Interop highlights for the network manager in you

* A look at what Interop 2008 has to offer IT managers

Interop 2008 kicks off this week in Las Vegas and swarms of network professionals will be on site to learn how they can optimize their networks, improve application performance and save money - all while incorporating emerging technologies such as green computing, virtualization and Web 2.0.

The Interop conference and exhibition promise to deliver the latest product news, as well as educate attendees about new trends in networking. Show planners also dedicated many sessions to bringing in experts and enterprise IT managers to discuss how they tackled specific problems or how they are putting in place technologies and processes to help IT better support the business.

For instance, Lisa Phifer, vice president at Core Competence, will moderate Tuesday, April 29 a panel focusing on the new challenges and opportunities that arise when securing and managing wireless networks. (Compare WLAN Management products.) Representatives from Trapeze Networks, AirTight Networks and Airwave Wireless will join Phifer to discuss the key strategic approaches to wireless security and management for both wireless LAN and wide-area wireless deployments.

A session Wednesday, April 30 will be headed up by Barb Goldworm, president and chief analyst at Focus, which intends to shed some light on a management tool designed to take on the new virtual data center. Goldworm will host representatives from vendors such as Veeam Software, Avocent, ManageIQ and CA. The session promises to explain which existing tools can take on virtual environments and what new product should be considered to manage next-generation data centers.

Jim Metzler, Vice President, Ashton, Metzler & Associates on Thursday, May 1 is moderating a session on breaking down the technology and organizational silos. The panel discussion features the CIO of Frontier Airlines, Gerry Coady, the chief architect and director of architecture at Xcel Energy Nagesh Anupindi and KPMG manager of architecture Peter Hughes. The session aims to highlight how VoIP, VPN, application performance management and other technology initiatives are forcing once distinct groups within IT to work together - with ultimate responsibility falling on the network team. The session plans to detail techniques IT organizations could use to break down the walls between silos, and most specifically, how to be the silo-breaker in your organization.

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