So the show is open, the booths are built, and the crowds have descended on the exhibitors. My first impression: Wow. If trade show attendance is any indication of an industry's heath, then data networking is heading toward a boom. I haven't seen a computer-industry trade show floor look this good in at least six years. People are talking purchases, exhibitors are showing lots of new products, and everyone seems to be in a good mood (as opposed to the the grim, depressed feeling that ruled for a while). Some quick observations:
Interop's Favorite Car: The Mini Cooper. They're cute, they can be wrapped with neat graphics, and they fit into a standard 20 x 20 booth. What's not to like?
Exhibitor's Favorite Accessory: Booth models are back in a fairly big way. I will say no more.
Big Themes: Wireless (of all sorts, from satellite to RFID): Mobility (with an emphasis on presence: Security (NAC, firewalls, and mobile security rank high): Layer 1 (10 Gig over copper is being shown in several place, I had a conversation with a company about 40 Gig over copper possibilities(!), and fixed-point wireless is scattered around the floor).
Surprisingly Quiet: 802.11n (I'm seeing it exhibited in several booths, but no one is really making a lot of noise about it) and WiMAX (similar to 802.11n).
There will be more to come soon...I've got miles to go before I...well, you know...