My Tech Field Days 2019 in San Francisco
It all started around a month ago, when I was invited to speak at Cisco DevNet Create 2019 in San Francisco. It was such a privilege to be asked, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the top creative developers and visionary programmers. I am lucky to work for a company that also saw the value in me taking part and sent me off with their blessing. Everyone knows I am a well-versed and keen traveller, and I hop across the pond quite often, but this was my first trip of 2019 and opening up my own ‘Tech Field Days Blog’. I was keen to maximise every minute I could in sunny California - the home to some of the world’s leading tech companies and many of our trusted partners. Bring on the trip!
Like a kid in a candy store I was overindulged with great minds to pick and technology to see, but for day one I kicked off with the Cisco Jasper Team and a visit to hear the latest and greatest updates on what Cisco are developing in the world of IoT. What I found most interesting was the development of the new edge devices including Cisco IR. These devices will allow us to run services closer to the edge. It will support running containers on Cisco IR and based on what I have seen from the roadmap, in the future it will support network functions like SD-WAN. Cisco have also decided to galvanise the lighter version of k8s and run k3s.io on Cisco IR. This forward thinking enables support of multiple architectures like x86_64 or ARM. It also gets people like me excited when you see organisations such as Cisco, having listened to the DevOps community and take on board feedback when launching new tech.
When my time with the Cisco Jasper team came to an end, I was buzzing with all the exciting roadmapped developments on the way. I then headed over to see some of my ex-colleagues and friends in Google MTV HQ. This was more of a casual catch up, sipping coffee, basking in the Cali sunshine and discussing what Google is currently doing mainly in the field of AI and development of the Google Cloud Platform. Unfortunately, but not unsurprisingly, not much I can share here, but from what I have heard, there are some pretty cool products and features on the horizon!
I then closed the day with another key partner who is doing great things- Avi Networks. AVI Networks entered the load balancer market a few years back and built a very solid solution. Their approach is slightly different from all the bigger players like F5. Their solution is fully virtual with the focus mainly on DevOps. They use controller-based architecture which provides them better scalability and flexibility. Supporting all the main hypervisors, as well as if the client requires physical appliances, they have multiple certified server vendors on which you can run the Avi load balancers. One of the outstanding things is their unparalleled support of K8s. They provide a full-service mesh for the containers which allows you to provide traffic visibility and security between containers. - a programmers dream! I could write about this all day - so will break it out into a separate blog that will dive a little deeper into the juicy stuff.
All this information and all the questions it opened up, can make someone extremely hungry. Luckily that evening I was invited to the DevNet Create Speaker dinner. The DevNet team had kindly welcomed all the speakers of the conference for dinner in a beautiful area of Palo Alto. It was a great evening, full of interesting people and ideas. A fantastic way to end a fantastic day.
Day 2 and Day 3
Day 2 and 3 was all about DevOps at DevNet Create. This was the main reason why I was flying to San Francisco. I will write dedicated blog about DevNet Create.
Day 4 was all about DC. I have recently taken on the role as Principle Architect of Data Centre at my company back in London so I was keen to get under the hood of what our partners were innovating in the States. I started off the morning in Cisco with Hardev Singh - Product Manager for Nexus 9k and Nexus 3k. We discussed the roadmaps for both Nexus 9k and the Nexus 3k. The most interesting part was around 400G and 800G (!!!) and what it will bring to the world of datacentre, routing and switching. There was also a very interesting discussion around the implications of internal reorganisation to DC routing, switching and fabric. We can all hear the change in the wind and want to be thinking ahead of the storm. (Reshuffled just check the tech now makes sense)
I was then taken on a tour of the Cisco hardware laboratories which looked like something out of engineer’s dream, with all the resources, kit and equipment you could ever wish for. To say it was pretty cool would be an understatement.
In the afternoon I was kindly invited by Prakash Darji from PureStorage to their HQ. Prakash is the General Manager of Flash Array BU so he was able to give me some fantastic insight into the PureStorage roadmap. Again, I can’t share too much unfortunately, can’t be stealing their thunder or robbing the marketing team of the great announcements. However, I can say, there will be some great new products and features around public cloud, which I for one, am extremely excited about. Exciting stuff!