Interop Cloud Computing
I had the good fortune to visit Interop this past May 8-11 in Las Vegas. Jeannie (The Beautiful Wife) and I drove up to Vegas on Sunday Morning and checked in at SouthPoint Casino. Wow, it was pretty nice. I did a search on 5 star hotels in the Las Vegas area and sorted them based upon cost and this SouthPoint show up at around $50 a night. I had never heard of them, and when I looked it up on the map, it was WAY far south of the airport. The strip generally ends at the airport. Anyway, since we had a car, we decided to go for it. It was pretty nice, clean and quite. They put us up on the top floor and we had views of the whole desert.
On the way, we got to drive “OVER the damn”. That’s the First time I had been on that road since they opened up the bridge. So I knew I was WAY high, but the way they designed the bridge??? I couldn’t see anything. The barricades were so high that all I saw was concrete.
Light Reading had sent me many messages, and told me about this new event that they were going to be hosting. Well Heavy Reading was going to sponsor this event concurrent with Interop. So I thought it’d be a good opportunity to hear what heavy reading had to say about cloud computing, get in a couple of vendor sponsored drinks, as well as see all the chaos on the Interop floor. You see I used to be a volunteer for the Interop, way back in 1998, when I worked for Kellogs, I helped the guys build the Interop network and the Noc. I also did customer demonstrations of this NEW pic that Cisco had come out with that allowed us to do VoIP over a 2600 series router, but that’s a whole other story, (One that includes how I met my wife)…
So, I expected this conference to have some heavy hitters, and it did kind of look like it was going to be a technical conference. You know, digging into some of the nuts and bolts of what the different vendors considered to be their cloud offering, and the different protocols and technology that they were using to accomplish this “Cloud thing”. That’s Heavy Readings Gig. Heavy Reading generally puts out very technical papers, that are researched in the industry, and then they charge companies money to read the papers.
Cisco, Juniper, Foundry where all presenting, and I think based upon the people presenting and manning the discussions, they could have gotten technical. HOWEVER, I think Light reading must have had too much influence over the discussions and the questions. This conference had to have been one of the most boiled down “soft” conventions that I’ve ever attended. Now I’ve attended IETF several times and MEF once or twice. I wasn’t even expecting it to be at the MEF level. Good thing I didn’t have my expectations set very high. They weren’t even met. Believe me I don’t consider the MEF to be technical either.
But I did get this cool book.
So I guess one of the things that most confused me was even the lack of a definition of what some of the companies consider to be “cloud”. IMHO Cloud is kind of like Managed Services. Where a company can outsource EVERYTHING to the “cloud” or in other words outsource their “whatever’s” to the cloud. Infrastructure, communications, servers, applications, whatnot. It’s like a big Ethernet switch You know I had to bring it back to the blog somehow.
I expected somebody to stand up and say what a cloud was, nobody really did. I guess it was Ken from foundry, who said it best. Years ago, when he went to talk with Network engineers about designs, they would always draw a big cloud on the whiteboard and then start hooking things to it. He said that’s when they started Cloud computing.
I kept waiting for the conversations to turn technical and it never did. I eventually got bored and left to explore the larger Interop show. Perhaps next time they’ll get more involved in the nuts and bolts? Or if it’s going to be the same old soft shoe I’ll probably skip these from now on.
Interop was good and I did have some drinks on the vendors. I also got to meet Dan Lynch who happened to be at one of the gatherings. Jeannie and I were about to leave and he came over trying to pick up my wife. Super nice guy. It was interesting to see him talk with Vincent Cerf at the Interop opening on Tuesday. Guess he’s got some history.
So, draw a VPLS network! I bet money you start by drawing a cloud.