Meet some of the top experts who will talk networking, virtualization, storage and more in Las Vegas.
Each year, Interop brings together some of the best and brightest minds in the IT community to share their expertise, and this year is no different. While the name has changed somewhat – it's now Interop ITX – this year's conference will provide the same high-caliber roster of speakers. These technology experts, some of the most respected in the industry, will provide in-depth sessions and workshops across six tracks: infrastructure, data and analytics, cloud, security, DevOps, and leadership/professional development.
Since our focus here at Network Computing is infrastructure, we thought we'd put the spotlight on some of the infrastructure pros you can expect to see at Interop ITX May 15-19 in Las Vegas. These experienced and innovative IT practitioners and analysts will speak on topics like network automation, wireless networking, storage, hyperconvergence, and containers.
You're probably familiar with many of these IT experts – they're some of the more well-known names in infrastructure and some, such as Ethan Banks and Greg Ferro of Packet Pushers, are top-rated speakers at past Interop conferences. This year's event also features some names you may not be as familiar with, but who have deep knowledge in their domains, like Shawn Zandi, a principal network architect at LinkedIn.
Interop ITX prides itself on its independence, so you can expect these experts to provide objective insight on issues that are critical in today's fast-changing IT environment.
The following pages are a sample of the infrastructure experts scheduled to speak at Interop ITX. Check out the Interop ITX schedule to see the full roster of infrastructure speakers, as well as presenters in the other tracks.
Greg Ferro is a freelance network architect and engineer based in the UK. Co-Founder of Packet Pushers and a blogger, Ferro is renowned in the networking community for his irreverent sense of humor and willingness to provide candid opinions. He specializes in the design, security, and deployment of data centers, including network fabrics and cloud. At Interop ITX, Ferro will reprise the highly rated two-day Packet Pushers' Future of Networking Summit with Packet Pushers Co-Founder Ethan Banks.
Ethan Banks, CCIE #20655, is a hands-on networking practitioner. He's well-known in the networking community for providing objective insight into networking trends and technologies. In a recent interview, Banks outlined some of the key emerging trends in networking, which Interop ITX attendees can expect to hear more about in the two-day Packet Pushers' Future of Networking Summit he will present with Ferro.
Keith Townsend, SAP infrastructure architect at AbbVie and founder of The CTO Advisor, has more than 18 years of experience. His resume includes several years with a "Big 4" firm helping set the infrastructure strategy for Fortune 500 companies. Townsend is a prolific writer on topics such as virtualization and cloud.
At Interop ITX, he will talk about how enterprise IT needs to transform itself in, "Holistic IT Operations in the Application Age." Townsend also will present "Integrating Serverless Computing into Your Hybrid Infrastructure."
Eric Wright is a principal solutions engineer and technology evangelist at cloud and virtualization company Turbonomic. Wright, a VMware vExpert and Cisco Champion, is a regular contributor to community-focused groups such as the VMware User Group (VMUG) in Toronto, Canada. If that all wasn't enough, he pens the DiscoPosse.com blog.
Wright will moderate an all-day Open Source Summit, which will examine how the open movement is changing the way businesses use technology and how IT professionals work with it. He's also presenting, "Leaping the Major Hurdles to the Private Cloud."
Jennifer Huber, mobility solutions architect at integrator World Wide Technology, is a highly respected wireless networking expert. A CCNP and CWNE, she has a knack for translating complex technology into easily understood terms. Huber will cover best practices for securing WLANs in "Wireless Security Gotchas to Avoid."
A self-described "automation junkie," Oswalt focuses on building quality software for automation initiatives across technology disciplines. A software engineer at StackStorm, he's also a blogger, and writes about his experiences at Keeping It Classless. At last year's Interop, he presented a provocatively titled session that proved popular, "The 'Network Revolution' is a Lie." This year, he will present "Fundamental Principles of Automation," which is designed to help IT pros understand automation basics. He also will co-present the half-day workshop "Hands-on Practical Network Automation," which includes an introduction to Python.
