Results from Geek Day 2012 in Washington D.C.

Last week I was out in Washington D.C. presenting at Geek Day. It's a trade show and networking event focused on IT professionals (geeks) in both the public and private sectors. As you would imagine, I couldn't resist the opportunity to do some live polling while I had a captive audience.

I didn't get an official headcount but there were well over 100 and somewhere less than 200 people attending my presentation. Most of these folks were either network engineers, systems administrators, or data center managers (that was my first poll question). Next, I asked if they worked in the public sector (federal government) or private sector (regular non-government companies). The room was split pretty evenly between these two categories. Here are some other interesting tidbits.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) - part of the presentation focused on the importance of managing service level agreements, both internally and externally with your service providers. It's one of the key ways that IT professionals can raise their perceived contribution within the organization. However, it's commonly something that we get too busy to do. Case in point, when polled only about 20% of the audience was actively managing SLAs.

Community involvement - I've written before on the importance of IT communities and how they're a great way to get expert help in areas that you're weak in. Less than one third of the group were members of an IT focused community.

IPv6 - This is one of my favorite subjects and since we had a strong federal government and DoD contingent in the room I was hoping for a strong response. However, less than 3% of the attendees had started actively testing or using IPv6 and only about 20% had started any sort of IPv6 planning.

NetFlow - Last but not least, we talked at length about NetFlow and other flow-based traffic analysis protocols and how they can help you get a handle on your network traffic and bandwidth usage. Over 80% of the attendees were using some sort of traffic analysis like NetFlow.  We ended up having a lengthy discussion on the challenges of using NetFlow to analyze traffic on virtual switches and through WAN accelerators. Hopefully I was able to give the group some good tips that will help them out with this.

All in all it was a great event. If you happen to be in D.C. next year during this show I highly recommend that you attend. 

How would you have answered the poll questions above? Post a comment and let us know where you stand.

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Josh Stephens is Head Geek and VP of Technology at SolarWinds, an IT management software company based in Austin, Texas. He shares network management best practices on SolarWinds’ GeekSpeak and thwack. Follow Josh on Twitter @josh_stephens and SolarWinds @solarwinds.  


Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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