NFD16 First Impressions

Getting bored sitting at San Jose airport waiting for Vagrant to update guest additions in my Ubuntu VM (first item on my to-do list: prepare final version of material for next week’s Docker workshop), so here are my very first impressions of Networking Field Day 16 presentations we’ve seen in the last three days.

As always, there were great presentations, good presentations, … and a few that are best forgotten. I won’t mention those.

Absolute winner in the Nerd Factor category is Avi Freedman from Kentik. Not only do they have a cool product with tons of nerdy features like using Postgres as SQL proxy for their own database, his presentation style reminds me more of Artur Bergman than a typical corporate drone.

Runner-up: Apstra. They still showed the hello world app (L3 Clos fabric), but the ease of extending that for your own use is great… not to mention changing your network design through Slack (not that I’d recommend doing that in production, but it was fun to watch).

Interesting idea: Veriflow. Discounting the over-selling, the idea of taking snapshots of data plane structures (FIB, ACLs and NAT), and having the ability to answer graph queries is worth looking at – you might find it an interesting compliance and forensics tool.

Bright moments: Ken Duda (Arista) on automation, and Tim Garner (Cisco) describing Tetration.

Gigamon and Pluribus weren’t bad, but we never got into the weeds like we did with Kentik or Apstra.

Finally, in the “best forgotten” category: we’ve seen too many GUI products that seemed to be mimicking early versions of HP OpenView or CiscoWorks. It's interesting that you can still get someone excited with a pie-chart and a graph, but I prefer to pass that opportunity.

The usual NFD disclosure.

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