Mike Pennacchi is a perennial favorite at Interop. The owner and lead network analyst for Network Protocol Specialists, a network analysis and training company based in Seattle, Wash., he has more than 16 years of experience as a troubleshooting consultant and trainer. A longtime Interop instructor (since 1997), Pennacchi has received Interop's Instructor Award as the highest ranking instructor multiple times. This year, he will lead a half-day workshop, "The Killer Troubleshooting Toolset Revisted," covering Wireshark, iperf, Cacti and more.
Sonia Cuff, co-founder of The Missing Chair, is a systems administrator and architect with more than 20 years of experience in IT. She describes herself as a "cloud realist" and runs a managed service provider in Australia, but is a New Zealander at heart. She's a blogger, speaker, and trainer.
Cuff will present "Cloud Thinking: IT Skills for Managing Cloud Environments," which will cover the skills and tools necessary to shift to a cloud-based strategy. She'll also appear on a panel, "Digital Transformation in the Real World" that will discuss topics such as what DevOps really means from an operations point of view.
Snehal Patel is a network architect at Gap Inc., where he is a subject matter expert on software-defined WAN. He leads the design and deployment of WAN architectures at Gap Inc.'s more than 3,000 stores, corporate offices and distribution centers. Patel also is a Network Computing contributor. His SD-WAN presentation at last year's Interop was highly rated by attendees. This year, he is a panelist on software-defined networking, "SDN: What is it Good For?"
Scott Lowe is widely known in the IT community as an author, blogger, speaker, and podcaster. With more than 20 years in the IT industry, Lowe focuses open source, cloud computing, virtualization, and networking. He is currently an engineering architect on VMware's NSX team. Lowe is one of four experts presenting a half-day workshop, "Hands-On Practical Network Automation." The workshop will cover how to get started with network automation, and experts will help guide participants. Lowe also will present "Deploying Applications to the Cloud with Containers."
With their focus on disaggregation and customization, operators of hyperscale data centers are revolutionizing networking. At Interop ITX, you have a chance to hear firsthand how LinkedIn designs its data center network. Shawn Zandi, a principal network architect with LinkedIn, will present, "LinkedIn's Approach to the Programmable Data Center." Zandi leads LinkedIn next-generation data center and infrastructure architecture projects as well as many engineering and working groups, and holds more than 50 industry certifications. Previously, he worked as a network and security for consulting firms from Dubai to Silicon Valley.
Stephen Foskett is well-known for organizing the popular Tech Field Day events, which bring together vendors and IT pros for technology deep dives, and also runs Foskett Services. He developed a reputation for his storage expertise, but has expanded into server virtualization, networking, and cloud computing. Foskett has been recognized as both a Microsoft MVP and VMware vExpert, and is a thought leader in the social media scene. He will present "The Case For Containers: What, When, and Why?"
Camberley Bates is the managing director and analyst at Evaluator Group, an analyst firm specializing in information and data storage. Bates has more than 30 years of experience, including work at Veritas, EDS, and IBM. She leads the research agenda at Evaluator Group, which covers the all-flash data center and adoption of emerging technologies such as software-defined storage. If you're still trying to figure out SDS, Bates will provide guidance at her session, "Software-Defined Storage: What it is and Why It's Making the Rounds in Enterprise IT."
Dan Conde is an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group focused on distributed system technologies including cloud computing and enterprise networking. His coverage includes public cloud, cloud and container orchestration systems, and software-defined architectures. We here at Network Computing count on his expert opinion and thoughtful views on technology news and trends. At Interop ITX, he and Jack Poller, a senior lab analyst at ESG, will present "Things To Know Before You (Hyper) Converge Your Infrastructure," which will provide guidance on one of the hottest topics in IT.
Storage guru Howard Marks is known for his deep expertise and engaging presentation style. His Interop sessions consistently receive high marks from attendees. Marks is founder and chief scientist at DeepStorage LLC, an independent test lab evaluating the latest in storage products. His consulting work included helping companies such as American Express and JP Morgan.
This year, you'll find Marks in the cloud track, presenting a half-day workshop "Managing Storage Across Public and Private Resources." The workshop will address the evolving role of the storage admin, automating storage management, hyperconvergence, and more.