This year we saw the fruits and the go to market of many SDN and network virtualization products. It was great to see Nuage Networks NVP, Cisco ACI, Juniper’s Contrail and OpenContrail and VMware NSX hit the market. There were ripples indeed. VXLAN seems to be the de-facto standard rising as the dust settles. Hardware is becoming less relevant for (most) vendors. Set on a backdrop of espionage, James Bond style plots with the NSA, Five Eyes and other intelligence agencies. The year of 2013 was good for us all and here is my personal review.
During the year whilst at ESTA I was promoted to Enterprise Architect : Infrastructure and Networks. This role was a great step up and a challenge. It provided me with critical decision-making power that helped guide ESTA onto its next evolutionary path. The foundations set by what we build and roadmaps laid will allow ESTA to grow provide more value to the Australia community in their time of need. This will be with the aid of vendors such as Cisco, VMware, Juniper and Nutanix.
On the certifications front I had a rather large year in that department. I managed to kick some serious butt with quiet periods in my job. The following certifications were achieved:
The certifications I pursued helped round my skill set off providing a strong foundation knowledge that complimented my enterprise and DC knowledge. The enjoyable part was that these exams taught me many different topics outside my day to day work. I felt this provided me a better understanding of related or complimentary technologies that will help me engineer better solutions for customers.
Network Field Day 6 was great once again. It was one of a few highlights this year. Stephen, Tom and Claire assembled a great bunch of delegates whom I was very lucky to meet. It was surreal listening and participating in conversation with esteemed colleagues like Terry Slattery, Ivan Pepelnjak, Bob McCouch and many others. The vendors were super hot this year too. We saw a massive focus on the what the software defined data centre would look to be and how each vendor was solving pretty fundamental problems faced in our industry. The event is such a valued time for myself as Australia is quite a far away from the pulsating heart of IT that is Silicon Valley. For a time being it will be my last NFD event due to moving to a vendor and I will look back on September 2013 with fond memories.
With that being said I announced on the Twitters in late December that I would be joining VMware in the Network Security business unit. This BU is directly responsible for the delivering and evangelisation of network virtualization with NSX and delivering a real solution today. My role is working in the Asia Pacific and Japan region delivering NSX solutions with Telco’s, Banks, large cloud providers and institutions. The role will challenge me on many fronts as I will now be working for a vendor on their side of the fence. There are different machinations that take place on this side of the table. Having been a customer I understand some of this and I look forward to the opportunity of working with people like myself on the benefits of network virtualization and what VMware can deliver.
The industry has coursed and changed like a powerful and mighty river in 2013. The humble engineer has been but a boat cast out into the rapids. Those who have learnt and evolved and looked ahead and embraced the industry trends were the smart ship captains who packed oars, trained their oarsman and navigated into the breach. 2014 will be the time where other helmsman may grab the life vest and float on down the river towards the future.