• United States
Contributing Writer

Networking opportunities and more at the Network World Tech Tours

Apr 21, 20043 mins

* Attendees learn from their peers at Network World's seminars

To say the last couple of weeks have been busy would be an understatement. Our events team has been zig-zagging the country with our latest tours about spam, data centers and wireless LANs.

Starting next week, we launch our WANs Technology Tour and finish out the New Data Centers tour. And on the heels of that tour, you’ll find us on the road again with our Security Technology Tour and Remote Office Networking Technology Tour.

To sign up for any of these events, visit:

You’ll notice some changes that we’ve made to the seminars. Namely is the addition of a “Role Reversal” Roundtable. Attendees of previous events said that it’s all well and good to hear from the vendors about their products, but they also want to hear more from their peers.

So starting with the New Data Center Technology Tour in New York, we have been recruiting audience members to come up on-stage and talk about their technology challenges. The discussion we had in New York was incredible – and I’m not being biased. I was so impressed with the level of candidness that the panel members offered.

And the dialogue was incredibly beneficial to everyone in the room – attendees and vendors, alike. We talked about the challenges of blade servers. While one panel member said he swears by them and appreciates the consolidation they allow for, another said that he avoids blade technology because he needs whole servers to swap in and out. Still another panel member said the heating and cooling issues that surround blade servers have him perplexed, but he’s working through them.

Panelists also talked about their compliance challenges, saying that having to back everything up – several worked for law firms and trading companies – puts a strain on their resources. They said they have to work hard to prioritize what types of data get stored on what back-up media (tape, disk, off-site, etc.). This, they said, takes a lot of time and effort, but they have no choice due to strict regulations.

Some other topics that arose dealt with 10G Ethernet and how to match the speed to the capabilities of the hardware. One panelist said he’s knee-deep in planning this type of upgrade and is finding challenges around every corner.

The back and forth discussion that the panelists shared revealed just how important peer-to-peer networking is at these events. Over the next few months, you’ll see more opportunities like this pop up at the Technology Tours.

As always, if you have any suggestions for how to improve the social networking at our events, let me know. Also, I encourage all of you to attend the New Data Center events in Denver and San Diego and let me know what you think.