May 11, 2021

Anticipating NFD25

Anticipating NFD25

It's time for another Networking Field Day, however, this one is a bit different. This time, Yours Truly is going to be an NFD delegate! Apparently Stephen and Tom will let just about anybody in. Having watched the various Field Day events for years, I am really looking forward to being on the other side of the table, (well, it's a virtual table right now...) having the opportunity to hear about the latest and (hopefully) greatest in networking technology, and finally, to get to ask questions directly to the vendors themselves. It's also going to be a true honor to hang out with some of the brightest minds in the networking field and hear their thoughts on what is presented.

The lineup can be found on the NFD 25 event page, and I'll definitely post about the various presentations as the week progresses. For now, I want to line out what I am going to be looking for at NFD, and some of the topics that I will be asking questions about.


Oh yeah, I'm going there. Just like Ed Horley laid out in a recent post about NFD25, I will be asking vendors about their direction for IPv6 in the products presented—Even more, I'm going to press them not just about dual stack support, but about running their product in an IPv6-only environment. Running IPv6-only is the future, and if their products want my attention, they will need to treat IPv6 as the current protocol. IPv6-only is here, and it's here to stay—The time has come for me to take the gloves off and and embrace my final form as an IPv6 zealot. FITE ME.

Automation and API Support

If I'm not arguing about IPv6, I'm working on network automation, so this is going to be a very important area of focus for me. If you are telling me about a cool product and how it's the "last single pane of glass I'll ever need," that's really cool. What's useful, however, is having an API, and a solid one at that. Not only is it useful to have a fully-functional API, it's something that is a deciding factor for me when evaluating a product. Is your product built API-first? Does the API have feature parity with the CLI and GUI? Are the GUI and CLI just API clients? As a network automation engineer, this is the kind of stuff that matters to me. If your new thing doesn't have an API, or the API is limited, I don't care about it. I need to be able to do everything programmatically that I can do by clicking buttons or typing commands. Anything else misses the mark in my book.

Closing Thoughts

I really can't express how excited I am to have been invited to NFD, and I am incredibly grateful to Stephen, Tom, and the rest of Gestalt IT for inviting me. I can't wait to hear about these new tools and products, and I am really looking forward to getting to ask questions about them. Make sure you watch NFD25, it will be live from 1000 to 1730 CST Wednesday through Friday this week (2021-05-12 through 2021-05-14). Also make sure to check out #NFD25 on twitter, and I will definitely be tweeting and blogging my thoughts on the topics as they come to me. If you have a question you want asked, ask it using #NFD25 on The Twitters and it someone might just ask it!