As I sit here watching some college football and trying to size up my expectations for SpiceWorld 2018 next week, along with what I hope to get out of my opportunity to attend, I keep trying to compare it to other conferences I’ve been to. In terms of attendance it seems bigger significantly than Infoblox’s Bloxfest 2017 which was an intimate gathering of a few hundred, but significantly smaller than any recent VMware VMworld. That puts it in the same ballpark of a conference like Dell’s Dell World, Juniper’s NxtWork, or Palo Alto Networks’ Ignite in the two to five thousand range for attendees, which IMO is a good sweet spot. Big enough to attract a good number of sponsors and presenters, while still allowing for people to not get lost in the shuffle between sessions.
For expectations I’m anticipating similar themes to Ignite, A.I./machine learning playing a big part in efforts to product corporations and end users from ever evolving threats as traditional A.V solutions become increasingly ineffective. With IoT devices showing no signs of disappearing or shipping with any semblance of security baked in, I’m fully expecting to see two or three vendors on the expo floor with security gateway products though I hope to be surprised by some new ideas on securing IoT devices. I know there will be one company in attendance focusing on securing cloud workloads as I saw RedLock on the sponsor list, hoping to see others as well. Much like backing up data, securing the data is often overlooked when companies shift applications and services to cloud providers. As a Palo Alto Networks customer I’m particularly interested to speak with the people from Redlock given the recently announced $173M acquisition.
So what am I hoping to get out of attending? An understanding of where SpiceWorks fits into the IT ecosystem tops the list as they’re a company that I don’t often think of. I also hope to learn some new things in regards to security as the roles of network engineers and infosec continue to commingle. And BBQ. No trip to Austin is complete without a meal (or 10) from the numerous purveyors of delectable smoked meats.