Tech Field Day 19 took place in Silicon Valley the week of June 26th, with presentations from Ixia, Automation Anywhere, NetApp, Druva and VMware. For those unfamiliar with Tech Field Day, it is an event that started nearly 10 years ago to bring together independent influencers (delegates) and vendors to discuss the technical aspects of their products. While Tech Field Day was the original creation, increased popularity allowed for branching out to more focused events, including Networking, Mobility, Security and Cloud Field Days. Each presentation is live-streamed, with discussions from the delegate panel and on social media. All past presentations are available on Tech Field Day's YouTube page, which is a great resource for anyone seeking technical information about any of the vendors that have presented.
I was privileged to have been invited to participate as a delegate for this event, which brought a variety of technology vendors from across the IT spectrum. We had one network-focused presentation, one focused on data protection, and even the first presentation from a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) vendor. While a good mix of vendors were represented at Tech Field Day 19, there were a couple of unifying threads they all had in common.
Every single product had some aspect of public cloud within their platform. Both NetApp and VMware presented products that plugged into all the major public cloud providers for the purpose of monitoring and automated provisioning, respectively. Druva discussed the latest with their data protection platform, which is delivered as a service built on top of AWS. Ixia provides visibility into public, private and hybrid cloud networks. Automation Anywhere can both deliver their product as a cloud service and build their AI capabilities by integrating with a variety of third-party AI vendors. While cloud was still a buzzword five years ago, it is a present day reality that continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Any new products coming to market should more than likely have ties to public cloud, as more organizations look towards both as a service offerings and hybrid cloud solutions to run their business. Cloud also touches many of the same aspects familiar with on-prem, including security, networking, storage, etc., so it isn't surprising to see products from across the IT spectrum having some level of cloud functionality.
The other common thread that every vendor eagerly shared was that APIs are available (or very soon will be) for every one of their products. Vendors realize that part of having a great product is providing the ability for users to be able to integrate and automate using their own tool sets for their own unique environments. While some customers may be small enough to benefit from a simple UI and basic functionality, there are certainly larger enterprises that need automation and the ability to plug in to APIs so that they make the most efficient use for their own specific business needs. Giving customers both a rich user experience and the ability to programmatically tailor a product to their specific needs are must haves for any new product releases in this day and age.
Tech Field Day 19 was an amazing experience (as usual) and provided many insights beyond just the specific products that were presented. Not only did I get to learn about a few new products that were a bit outside my focus area, but I learned that there are common threads that all successful products should have in today's landscape. The shift towards cloud and API driven automation is very apparent across all flavors of IT.