NetWorld+Interop 2004 Show Planner

A daily planner of the best picks of the show.

As corporate IT executives begin to dust off their checkbooks this year, NetWorld+Interop Las Vegas 2004 is the place to learn about leading-edge technologies, mission-critical applications and emerging security strategies - all designed to give organizations a competitive edge, optimize their networks and protect them from potential threats.

Industry analyst firms such as IDC and Forrester report technology spending is on the rise this year, and show planners are banking on it. According to them, the goal for N+I 2004 is to provide IT buyers with accurate and actionable information about relevant technologies emerging in the coming months.

"We really tried to look at it, 'Yes, the industry is coming back, but buyers still need to dig more deeply to make purchases,'" says Steve Wylie, director of content for N+I. "IT buyers have to justify their purchases from both a business and a technology point of view."

From performance to wireless to security to data center and storage, this year's N+I will offer the expected 20,000 attendees a virtual catalog of technologies. More than 320 exhibitors - up about 25% from last year's show - will showcase their latest wares, and show planners narrowed conference tracks down to six areas: performance; wireless; security; infrastructure and services; data center and storage; and collaboration and VoIP.

"This year we have dedicated conferences on subjects that IT managers need to consider from both a technology point of view and a business one," says Lenny Heymann, general manager of N+I. "We have attendees coming from large companies with large budgets, and as things continue to pick up in the industry, we want to show them the whole picture."

Monday, May 10

Pick of the day

8 a.m to 5 p.m.

Network Forensics Day

Moderator: Bill Alderson, executive net analyst, Pine Mountain Group

Although budgets slowly are coming back, network managers still need to optimize the wares they already have. They need a tactical approach to solving complex problems on their network. That's the goal of this all-day education program, which Alderson says will give network managers responsible for delivering applications to end users what they need to know "from client to server applications and all points in between."

Sponsored by troubleshooting vendors such as Finisar, Fluke Networks and Opnet, this session will give attendees the key process and people skills to determine the source of a problem and solve it quickly. The session leaders will reveal 2004's top 10 problems affecting performance and reliability. It also will offer practical ways to address them.

This event also will give attendees the chance to raise their top issues and ask sponsors about how they will address them.

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Tutorials and Workshops: Understanding Voice over IP

Moderator: David Oran, Cisco fellow

 About half of the more than 360 attendees that participated in an N+I survey say they already use VoIP or have plans to implement the technology.

This workshop will provide a system-level understanding of how voice can be applied to legacy and telephone applications. This session covers most aspects of VoIP systems, from endpoint audio processing through media transport and quality-of-service concerns, plus security and topical areas such as network address translation and firewall traversal. Oran says the session will provide an overview and a good foundation for this technology.

Tuesday, May 11

Pick of the day

10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Network World Mini Showdown: Security: Build it or buy it?

Moderator: John Dix, editor in chief, Network World

Panel: Bruce Schneier, founder and CTO of Counterpane Internet Security, a managed security services firm; and Nir Zuk, CTO of security equipment provider NetScreen Technologies.

Network World's Dix will take to the Interop Theater, Exhibitor Floor to offer attendees the chance to hear product and strategy directions from top vendors in a debate format.

Enterprise security demands are responding to ever-more daunting threats and legal requirements to safeguard data. But customers face a fundamental question: Is it best to buy components and piece together best-of-breed custom defenses, or simply procure security as a service and leave the driving to the experts?

For network professionals such as Dan Skielnik, a network analyst with Ford Motor, this session is a must-see. Skielnik, who will be attending N+I for the first time this year, says securing data center infrastructure is an area of specific interest to him. He manages one of Ford's Dearborn, Mich., data facilities.

"With all the new viruses and worms out there, security is becoming a big issue for everyone in the industry," Skielnik says. He adds that Ford has seen virus- and worm-related traffic jump dramatically in its network over the last few years.

"Increasing security everywhere is a priority, but especially in our data centers, because that's where our critical systems are," he says.

10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Focused VoIP Case Studies: Assessing IP Telephony

Moderator: Robin Gareiss, principal research officer, Nemertes Research

Panel: Elliott Zeltzer, chief infrastructure architect, Gedas USA (technology subsidiary of Volkswagen); Ron Pike, telecommunications manager, EDAW; Philip Brody, CTO, Clark County School District; John Haltom, network director, technology management, Erlanger Health System.

For many, VoIP is a subject they only hear vendors talk about, but this session is for those who want to hear real-world VoIP users talk about the technology. IT professionals answer these critical questions: Which vendors did you assess, and why did you choose or not choose each? What were the toughest problems to overcome during implementation? What do you want vendors to focus on in the coming year?

The panel also will answer questions from the audience.

3:30 to 4:45 p.m.

The Next Killer App: Voice Over WLAN

Moderator: Eric Krapf, managing editor, Business Communications Review

Panel: Matthew Glenn, director, product management, Airespace; Michael Frendo, vice president, Voice Systems Engineering Division, Voice Technology Group, Cisco; and Ben Guderian, director of marketing, SpectraLink.

For those attendees looking to hear about bleeding-edge technologies, VoWi-Fi industry leaders will detail exactly how voice-over-WLAN technologies can be implemented, and the tools and tactics IT managers will need to get them in place.

4:30 to 6 p.m.

