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ComNet 2003 show planner

Jan 20, 200310 mins

The lowdown on the keynotes, tutorials and events you don’t want to miss.

As 2003 kicks off, all signs point to another year of cautious IT spending. Analysts are predicting flat-to-modest IT spending growth among networked corporations.

However, prudent spending doesn’t mean no spending. These days, network projects that solve a critical need and promise a speedy return on investment are the ones getting the green light. With budgets under scrutiny, deciding where and when to commit IT dollars is more important than ever. ComNet Conference & Expo can help.

Show organizer IDG World Expo is expecting some 30,000 attendees at this year’s show, which is being held Jan. 27-29 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Educational sessions, tutorials and keynotes will tackle the issues that keep IT executives up at night: old standbys such as security, systems integration and storage, along with newer technologies, such as wireless, voice over IP and Web services.

To help you get the most out of your time at ComNet, we’ve selected some highlights from among the dozens of sessions. For more information and to register for ComNet, click here.

Monday, Jan. 27

Tuesday, Jan. 28

Wednesday, Jan. 29

Monday, Jan. 27

Pick of the day: Responding to a Security Threat

1 p.m.-4 p.m.

The Computer Security Institute’s 2002 Computer Crime and Security Survey found that among 503 corporations and government agencies surveyed, 90% detected computer security breaches within the past 12 months. With that kind of penetration, odds are your company will suffer a network security breach. What then? Winn Schwartau, president of security awareness consulting firm Interpact and a Network World columnist, knows the steps companies should take to survive a security incident. His tutorial covers options including establishing a hotline, deploying an internal computer incident response team, notifying law enforcement and assisting in prosecution.

Introduction to wireless networks

9 a.m.-noon

User demand for mobile access to corporate applications will help drive spending on wireless LAN equipment from $1.7 billion in 2001 to $3.9 billion in 2007, research firm Gartner says. If you’re feeling behind the curve on wireless data communications and networking, this tutorial can bring you up to speed. Craig Mathias, principal of advisory and systems-integration firm Farpoint Communications, will discuss when to use wireless and how it works, from applications to wireless bridges and access technologies.

Tuesday, Jan. 28

Pick of the day: Network World’s Web Services Showdown

12:45 p.m.-2 p.m.

There’s plenty of hype surrounding Web services – but sometimes straight answers are hard to find when you’re trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Look no further. Executives from BEA Systems, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle will be in the hot seats at the Web services showdown, where they will field tough, unscripted questions about their Web services strategies from analysts, each other and audience members. John Gallant, president and editorial director of Network World, will preside over the presidential-style, PowerPoint-free debate, along with IDC analyst Tony Picardi. Representing the vendors will be Adam Bosworth, senior vice president and chief architect of advanced development at BEA; Neil Charney, director of platform strategy group at Microsoft; Ted Farrell, architect and director of the strategy application development tools division at Oracle; and Bob Sutor, director of Web services technology at IBM.

Using multiple protection layers to provide cyber security

Keynote by Daniel Mehan, assistant administrator for information services and CIO, Federal Aviation Administration

9 a.m.-10 a.m.

Mehan is in charge of strategic IT planning across the FAA and oversees the implementation of its security, data management and process improvement programs. Last year, he directed projects including opening a computer security incident response center, bolstering the agency’s intrusion-detection devices and hardening its Internet access points. Going forward, his focus is threefold: cyber security, e-government and deriving business value from IT investments in people and systems. In his keynote, Mehan will review the FAA’s IT strategies and talk about how the agency is addressing Homeland Security. If it’s good enough for the FAA…

Doing more with less: Bandwidth optimization during budget meltdown

10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Network links taxed? It’s no wonder. WAN bandwidth requirements continue to increase as organizations consolidate data centers, deploy technologies such as voice over IP and storage over IP, and shift from client-server to Web-based applications such as those for CRM and enterprise resource planning. For companies looking to rethink their bandwidth acquisition strategy, Michael Kennedy, managing partner at Network Strategy Partners, will delve into three different approaches to bandwidth optimization with panelists Mike Lloyd, chief technology officer at RouteScience; Don Templeton, vice president for customer engineering at Perebit; and Todd Krautkremer, vice president of marketing at Packeteer. Each panelist will describe a different technical approach to WAN bandwidth optimization and its impact on network traffic flows.

NAS virtualization: The end of NAS islands

2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Network-attached storage (NAS) systems first cropped up in workgroup scenarios, and over time they’ve worked their way into enterprise data centers. Gartner expects the worldwide NAS market will grow from $1.5 billion in 2002 to $3.3 billion in 2006, sustaining an annual growth rate of 15.3%. Driving adoption of NAS systems is the high capacity and performance they offer. But their bane has been the complexity of managing multiple independent NAS file servers. Michael Kazar, CTO and co-founder of Spinnaker Networks, will discuss the pros and cons of different NAS management alternatives such as aggregated front ends, custom hardware, distributed lock managers and distributed file systems.

