Reporters' Notebook: Interop Las Vegas 2008

The cool, odd and interesting from the big networking show

  • Storage start-up Fusion-io challenged Interop attendees to take an intense and speedy spin in their booth. The company's ioDrive product is intended to replace RAID adapters and to be used for transaction and performance I/O intensive environments.

  • The kickoff keynote at Interop Las Vegas 2008 was by C.K. Prahalad, a University of Michigan business professor who says IT matters in developing a new kind of commerce that generates individualized products for each customer. A little dry, but he told the crowd they could read all about it in his new book, The New Age of Innovation: Driving co-created value through global networks, and then he gave everybody a free copy.

  • Network monitoring vendor Net Optics used the Interop show floor and a Mini Cooper to send its message about its Monitoring Access Platform designed to MAP traffic for optimal monitoring. Interop attendees could also enter to win a TomTom GPS system at the vendor's booth.

  • BlueCat Networks uses virtual golf games and uniquely attired caddies to draw Interop attendees to its booth to discuss the drive to IPAM and help network managers undersstand why IP address management is so critical in 2008.

  • Wi-Fi vendor Xirrus urged Interop attendees to "Ditch the Switch" by featuring a industrial sized ditch digger in their booth. The vendor says its product is the only Wi-Fi device capable of replacing Ethernet workgroup switches.

  • To drive home the point that wired networks are so Pleistocene, Motorola fashioned the image of a dinosaur out of old Cat 5 cable and coat hangers to hype their 21st Century 802.1n wireless gear.

  • Network configuration vendor AlterPoint used a horror movie theme in its booth to relay the frights network managers face daily.

  • Finisar gave out these little tiny bottles of hot sauce they say could be made with the heat removed from data centers by installing their cooler optical cables.

  • One booth at Interop didn't have as much to do with technology as it did reflexology. Interop attendees could stop and get the state of their sore feet assessed, pick up some gel insoles and carry on with the show.

  • Interop had lots of talk and exhibits about how networking equipment and practices can be more environmentally friendly and carry a smaller carbon footprint. The organizers must have really gotten into it because they were even bragging about the enviro-friendly carpeting.

  • InteropNet, the network set up and torn down just before and after Interop, is pieced together by a staff of dedicated volunteers who sometimes have to be sent off the show floor to sleep or they'd just work on the network 24-7. If you can afford the wages and have the skills, the show NOC might be able to use you.

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