A Great Week at FutureNet

I had a great week last week in Boston at FutureNet.

Not only did my own presentation go very well, but the list of presenters, panelists, and technology topics was fantastic. The conference was a very good mix of MPLS, Carrier Ethernet, and Internet. A lot of the focus on MPLS was how Ethernet can provide support for and access to MPLS networks. And, there was a lot on Ethernet itself, particularly the nasty little battle going on between Nortel and the IEEE with Provider Backbone Bridging (PBB) vs. Cisco and the IETF with IP/MPLS (more on that in another blog). Think of PBB as Layer-2 everywhere with no IP in the cloud. On the other hand, IP/MPLS provides end-to-end Layer-2 connectivity via pseudowires, but there is still IP in the cloud. And of course, there's Alcatel-Lucent playing threes company with T-MPLS. The other part of the conference, mostly done with amazing industry expert panels, was on the Internet and its future scalability and survivability. This focused on Internet routing table scalability and IPv6. A single, 2-hour pizza dinner "shoot-out" discussion included John Day (who "started" the Internet in the early 1970s), Dave Schaeffer (CEO of Cogent), John Curran (Director or ARIN), Stuart Elby (VP at Verizon), Michael O'Dell (former CTO at UUNet), and Scott Bradner (some Harvard professor who led the team that created IPv6) ;-). Wow! These aren't people who work on the Internet, they built the Internet. Suffice to say the Internet has some scalability issues because of the number of routes in the global routing table (today at 248,207 routes, give-or-take a few thousand) and the depletion of IPv4 address space. Separate issues, but unavoidably linked (more on this too in a later blog). Even my presentation on network architecture and our own conversion to MPLS and BGP went very well. I had several compliments and questions at the end of the presentation and several people each day wanting to discuss more. There is definitely a hunger in the industry for good network architecture and templates. My only complaint....where was everyone? The conference had a good showing, but there should be a LOT more people attending this conference. There are too many good topics and good presenters to miss. Put it on your list for next year. This year's FutureNet agenda.

More >From the Field blog entries:

Clearing the Air on the CCDE Practical Beta Exam

CCDE Practical Beta Test Cancelled

Quick Thoughts on the New Nexus 5000

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What Goes Into a Written Network Architecture?

I Can Fix Anything With a Tunnel

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