Networking Field Day 17 is a wrap. What a week! My first Tech Field Day event did not disappoint. As expected, I met many smart, quick, and funny folks, and I got unprecedented access to some of the biggest names in networking. How better to close this event out than with a short debrief of some of the key take aways? Buckle up, it’s time for Hawt or Naught, NFD17 edition:

Hawt – Openness

  • Juniper’s getting serious about putting the Open in Open Contrail
  • Linux, YANG, P4, Python, JSON, OpenR, gRPC, and GitHub are showing up everywhere
  • Extreme demo’d some cool tools powered by (open source) StackStorm
  • Cisco, Extreme, VMware, and Juniper all showcased network devices/stacks open to 3rd party applications (often open source apps like Snabb and PerfSonar)
  • Mellanox’ switches are open to several NOS’ and Cumulus is, well, Linux (hard to get much more open than that)

Naught – Closedness

Closed “yankee swap” gifts were fun for a while, but it’s long past time to open them all up

NFD17 Yankee Swap

Hawt – The Network Providing Security

Naught – Breaking Perimeter Security

I couldn’t work up the courage to drink a second RedBull, but I had two. I proceeded to forget about the second one in my bag on the way home – TSA was not amused.

TSA redbull

Hawt – Telemetry and Visibility

  • Juniper highlighted the visibility, streaming telemetry, and analytics provided by both Contrail, and AppFormix, including application visualizations and all layers of infrastructure
  • ThousandEyes is all about visibility (they call it network intelligence), and that’s only increasing with the new Device Layer and expanded “Internet Intelligence” capabilities
  • Extreme demonstrated how to use their Insight Architecture to automate both distributed packet capture and performance testing
  • Vmware showed us how to use Traceflow for troubleshooting
  • Cisco dug deep into the layers of telemetry and contrasted model-driven with event-driven telemetry for us
  • Ixia demonstrated data center network validation, including EVPN VXLAN
  • Cumulus demonstrated how to use NetQ to gain valuable insights into what your network, and your hosts, are up to

Naught – SNMP

Can we just stop already? It’s still ubiquitous, but luckily we seem to be moving to model-based telemetry.

Banging Your Head on the Wall

Hawt – Automation, Orchestration, and Intent

  • Juniper explained how to create a NaaS / PaaS across multiple clouds by abstracting (and proactively seeking) intent, using the infrastructure as the single source of truth, and performing automation
  • Extreme showcased their cross-domain automation life-cycle through several demos
  • VMware also talked about enabling a multicloud PaaS / CaaS using automation, abstraction, and context to ensure that the network looks like one router or firewall
  • Cisco showcased the thought going into the UX design of DNA Center and demonstrated both SD Access’ “recommended intents” for the campus and iPXE in IOS-XR to bring ZTP to your routers
  • Cumulus told us how to use Vagrant and Cumulus VX to automate a full-scale PoC, and discussed the flexibility inherent in using completely open tools
  • There was a strong focus on day 2 automation across the board, which is great because:

Naught – Manually Configuring and Troubleshooting Your Infrastructure

Work smarter, not harder.

Hawt – Platforms for the Multicloud

The battle is obviously on to be the dominant multicloud (network) infrastructure fabric!

Naught – Platforms for the Sasquatch

Just kidding, this guy is super hawwwwt! How do you shred through all that fur?


Hawt – This Great Group of Delegates

I mean, just look at us

Networking Field Day 17 Delegates

From left to right: 

@Buraglio@NetworkAutobahn@EtherealMind@Drew_CM@Network_Phil@BenTGage@Net_Introvert@MrLESmithJr@NetworkingNerd@Renegade604@SharpNetwork@MrTugs, myself (@ChrisGrundemann), and @802Tophat

Naught – Forgetting to say Thank You

I’m super grateful to have been invited to Networking Field Day 17! Thanks especially to Tom, Ben (Matt), and Claire for making the whole thing happen, and run so smooth!

NOTE: I will be posting more in depth analysis and synthesis of these trends in the coming days and weeks, so check back often! In the mean time, you can view all the event videos by following the links here:


  1. […] Networking Field Day 17: Hawt or Naught […]

  2. […] just asking to be the brunt of many punishing puns. Based on the chatter during the second day of NFD17, that is certainly true for Extreme Networks. In fact, it’s actually hard to avoid. So […]

  3. […] and hyper-converged infrastructure.” More succinctly, as they recently informed us at NFD17, Mellanox focuses on connecting servers and storage. They do this with purpose-built NICs, cables, […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.