Yeah, baby- another Wireless Field Day approaches, and I’m really looking forward to it.
For those not all that familiar with with the Tech Field Day series, I opined about it last year when I was a rookie, and after getting up to speed at #WFD4, I set my sights on #WFD5, Now, I’m ready for another excellent outing, having been fortunate to get invited back for #WFD6.
The who, what, and where of the event is here.
And my version of the quick skinny on who will be there- and what I hope to get out of the event:
The Delegates: those of us who will travel to sponsor facilities, or host the sponsors at the hotel.
- For me, most of those on the delegate roster are friends/colleagues by now. Connections made at the last two Field Days have blossomed into mutually beneficial professional opportunities, ongoing and frequent knowledge shares, and some pretty hilarious Tweets back and forth. Seeing these folks in person again makes the trek worthwhile.
- At the same time, I’m looking forward to meeting Evert Bopp, Germán Capdehourat,and Richard McIntosh and hope they each find the event as rewarding as I have.
The Sponsors: those companies that will make their presentations to the delegates (and those watching from the Internet).
AirTight Networks– This will be the second time for AirTight at WFD, and on a personal note, I’m hoping that the Great San Jose Balloon Theft of 2013 has been forgiven. I haven’t heard a tremendous amount about AirTight since #WFD5, other than the hiring of some great talent. I did cover them a bit for Network Computing as well.
- MY EXPECTATIONS: An 802.11ac announcement, perhaps a managed service provider-related story, and feature refreshes as this cloud WLAN vendor plays catch-up to Meraki and Aerohive for roundedness of offerings.
Aruba Networks– As with AirTight, this will be my second Field Day visit with Aruba. The WLAN market’s #2 player always has a big story, and some amazing technical talent in the mix. Given that they are a full-service “unified” provider with a newish cloud WLAN story of their own (that I really wasn’t all that jazzed about when it broke), this could go anywhere given the company’s track record of excellent innovation. I make no predictions here. (In the name of shameless self-promotion, I have been enjoying some blogging in the AirHeads Community).
Cloudpath- This is Cloudpath’s first Field Day visit, and I’m thrilled they’ll be there. My university is a Cloudpath customer, and we leverage their WLAN vendor-agnostic magic to get thousands and thousands of WLAN client devices properly configured and onboarded to our big honkin’ WLAN. But I also know they have a range of other features I have yet to experience or get a good brief on.
- MY EXPECTATIONS: I would expect Cloudpath to differentiate themselves from competing solutions, after defining the feature sets they want to promote. Some of what Cloudpath does (WLAN-agnostic WPA2 supplicant configuration, for example) doesn’t have a lot of competition, while other features compete with the likes of Aruba’s Clearpass, etc. This will be a telling of the Cloudpath story, where it fits, and what makes it better. I hope for a glimpse at roadmap stuff, too.
Extreme Networks- This will be first time with Extreme Networks (who bought Enterasys if you hadn’t heard). First, I gotta congratulate Extreme on having Mike Leibovitz on staff, as he knows his stuff, is passionate about Extreme’s mobility mission, and has a dynamite sense of humor. Mike is one of my favorite people to banter with. All of that aside- Extreme could go anywhere with their presentation. They have a MSP story, are aiming for the stadium market, and could even have some new hardware trick up their sleeve after the Enterasys thing. I make no predictions on Extreme, and look forward to whatever they have for us.
Xirrus– This will be my second time visiting with Xirrus under the Field Day framework. I know I’m not alone in my own view that Xirrus was talked about long after #WFD5, but maybe not for reasons the company would prefer. To Xirrus’ credit, they came out quick after Field Day and made their case. Hopefully, we can get enough tech depth to placate the delegates on this go round, while hearing Xirrus’ #WFD6 message.
- MY EXPECTATIONS: I’m guessing we’ll hear MSP/and or cloud related from Xirrus.
(Bear in mind, these are all my own predictions. I have no inside scoop- I promise.)
***And for the #WFD6 Bonus Round: Something Completely New***
We’ll also be hearing about the excellent work of
- Plan Ceibal an interesting education/technology effort in Uruguay
- Disaster Prep Lab an international disaster communications services company
-Hoping everyone has a great Field Day.