … [and] how to create an intelligent network based QOS for VoIP in a converged network."

Engineer-led tours of the InteropNet will run for a half hour at both 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday, as well as several times each on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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