Nibbles & Bits

NANOG 86 Conference Recap

by | November 3, 2022

The North American Network Operators’ Group (NANOG) just wrapped its successful fall event, NANOG 86 Hollywood in Hollywood, Ca., from Oct. 17-19. More than 1,000 attendees, from students to senior executives, enjoyed hours of insightful industry talks, legendary speakers, and networking opportunities. Each year, three conferences give attendees the chance to build community, connect, take on new perspectives, and build the internet of tomorrow.

The three days were packed with sessions that ranged from bandwidth forecasting to catastrophic security and privacy losses, global and regional trends in DDoS attacks, internet impacts due to the war in Ukraine, and network continuous integration (CI).

Kicking off the roster of impactful speakers was tech pioneer Harlan Stenn, who delivered the keynote speech on Monday, “Me, NTP, The NPT Project, and Network Time Foundation: How We Got Here – Welcome to my Hallucination.” With nearly 50 years of experience in tech, Stenn addressed various milestones in his life, in the NTP Project, and with Network Time Foundation. Although timekeeping has been around for thousands of years and it’s a relatively mindless task, synchronizing network time requires more attention and consideration.

Internet Routing and Traffic Security – A view from Cloud and CDN Providers, tackled the fact that routing and traffic security is one of the most pressing challenges of the modern-day internet. Recognizing that reliability and safety are of the utmost importance, the session included perspectives from cloud and content heavy-hitters like Internet Society, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

NANOG 86 gave attendees insight into diverse issues and perspectives. In one Tuesday session, Native American Nations: The pandemic was a catalyst for the need for connectivity, but are we connected yet?, session attendees were asked to imagine a different pandemic reality than the one they most likely experienced. What would have happened, for example, if they were sent home from work (or their children sent home from school), but didn’t have access to broadband? For some Native American nations, there was no broadband, they didn’t have a provider to call, and the state didn’t have the infrastructure to support work, education, and life in general during quarantine.

There was also a lunch presentation for Women in Tech, Addressing Diversity by Creating Access.

At sessions, lunches, happy hours and more events specifically geared toward networking, attendees had the opportunity to expand their contacts in areas including automation, network management, job hunting, traffic management and policy, and more.

How does a communication pathway that is thinner than a piece of human hair have a potential capacity that is practically infinite? One highlight from the final day included a session on how optical networking transformed long-distance communication and our world, with Geoff Bennett explaining the timeline of innovation for optical fiber.

Speaker Elizabeth Culley from Comcast closed the conference by sharing the importance of attending events like NANOG 86 and engaging in that built-in community. In fact, she shared that people who are involved in their communities have lower rates of stress, anxiety and depression, not to mention higher rates of self-satisfying lives and happiness. It takes various types of community–personal and professional–to produce a life that is self-satisfying, supportive, and one with purpose.

The next chance to create community with like-minded tech experts is at NANOG 87, which will be held in Atlanta from Feb. 13-15, 2023.

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