Interop Booth Crawl

To keep network professionals motivated to travel from booth to booth, N+I and vendor sponsors will feature free food and drink after-hours on the show floor. This interactive event, combined with the increased floor traffic for the Best of Interop Awards program, will give attendees a casual atmosphere in which to check out vendor booths. Vendors will have designated areas for attendees to eat, drink and network.

Wednesday, May 12

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

2nd Annual Iron Chef of Information Security Competition

Moderator: World Organization of Webmasters

Booth 1951

Whether you're a fan of the popular television program "Iron Chef" on the Food Network or you just like to see IT professionals scramble against a deadline, you should check out this event sponsored by the World Organization of Webmasters (WOW). According to WOW, this event will challenge network and security engineers to evaluate and fix the security vulnerabilities present in an Internet DMZ architecture. Contestants will submit two-person teams of network and/or security engineers who will identify and fix security problems in a pre-configured network and server architecture.

The event will be held live during the conference and give the audience a first-hand look at how security professionals perform their jobs. The competition will be a head-to-head format with each team competing against the clock and the other teams.

10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Beyond the Cell Phone: Mobile Communicators

Moderator: Keith Shaw, senior editor of product testing, Network World

While we may never get to an "ideal" mobile communicator, a broad range of products is now available to meet almost any requirement. Come see demos of some of the hottest new mobile communications, computing and network products, and discuss how to pick the best tool for your particular job.

Companies demonstrating include Nokia, Sprint, palmOne, Digit Wireless, Research in Motion, OQO, Vulcan and Sierra Wireless.

Pick of the dayModerator: John Gallant, editorial director, Network World

10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Network World Mini Showdown: The New Data Center

Panel: Israel L'Heureux, CTO and Founder, Redline Networks; and Prabakar Sundarrajanm, CTO and executive vice president of strategic planning, NetScaler.

Network World this year began its exploration of the new data center. The new data center is a re-envisioning of the traditional, physical data center concept that recognizes the increasingly distributed and virtualized nature of computing and applications, and the changing needs of the extended enterprise and mobile end users. In this new data center environment, applications and resources exist beyond device boundaries and require design, security and management skills that accommodate such a shift.

In this special session, Gallant will moderate a presidential-style debate between two innovative vendors of equipment for the new data center. Gartner has cited Redline and NetScaler for their visionary approach to Web-enabling applications, and attendees will hear from the companies' top executives about their divergent strategies and product sets. The companies' executives will field questions from Gallant, each other and the audience in this lively session that will cut through the hype and help you prepare for the new data center.

3:30 to 4:45 p.m.

Data Privacy: A Corporate Imperative

Moderator: Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer, Sun

As more companies deploy Web-based services, they also could be opening a door to data piracy. This session will focus on how to do more than trust the public when corporate data is involved. Dennedy will discuss how to ensure that e-business initiatives succeed, yet also protect the data of customers, partners and employees. Dennedy will detail the numerous legal, technical, public policy and communications issues that are involved in data privacy today and share best practices in creating a cohesive privacy practice.

5 to 6 p.m.Attendees will get the chance to hear the leader of the network giant discuss the company's plans, its strategic vision and where it sees networking in the future. Chambers will highlight how building intelligence into the foundation of the network allows companies to maximize productivity and profitability while protecting business-critical information, applications and processes. An intelligent information network can maximize end-to-end network performance; dramatically improve the network's ability to identify; prevent and adapt to threats; and offer integrated features that support new network services and applications.Keynote address: John Chambers, president and CEO, Cisco6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Security Lounge at The Beach

The Interop After Dark Lounges are after-hours gatherings geared toward networking with peers and entertainment after the show floor closes.

 The After Dark Lounge events are designed for attendees and exhibitors to build relationships in a casual environment. Those looking for inside tips on security or wanting to connect with peers should take the time to chat about security after-hours and enjoy the free food and drink.

Thursday, May 13

Pick of the day

8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Wireless LAN Installation, Management and Security

Moderator: Chris Elliot, escalation engineer, Cisco

Network designers, network managers, network support and CTOs should not miss this all-day session that will teach them to install, manage and secure 802.11 wireless LANs (WLAN).

Elliot will cover usability, reliability and security techniques, and help attendees determine the best wireless practices for their networks. The presentation also will include a demonstration of commercial and free tools available for installing and maintaining wireless networks.

Among the specifics Elliot plans to cover are wireless standards, link layer security, RADIUS authentication servers and security at higher layers. Also on the agenda is implementing wireless virtual LANs to support different classes of users on one infrastructure and ensuring your networks are not vulnerable to all known security issues.

"This is a must-attend for any network administrator," says Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group.

2:15 to 3:30 p.m.

Consolidating Network Functions in the Data Center

Moderator: Peter Sevcik, president, NetForecast

Panel: Raj Kanaya, vice president, product strategy and alliances, NetScaler; Dan Matte, vice president, product management and marketing, F5 Networks; Craig Stouffer, vice president, marketing, Redline Networks.

This session will help network managers get a better handle on data center resources and ensure their systems are available and dynamic. Sevcik and company will discuss systems that improve availability in the data center and the network. Learn about advances in devices that control resource availability. The session also describes new management methodologies that are critical to understanding and controlling high availability. The speakers present case studies of large, complex systems that have achieved excellent availability.

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