Networking pros are a prolific bunch. Not only do they work tirelessly to build and troubleshoot networks, they also like to share their knowledge, experience -- and opinions. They're definitely not shy to express themselves, and many of them like to write. There are a lot of networking blogs where you can read practitioners' thoughts on technology trends like SDN and DevOps, read about their experiences in the trenches, and get helpful tips. But where do you start?
We've put together some recommendations for you. The list includes some of the most high-profile networking bloggers in the industry, including Greg Ferro, Ivan Pepelnjak, and Ethan Banks. Other big names include Lee Badman, Jason Edelman, Terry Slattery, and Ed Horley.
You're in luck, because many of these bloggers will also be speaking at Interop New York, which will be held Sept. 29 to Oct. 3. Check out their expert blogs and make plans to head to New York this fall!
Any list of networking blogs arguably has to start with EtherealMind, which is penned by Greg Ferro, a network architect and engineer working out of the UK. A Network Computing contributor, Greg pioneered the networking blog and also is widely known for his weekly Packet Pushers Podcast. In fact, at Interop in Las Vegas earlier this year, one of his sessions, "How to Be a Tech Blogger," attracted an overflow crowd. His successful formula combines extensive experience with a sense of humor and refreshingly candid opinions.
At Interop New York, Greg will hold a half-day workshop, "Faster, Cheaper, More Flexible: The Next-Generation WAN," that examines the future of the WAN and looks at next-generation technologies such as cloud-based WANs and WAN as a service. He'll also lead a workshop, "Building the Physical Network for the Software-Defined Data Center," and a session, "How the Software-Defined WAN Changes Everything for the Better."
Ivan Pepelnjak has built a huge fan base through his countless blog posts, articles, books and presentations. He's a prolific blogger, writing detailed technical posts at ipSpace.net, focusing on large-scale data centers, SDN and software-defined data centers. Ivan is the chief technology advisor at NIL Data Communication, and has been designing large-scale service provider and enterprise networks since 1990. His compelling workshops and conference session at Interop Las Vegas 2014 earned him the conference's top speaker rating.
You'll have a lot of chances to hear Ivan speak at Interop New York. He'll lead a half-day workshop, "Designing Infrastructure for Private Clouds," during which he'll discuss private cloud design principles, the importance of cloud orchestration software, and more. He'll also lead a half-day workshop on "Designing the Virtual Network for the Software-Defined Data Center," to help participants cut through vendor marketing hype by providing guidance on software-defined storage, SDN, overlay virtual networks, and NFV.
Ivan also will co-present a full-day workshop with Eric Hanselman, chief analyst at 451 Research, "Software-Defined Networking and Network Virtualization." And he'll lead a deep-dive session, "Following a Packet Through the Virtual Data Center."
Ethan Banks on Networking
Ethan Banks is another top-rated speaker from Interop Las Vegas 2014 with a must-read blog for networking pros. A Network Computing contributor and co-host of the Packet Pushers Podcast, Ethan blogs at Ethan Banks On Networking, which is filled with informative posts on everything from Ethernet switches, SDN, white-box switching, and ruminations on the value of the CCIE certification. By day, he is senior network architect at Carenection, a startup providing telehealth services.
Ethan is also the Infrastructure Track Chair for Interop New York, and will participate in a debate with an intriguing title: "Learn SDN vs. Traditional Certifications: What's Better for Your Career?" He'll also lead a session on points organizations should consider when evaluating an active/active data center design. The session, "Lessons Learned Operating Active/Active Data Centers," will address issues such as network bandwidth and latency, and stateful firewall inspection.
If wireless networks are your focus, then Lee Badman's wirednot blog will be of particular interest. Lee, network engineer and wireless technical lead at Syracuse University, keeps up on all the latest WLAN developments and has a keen eye for hot wireless topics, such as social WiFi sign-in and the potential security risks drones pose to WLANs. A Network Computing contributor, he also teaches classes on networking, wireless network administration, and wireless security. His technical background includes 10 years in the US Air Force as an Electronic Warfare systems technician.
At Interop New York, Lee will lead "The Yin and Yang of Cloud-Managed WiFi," which will look at real-world cloud WiFi deployments and review trade-offs with the new model.
Jason Edelman's Blog
Jason Edelman is an evangelist for emerging network technologies, including SDN, network automation and the intersection of networking and DevOps. His popular blog covers topics such as SDN vs. network virtualization, OpenFlow, Docker networking, and the future of the network engineer. He recently left Presidio, a large solution provider/integrator where he worked as a principal solutions architect, with plans to launch his own company.
Keeping with the theme of emerging technologies, Jason will lead a session at Interop New York focused on bringing network automation and programmability to life for the traditional network engineer. "A Practical Look at Network Automation" will review API types like Cisco onePK and how to use tools such as Ansible for building network configurations.
OK, so this isn't a networking blog, but it's one infrastructure pros should follow. Storage guru Howard Marks is one of Network Computing's most prolific contributors, and he also maintains a blog at DeepStorage.net. Howard provides practical, hands-on analysis based on his 30 years in the tech trenches. As a consultant, he's helped organizations of all sizes with storage and network problems. Today he is founder and chief scientist at DeepStorage, where he runs an independent test lab.
An engaging and entertaining speaker, Howard is also consistently rated as a top speaker by Interop attendees. At Interop New York, you'll have a couple chances to catch Howard in person. He'll present a half-day workshop, "Making Cloud Work for Your Organization," where he'll discuss different cloud storage service types, provide practical use cases, and address cloud storage benefits and risks. In addition, Howard will present a session, "Software-Defined Storage: Reality or BS?"
IPv6 is Ed Horley's specialty. He's the author of "Practical IPv6 for Windows Administrators" and is actively involved in IPv6 on the North American IPv6 Task Force and serves as the co-chair of the California IPv6 Task Force. A principal solutions architect at Groupware Technology, Ed blogs about IPv6 and other topics at howfunky.com.
At Interop New York, he'll present an introduction to IPv6, "IPv6 Bootcamp -- Get Up to Speed Quickly." The session will cover IPv6 addresses, address management, and planning a migration.
Terry Slattery, a popular Interop speaker, has quite the impressive resume. A principal consultant at network consulting firm Chesapeake Netcraftsmen, he is the founder of Netcordia, co-inventor on two patents, and has been a successful technology innovator in networking during the past 20 years. His long history of network consulting and design work includes leading the development of the current Cisco IOS command line interface. Terry co-authored "Advanced IP Routing in Cisco Networks," and is the second CCIE (1026) awarded. He blogs at Chesapeake Netcraftsmen along with other experts at the firm, including Pete Welcher.
You can see Terry at Interop New York, where he'll present "Building Networks for Real-time Applications: What Works, What Doesn't?" He'll review fundamental best practices of network management for real-time traffic and discuss emerging issues such as how to identify and troubleshoot problems related to ad hoc video usage on your network.
Current Analysis IT Connection Blogs - Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto, principal analyst at Current Analysis, provides keen insight into enterprise networking and data center technology trends and news at Current Analysis IT Connection Blogs. A former editor of Network Computing and a well-respected industry expert, Mike's insight is based on extensive experience reviewing and writing about enterprise IT products.
Since we're focusing on networking, we'd be remiss if we didn't include the Interop blog. Here, Andrew Conry-Murray, director of content and community for Interop, provides informative and provocative posts on the IT industry. He's joined by Interop speakers such as Ed Horley and Ethan Banks, as well as the folks building the InteropNet and other technical initiatives. You'll also see updates on the latest conference news and planning.