It is my great honor to serve with Bruno Wollman, from my CCDE study group, as a delegate to NFD21! I’ve never participated before but I have watched some of their videos and recently subscribed to the podcasts by Gestalt IT. I’m joining for the second half the week and will get to see the following companies present:

Network to Code – They are well known for their role in automation and I’m keen to see their presentation. Likely many engineers I’ve taken some tentative steps into this realm and am diving more deeply this year with Ivan P’s excellent automation course. I have not worked with Network to Code previously but I have contacts that have and they speak highly of them.

Dell – Dell runs the gamut from an offerings perspective. They have strong options in most verticals of networking. I’m not sure what their presentation will be on exactly but I’m looking forward to it.

Forward Networks – Forward has offerings in the intent based networking space. I’ve heard a smattering about them from a number of podcasts and blogs I follow. I am very interested to hear their presentation. Many customers I work with face visualization and documentation challenges. It is very common to experience a “fog of war” when we reach the post-change-now-we-need-to-validate area. Forward can likely help solve some of those challenges and I’m interested to learn more.

Aruba Networking – Aruba is well-known and established for their wireless but they are part of the larger HPE portfolio for networking. I’m interested to see their presentation as I am hearing from more customers inquiring about ClearPass and their switching products as well as the topic of their presentation: SD-WAN and branch. SD-WAN is a very common topic and I am less versed on the Aruba offering. I’m excited to see what it can do.

Extreme Networks – I’ve not worked on Extreme gear in some time and they have had a run of acquisitions since then (include Brocade’s ethernet line which I have some experience on). Their presentation looks to cover two products in their portfolio, ExtremeCloud IQ and Extreme Fabric Connect. It looks automation and SDN heavy which I’m focusing on more this year. I’m also hoping I can participate in the hacking portion they mention. I’m certainly no hacker but I do enjoy challenges!

Ixia – I’m familiar with their load-generation/testing hardware from many years ago when I worked for an ISP. I’ve visited their booth in recent years at CiscoLive but haven’t had a chance to work with them in the customers I currently support. I know they have made moves into the visibility space as well and expect to hear good things about what they can do there.

I’ll likely have a few more posts in the coming two weeks as I digest the presentations and think through comments on them.

Disclosure: I was invited to participate in NFD21, and my participation is voluntary. Gestalt IT hosts the event and my transportation, accommodations, food and beverage is paid for by Gestalt IT for the duration of NFD21. I am not required to produce this post, and it was not reviewed or edited by Gestalt IT, other delegates or the sponsors of the event.

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