Yesterday I had a chance to walk the Interop show floor before it opened. Controlled chaos is a good word for it. It's hard to imagine that all the exhibitors and show staff get the exhibit hall ready in a little more than 24 hours. Forklifts are flitting around, carrying everything from equipment racks to rolls of carpet. Cherry pickers are rolling through the aisles hanging signage. Vendor system engineers are setting up booths, racking equipment and preparing demonstrations for the show. You can catch all of TechWeb's Interop coverage at the Special Report Page.
I made a point of stopping by the InteropNet Labs OpenFlow demonstration by the NOC and catching up with team lead Jed Daniels. Setting up a demonstration, as anyone in IT who has done one knows, is a difficult job, but Daniels and his team were pretty far along in the process. The demonstration has 16 different vendors, all interoperating in the lab network. Some of the more interesting demonstrations will be showing a virtual machine move between the OpenFlow Lab and participating vendor booths.
The techs will walk you through how the network is designed and then show it, and what is really interesting is that the address spaces overlap in both locations but the move happens. They will also demonstrate bridging to a non-OpenFlow network, which shows how you can have both an OpenFlow managed network and a traditional one running side-by-side and that you can split a physical switch into OpenFlow and non-OpenFlow. Finally, they will have OpenFlow running in a Xen hypervisor.
Be sure to take a NOC tour with one of the InteropNet volunteers. They will walk you through the InteropNet, featuring a backbone of Cisco and HP switches, wireless gear from Cisco and Meru, and the monitoring and management layout. This is also the first year that Interop is offering IPv6 throughout the show, and the tour will highlight that, as well.
Other highlights include the Security Zone, where you can see current security-related products, and the Czech Republic zone, which showcases companies from (you guessed it) the Czech Republic. I have always enjoyed going through the Korean zone during past shows to see what companies from that area were doing. Hope you enjoy the show, and let us know what you found interesting by commenting below.Mike Fratto is a principal analyst at Current Analysis, covering the Enterprise Networking and Data Center Technology markets. Prior to that, Mike was with UBM Tech for 15 years, and served as editor of Network Computing. He was also lead analyst for InformationWeek Analytics ... View Full Bio