#NXTWORK2016 Highlights

Having finally got over the jet lag from attending Junipers second #NXTWORK event I thought I would write down a few thoughts.

So this is the second year of the #NXTWORK customer summit and they have learned so much from last year. The amount of attendees has increased, not overly so, which has given the event a new dynamic and a new feel. It still feels intimate but there is a great buzz going around.

The Marriott in Santa Clara was again the venue for this great event and there has been some fantastic additions. No longer is the attendee eating area at the back of the main event room making you feel a bit squeezed! It has now been moved out to a giant marquee just outside the main event area which now gives the event additional space for those great networking chats but also allows for more sponsor stands (more on those below).

Breakout sessions

The breakout sessions were again fantastic and kudos to Juniper for leaving out the Marketing fluff from them. Some of the sessions I found were slightly too high level but generally well received. Especially when you can harass the speaking directly afterwards to find out any information that has not been readily forthcoming before!

The main breakout highlights for me were exploring EVPN and how it is maturing and gaining additional features. As a Network Engineer from an ISP this technology will allow us to provide additional services and resiliency into our products which the likes of VPLS haven’t been able to give us.

Sponsor stands

I have to say my favourite sponsor stand was that of OneConfig with 2 separate products.  One which was their tie in with Juniper Networks in the guise of Project Buffalo and the other was their cloud based MTFW (Multi Tennant Firewall)front end.

For MSP’s, Project Buffalo is a no brainer.  Put an SRX into a potential customer site.  Add a bit of config to connect to OneConfig and a week later they provide you with a traffic analysis report highlighting any potential threats.  The best part about this is that Juniper are covering the cost of this!(apart from the SRX and licenses you will need on box)

The MTFW could be a real game changer for some MSP who use a large shared firewall for customers.  This allows junior security/network engineers and customers to login on and make amendments to their part of the firewall without interfering with others customers rules and policies.

 

Keynote Highlights

 

As always, Rami’s keynote leaves you feeling positive with the knowledge that Juniper are on a great trajectory and embracing the change to becoming a software company rather than a hardware company.

Kireeti Kompella’s take on SDN (Self Driving Network) shows why he is considered a thought leader in his field (and why i feel as clever as a cheese sandwich when listening to him)!

The main keynote which blew me away was Jonthathon Davidson’s presentation in which they had admitted that Juniper has previously got it wrong in the security space but they are working hard to correct this (see some of the latest Gartner reports on NGFW).  It’s not like Juniper to have to play catch up as in my eyes have lead from the from in the R&S space for some time and it must lead to some awkward conversations internally in how they not only catch up but then get ahead of the competition.

This catching up was also evident when myself and other Juniper Ambassadors got to sit down and grill the security team (read vent!) at a private lunch.  The conversation was frank and somewhat heated on a few of our bugbears but the Security team acknowledged them and advised that for pretty much all of our points, they are already being addressed.

Disclaimer

I am currently a Juniper Ambassador and Juniper paid for my flights and accommodation for the NXTWORK event.

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