I had a good time at Interop this last week catching up with the industry and seeing where the strengths in technology are. Some bright spots were virtualization, cloud computing, Ethernet and wireless. Some of the old guard companies I have tracked for years were impressive in the products they rolled out and others who were once networking giants had large, empty booths devoid of anything interesting.
Green/energy efficient computing was another hot button but there seemed to be less excitement about these areas than at last year's event. Ironically more companies were pushing these ideas - but they just weren't proposed as primary reasons to buy as they have been in years past.
I stopped by a networking reception at Avocent threw after one of the days at the show. The event was meant to celebrate the roll out of MergePoint Infrastructure Explorer. Here is a shot of Ben Grimes onstage discussing the new product and is thanking customers.
A bit later the company used a Star Trek skit with their engineers as cast members to showcase the products' capabilities. Bottom line, using Infrastructure Explorer gives you deeper insight into data center details and happenings allowing more efficient management.
I will be writing more about the show soon but I thought it worth sharing that for a major tech event the mood was upbeat but cautious. The traffic in the hall was strong the first day based on what I saw and the next two days slowed according to the many vendors who came to the TMC booth for meetings and video interviews.
What was more interesting was that companies who had products in the above categories seemed to have shows which exceeded expectations.
What this tells you is that if you are cutting your R&D budgets because of this downturn, your company may be in big trouble as others are innovating and customers are rewarding the innovators - especially in the current growth areas.