Back From Interop 2015 — Observations and Lessons.

Terry Slattery
Principal Architect

Terry Slattery has a few observations from speaking at Interop 2015

Tech Field Day

I have attended a number of the Tech Field Day events at several Interop conferences. This year, we did round-table talks on two network topics, followed by two very interesting presentations by SanDisk.

  • Tech Field Day Extra SanDisk Application Acceleration (55 minutes)
    SanDisk is doing some really interesting things with flash memory to accelerate application performance. Flash-based disk drives are not new, but what they are doing with them shows that they really understand the difference in flash-based disks and rotating media disks. For example, the disk handling strategies built into the operating systems may not be applicable to flash-based disks, so they have modified the Linux kernel to eliminate the extra code that doesn’t apply. Of course, this speeds up the disk I/O system. If you’ve been tracking flash disks, you may have run into other articles on it: Take time to get to know the flash you think you love and The SSD Endurance Experiment. SanDisk seems to have developed systems that reduce the risk of problems.
  • Tech Field Day Extra SanDisk Storage Memory Convergence (16 minutes)
    SanDisk talks about using Flash memory to provide non-volatile memory to help accelerate server systems. This memory plugs into a memory slot in the server, just like a regular memory module. It provides an intermediate non-volatile storage between main memory and a high-performance I/O system. Great stuff. I came away with some ideas for using their technology in a network management application that’s disk I/O bound.


The main reason for me to attend Interop 2015 was to do two presentations. Fortunately, they were both on the same day. Amazingly, they were in the same room in sequential time slots on Thursday morning. So I walked into the room a bit early, checked out the audio-visual system, and then did both presentations.

The first presentation was “SDN APIs for Communications” (as in Unified Communications). Over forty people attended and I received several good comments afterwards. This topic could be a real sleeper – a topic that would put an insomniac to sleep. I showed the functionality that the APIs allow, which kept it high-level. I showed a limited amount of code, with examples of JSON encoding to set the DSCP value of a call. It was a fast-paced session that kept the audience awake and provided information about what some of the vendors are doing to integrate SDN with UC. Network Computing interviewed me about the topic and posted an article the week of the show: SDN & UC Integration: A Work In Progress.

The next presentation was one that I’ve done before “Building Networks for Real-time Applications: What Works, What Doesn’t?” This was also a well-attended, fast-paced presentation that included a number of stories about network problems around handling real-time traffic (typically voice and video). Since data is sometimes the real-time traffic, there are some examples of handling it. One of the interesting points that I make is the impact of packet loss on TCP throughput. You can see some blog posts on this subject in the NetCraftsmen blog.

To learn more about SDN APIs, join me at our next C-MUG meeting, where I will be presenting with Craig Hill on the current state of SDN, and what’s ahead. You can register here.

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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.