What - no grilled sardines?

Recently returned from the sunny climes of the Algarve at this year’s round up of IT reprobates at Netevents (congrats, as ever, to the Netevents team for a) organising the event and b) surviving it).

Unsurprisingly there was much talk of that re-roasted old chestnut that is AI and what it actually means (if not what it stands for). My old (equally) mad mate Jan Guldentops rightly made the point that you could probably ask a hundred vendors and get a different interpretation from each. And is “machine learning” the same thing as “artificial intelligence”? And why did no one discuss why, when the latter is known as “AI”, that no one ever refers to the former as “ML”?

Much of the conversation was greatly on topic – thanks Scott Raynovich, AKA Mr Futuriom, for making the point that SD-WAN is going to be massive. Music to my ears, as it’s one of my key focus areas. Some of my clients are smiling very broadly. No thanks to Gartner for narrowing the definition of WAN Optimisation in the first place, so that it had to be renamed in order to expand and fulfil its potential, however…

As part of the ongoing debates around SD-WAN and cloud came the realisation that there isn’t actually infinite bandwidth around the globe and that all forms of optimisation are actually a fundamental requirement going forward into a multi-cloud, “let’s kill off MPLS” future.

And then there’s the inevitable realisation that security still doesn’t work (though if you believe certain Antipodean journalists it isn’t actually necessary; what’s worth stealing in Australia anyway?), as evidenced by ongoing, much documented hacks into major global companies, banks, travel companies and governments.

Then with the migration from OnPrem to various cloudy scenarios and migration of apps and data onto all manner of virtual environments and self-contained containers, there’s the issue of how you manage that migration, especially when it might be across connections that have very significantly less than infinite bandwidth? Does VMware enjoy the company of Docker? Are Azure and AWS bosom buddies?

Seems almost freaky then, that I’ve just started a project working with a US inventor focused in the areas of data acceleration, encryption and multi-platform migration, backup and replication management. Or was I just dreaming that on the way back from Faro airport?

Actually, I wasn’t. I think I’m rather going to enjoy the ride. And no prizes for guessing what I bought a bottle of at the duty-free shop, Faro airport, that being in PORTugal…

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