Top 7 Network Engineering Conferences Ranked

Phil Gervasi gives his opinion on network engineering conferences and why the Networking Field Day event is at the top of his list. Check out his thoughts on his website, NetworkPhil, and be sure to catch all of the latest updates and presentations on the Tech Field Day website!

Demonstrating End-To-End Visibility From Client to the Cloud

At Networking Field Day, Phil Gervasi represented Riverbed in their presentation. This piece is a disclosure of everything he presented. Read it, and learn more!

Cisco Intent-Based Networking Roundtable

Join the delegates from Gestalt IT’s Tech Field Day Virtual Cisco Live Experience as they dive into the latest intent-based networking announcements from Cisco. Listen in as they discuss the importance of network policy, user-defined networks, location tracking, and SD-WAN. Tom Hollingsworth leads the expert panel of Phil Gervasi, Shala Denise, Jonathan Davis, John Herbert, and Jody Lemoine.

Get Your Network Under Control With Gluware

Phil Gervasi has seen the rise of network automation, and thinks across IT the idea and practice has gone pretty mainstream. Of course, this doesn’t mean there isn’t a steep learning curve for organizations to embrace automation. But in practice, Phil hasn’t seen that as the primary thing stopping automation efforts, rather its the resources it takes to get automation going at scale that stalls many organizations. But he found that Gluware’s vendor-agnostic, pre-packaged automation platform is a good way to smooth out this process. At Networking Field Day, they showed how they can operate alongside homegrown automation initiatives, and with traditional local device management. But for Phil, the ability to bring their pre-built intelligence to the network can solve the problem of having to develop everything from scratch.

Building a Software Defined Cloud Network With CloudGenix

In this case, Phil Gervasi makes the case that while a lot of SD-WAN conversations still position the solution as an emerging technology, that’s no longer the case. He argues that with clear uses cases having emerged, it is now a maturing technology, and that the differentiator for a lot of providers comes down to cloud connectivity. SD-WAN is less about cost saving and load balancing, and more about connecting to cloud resources and SaaaS apps easier, more secure, and with a better user experience. At Networking Field Day, he heard from CloudGenix, which offers an SD-WAN solution that’s almost completely cloud focused, based on software running on commodity equipment. Rather than an appliance-in-a-box approach, they do this to offer a SD-WAN fabric with hooks into a wide array of cloud-based SaaS and IaaS solutions.

Simplifying Data Center Interconnect With 128 Technology

During Networking Field Day Exclusive with 128 Technology, the delegates heard how the company solves the data center interconnection problem by leveraging secure vector routing and a management overlay called the 128T Conductor. In this post, Phil Gervasi looks at how this differs from traditional SD-WAN approaches, and what makes 128 Technology’s approach to routing unique.

Level Up Your NetOps With Apstra

Phil Gervasi found Apstra’s presentation at Networking Field Day late last year to be interesting. The company broke down what it means by Intent-Based Networking, defining four distinct levels. Apstra claimed that most IBN companies are offering just basic automation or perhaps a single source of truth. But the company outlined how they want to move beyond that and get to a truly self-operating network.

Cisco SD-WAN: On-Ramp to the Cloud

Phil Gervasi always has his radar up to detect marketing FUD from IT companies. But at Networking Field Day last year, a lot of what he heard from Cisco about SD-WAN rang true. The category is hardly new, and Cisco’s acquisition of Viptela is 2017 validated it as an area of focus for the company. For Cisco, they tie mass SD-WAN adoption to cloud adoption, with an overall theme of how to on-ramp to and manage a multi-cloud topology. Phil runs through what they presented and how it enables that for organizations.

Hopeful with a Dash of Skepticism: Cisco 9800 Wireless Controllers

Phil Gervasi is still haunted by memories of the Cisco 5760 Wireless LAN Controller. So it was with that in mind that he looks at Cisco’s new WLCs they presented at Networking Field Day, the 9300 and 9800 series. Phil thinks these can be successful due to their IOS-XE programmability and their ability to be deployed in racks or in the cloud as virtual appliances. Phil doesn’t think Cisco is repeating the issues of the 5760, and wants to start building them out in a lab soon.

Simplifying Network Security with Context-Aware Micro-Segmentation

In this piece, Phil Gervasi reviews VMware’s context-aware micro-segmentation solution built into NSX. He got a deep dive look at this at Networking Field Day this past January. This allows organizations to bring security down to the application itself, which is vital to maintain security on east-west traffic.

Networking is Finally Catching Up

Phil Gervasi reflects on why servers have been managed programmatically for years, but not networks. From what he saw at Networking Field Day last month, that’s about to change. Phil cites Extreme Networks as standing out with providing a means for greater agility and efficiency in programming networks.

Off the Cuff – NFD17 Wrap Up

In the most recent “Off the Cuff” episode of Network Collective, the crew discussed what they saw at Networking Field Day last week. What happens when six delegates sit on a podcast together? Magic!

SD-WAN as a Service: Just Give Me an Ethernet Handoff

Phil Gervasi looks at what he saw from TELoIP at Networking Field Day. The company is offering SD-WAN as a service (SDWaaS?). Phil sees the core business benefit of this approach as ease of use and cost savings. The fundamental idea of a managed WAN isn’t all that new to Phil. He sees TELoIP potentially allowing organizations to cancel more expensive MPLS circuits, and instead utilize cheap broadband prices. Since TELoIP utilizes a variety of public internet providers for their service, they are able to achieve collective reliability, with a wrapped in SLA, for much cheaper price. Phil wants to look into some more of the details of transport before making any final judgement. The underlying idea might not be brand new, but TELoIP has an interesting technical approach to the solution.

TELoIP at Networking Field Day 15

TELoIP presents at Networking Field Day next week. Phil Gervasi will be watching their presentation closely, as he has a keen interest in the SD-WAN market. He’s interested to see how they will differentiate themselves in an increasingly clouded marketing with their managed WAN solution and cloud infrastructure. Make sure to check out the live stream to watch it along with Phil!

Trust But Verify: Lossless End-To-End Visibility from Ixia

Phil Gervasi looked at Ixia’s “Trust But Verify” approach to network monitoring. It’s an interesting approach, most other solutions simply assume that network traffic is being received by monitoring tools. Ixia goes beyond this. Instead of relying on SPAN ports, which drop traffic when a switch is overloaded, they use a series of packet brokers and network taps to make sure lossless data is being received by your monitoring solution. That’s right, Ixia proposes to not lose a single packet in doing this. That’s a tall order, check out Phil’s piece to see how Ixia is pulling it off.

SD-WAN with VeloCloud at Networking Field Day 13

Phil Gervasi is excited for some “SD-WAN goodness” at Networking Field Day next week! He’s particularly anticipating VeloCloud’s presentation, a well known presence in the space. He wants to see what differentiates VeloCloud in their solution to provide private reliability, performance and security for applications running over the public internet.

He’s also looking forward to details about how their cloud network of distributed gateways works. It’s an exciting time in the SD-WAN space, its something that can be deployed and make a difference in the enterprise today. Check back for more details and coverage about VeloCloud during and after the event!

Information Security: Lying to Ourselves for Peace of Mind

Information Security: Lying to Ourselves for Peace of Mind

Phil Gervasi

Senior Network Engineer currently working in security.