A European networking engineer sent me this question:
I'd like to know where other fellow engineers meet up especially in Europe and discuss Enterprise datacenter and regular networking. There are the Cisco Live stuff things to go to but are there any vendor neutral meetups?
Gabi Gerber is organizing networking-focused workshops in Switzerland every quarter (search under SIGS Workshops), and you’re most welcome to join us ;) It’s always a boutique event, but that gives us the ability to chat long into the evening.
The only Europe-wide vendor-neutral event I can think of is RIPE meeting, but that’s heavily focused on service provider environment.
There are local meetups and country-level NOG (Network Operators Group) meetings that might have more balanced focus. I know there’s a large one in Poland (PLNOG), regular ones in Ireland, Italy, UK, Slovenia… Then there’s an IPv6 group in Switzerland, an SDN group in Switzerland, and I’m positive there must be similar groups and local meetups in other countries (please feel free to chime in and write a comment or two). These events are great if you happen to be around, but I wouldn’t spend my time and budget travelling there.
Apart from RIPE and maybe PLNOG I’m not aware of any reasonably-large networking-related event in Europe. Troopers always had a warm and cozy corner for networking engineers and we felt right at home there even though it’s a security conference, but it looks they became a more mainstream and focused conference this year, so that’s gone as well.
US isn’t much better. Interop was a great event, but started sliding down the slippery slope of focusing on providing value to exhibitors instead of attendees years ago becoming another marketing morass – the moment someone starts advertising free speaking slots included in sponsor packages I know who their customers are and what they’re selling as a product to those customers (see also this blog post by Ethan Banks).
Anything else? Please write a comment – I would love to know of an attendee-focused vendor-neutral networking event worth attending.