The state of intrusion detection

3:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

In the first nine months of 2002, companies reported 73,359 security incidents to the CERT Coordination Center. Nearly every day it seems there are stories about network attacks and system vulnerabilities. At the same time, corporations and government agencies are becoming more and more dependent on the Internet as a means to conduct business. With the stakes so high, simply relying on a firewall to control access to your network is not enough, proponents of intrusion detection systems say. In this session, Martin Roesch, founder and CTO of Sourcefire, will discuss ways to beef up network security, including how and when to deploy intrusion-detection systems.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

Pick of the day: Managing Web services: A panel discussion

10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Enterprises are warming to the idea of Web services as a means to links applications and resources across private networks and the Internet. Among 369 IT managers surveyed by Gartner and The Goldman Sachs Group, two-thirds said they plan to implement Web services within 24 months. But as firms build up an arsenal of reusable Web services, managing these new and different resources becomes critical. In this session, Nathaniel Palmer, vice president and chief analyst at the Delphi Group, will bring together representatives from a new crop of software companies focused specifically on Web services management. Panelists are Jim Bole, vice president of engineering at Infravio; Frank Martinez, co-founder, CTO and chairman at Blue Titan Software; and Mark Potts, chief technology officer at Talking Blocks.

Protect your VoIP service from network threats

10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Users planning a move from traditional PBXs to IP telephony tend to focus on issues such as interoperability with data networks, voice-over-IP (VoIP) packet prioritization, and voice quality and latency. But experts warn users not to overlook security of their VoIP gear and services – which are prone to many of the same threats that data networks are. In this session, Jim Melvin, president and CEO of Mazu Networks, will discuss how VoIP services are vulnerable to a variety of Internet-borne threats, such as distributed denial-of-service attacks and malicious worms. He’ll also talk about different methodologies and technologies that can be used to protect your network.

The CapWIN project: A case study

All about convergence

The National Convergence Summit is taking place at ComNet from Jan. 29 to 30. It’s put on by the National Convergence Alliance, an association of convergence technology providers, and geared for attendees of all sorts, from public carriers to start-ups and large corporations. Sessions are designed to answer questions about the latest communication gear, who’s using it, and the benefits of converged networks. Plus, experts will help you decide what’s best for your company: in-house equipment or managed services?

11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

In wireless circles, all eyes are on Washington, D.C., where 40 local, state and federal agencies are cooperating to develop a $20 million wireless network that will allow firefighters, police and other emergency personnel to communicate when responding to everything from traffic accidents to terrorist attacks. The network is called the Capital Wireless Integrated Network (CapWIN) and its developers says it’s the first interoperable wireless system to span governmental jurisdictions. In this session, moderated by George Ake, CapWIN program director at the University of Maryland, participants will discuss the origins, architecture and implementation of the public safety data communications network. Panelists are Tom Jacobs, program manager at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Transportation Technology; Kent Blossom, director of security solutions for the public sector at IBM; Bill Henry, CapWIN Fire/EMS coordinator at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Transportation Technology; and Charles Samarra, chief of police for Alexandria, Va.

Town Meeting: The “low down” on “high-tech” communications policy and regulation

1:15 p.m-2:15 p.m.

What can we expect from Washington, D.C. this year? Find out from the experts, who will discuss key regulatory and policy issues likely to arise in 2003 in Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. They’ll tackle topics as local exchange competition, long-distance entry, broadband access, spectrum availability, international policy, industry competition, convergence and consolidation, and the effects of the recent economic downturn. The panel will be moderated by Richard Wiley, senior partner at law firm Wiley, Rein & Fielding. Panelists are Kevin Kayes, Democratic staff director in the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; Michael Gallagher, deputy assistant secretary for communications and information at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration; James Bradford Ramsay, general counsel at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; and Bryan Tramont, senior legal advisor for wireless and international at the FCC.

Meeting security challenges within the enterprise

Keynote by John Schwarz, president and chief operating officer, Symantec

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

A new frontier for security vendor Symantec is security information management (SIM). In a manner similar to network management software, SIM products combine data aggregation and event correlation features to bore through event logs generated from security devices such as firewalls, proxy servers, intrusion-detection systems and antivirus software. IDC estimates the market for SIM products from vendors like Symantec is set to quadruple from $15 million today to $61.3 million by 2005. In his keynote address, Schwarz will address the need for companies to have a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates early warning, integrated protection and expert response tied together with central management.