So I'm back in the office and thinking about what I saw and heard at Interop. What do I think you should be thinking about?
I've just begun really looking at this data-center correlation, indexing, and search tool, but I'm already excited about the possibilities. If you're trying to figure out how to get a handle on the data your IT processes generate, you should check out the free version of Splunk. It's a great tool, and the company has built a strong community to help you figure out how to use Splunk in your operations. I think I'm going to be blogging about this again in the future...
Watch the Test Center for a full review of Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex products, but do check out this system. You'll see details when you read the review, but...dang. They do an awful lot right, especially for the SMB looking for a good wireless networking system.
3. NAC 2.0
I know why vendor companies are big on proprietary technologies, but good standards (note the word "good" in that last phrase -- it's critical) can make life so much easier for IT professionals trying to build a working system. NAC 2.0, from the Trusted Computing Group, promises to make life dramatically better for IT professionals who want to create a security system, as opposed to those who are stuck just trying to make an unrelated collection of components work in the same room. Several vendors have already begun building NAC 2.0 into their products, and I strongly suspect that the open source projects will be getting up to speed with this in the next couple of quarters. You may be a small company IT professional, but you can have some pull with vendors -- so use that pull to start asking when NAC 2.0 is going to show up in their software. You'll really like the results when it appears.
4. Unified Communications
A lot of the unified communication products I saw were aimed at the larger enterprise, but not all...I saw systems from companies like Cisco, Netgear, and D-Link that are aimed squarely at the SMB market. Further, I'm convinced that unified communications will have a much greater impact on the small business than on the huge enterprise, because they can completely change the way you deal with customers and partners. When you don't have to choose between working on-site and talking to prospects, your sales can truly skyrocket, and the impression that you give can change dramatically for the better. Watch this space, and don't be afraid to experiment -- things are going to move quickly, but the direction overall is great for SMBs.
There will be more this week -- there was a lot to see in Las Vegas, and a feeling at the conference that made me very optimistic about the state of the IT world right now.