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The Hangover: Breaking Down Interop Vegas From Three Dyn Perspectives

We damn near sent an army to Interop Las Vegas last week with 16% of our entire company spending considerable time in the land of bright lights, big money and sin.

In our post-event review and analysis, the consensus was that it was worth the effort as between the power of our infrastructure and personnel, more people than ever left Interop knowing who Dyn was and why we were there — quite a feat considering what Vegas can do to the mind.

Instead of providing a singular perspective on the experience, here’s three unique looks on how conferences are back, the nightlife and working on the tech.

Matt Toy on Conferences Getting Their Groove Back

From the cab drivers to the blackjack dealers, everyone was abuzz with the vibe that the Interop exhibitors and attendees were giving off. “Conferences are back” seemed to be the topic du jour during our time in Vegas and it would appear that Dyn and fellow cloud and virtualization leaders are to thank.

As we learned during our meeting with the Interop sales folks to book space for the 2012 show (look for a bigger, badder space), not only was there an increase of exhibitors in 2011 but there was also a significant increase in the attendee total as well. Next year, they are planning to expand the footprint of the entire Expo with the “Cloud and Virtualization” section leading the growth — a location that we have proudly served since before your mother had ever heard of the “cloud” (thanks, Microsoft).

This buzz was also very evident to those of us who manned Dyn’s booth.  From the first moment the horn sounded to start the Expo on Tuesday morning, there was a steady stream of current clients and prospects congregating at booth 715.  Add to that our involvement with InteropNet, the two speaking engagements and one of our famous Dyntinis, that buzz only increased as the Expo went along.

We’re already excited for what our time in Vegas will lead to in the coming days and weeks.  Thank you to all of those who joined us and we look forward to connecting with you again very soon.

Chris Widner on The Nightlife, Baby.

We would be lying if we said Interop was all work and no play. As soon as the final whistle blew every day, there were a number of exhibitor sponsored parties to attend, including our annual DynTini at the House of Blues.

SlickThis is always a great event where we can kick back, relax and chat with both current and future clients over a few drinks and music. This year even included a cover of Alice In Chains’ “Rooster” — something that made Josh Delisle (the guy behind the guy) quite proud.

But what about after the DynTini?

With twelve of us wolves running around the desert together in Las Vegas, the night doesn’t end at 7 pm. After all, there were $10 Ke$ha tickets available (just ask this guy). Although we didn’t find a tiger in the bathroom, we did find a cougar (see my pic?) at the Foundation Room — one of our favorite spots to hang out with an amazing view of the strip. Between the events, games of three-card monte and NBA and NHL playoffs at the local books, you have to pace yourself.

With just three days, there’s only so much Vegas you can take in so you want to close the week right. In our case, this meant a dinner at Carnevino which has the best steak you’ll ever eat (so says the Texan). Thus, after three 20-hour days, it was time to head back to the Dyn HQ and dream about next year with more steak, tigers and absolutely 100% more Ke$ha.

Kevin Gray on Hurry Up And Wait.

Hurry up and wait. That is about the best way I can summarize my first InteropNet experience in the NOC (Network Operations Center). I arrived in Las Vegas three days before show registration started. Though I was out at the show for 10 days (probably taking a solid year off my life), the majority of the real work was in the first five days. That was when all the boxes were unpacked, the cables were connected and the revelation of just how slow certain fiber connections of other cities were discovered.

It was in the midst of all this chaos that a fully functioning DNS implementation supporting Ipv6 and DNSSEC was brought up.

For those of you who know about DNS (and if you are reading this, I’m assuming it isn’t a foreign concept), you realize that it sits in between a whole lot of things since no one really wants to remember IP addresses and would much rather use a readable name. This is great from the perspective of getting to see everything that is going on, but from a pulled-in-five-directions-at-once point of view, most debugging conversations start with the phrase “Well, I can’t get DNS resolution…”.

With names changing, routing paths coming up and then going back down and trying to fine tune our locally based authoritative and recursive servers, this led to the hurry up part of hurry up and wait. Particularly challenging was finding a way to add a number of statically-named DNS entries to fully dynamic zones being maintained by the DHCP server. Hello, power of scripting!

What all of this tinkering and digging and sleuthing led to was an incredible network running way more heterogeneous technologies than you would see in the real world, all using the bleeding edge of what they can do — yet functioning perfectly together. Plus, all this was done in less time than it takes to play the opening round of a baseball playoff series.

Once the network was up and the show kicked off, the “wait” part began. As I said, the network functioned beautifully which meant a whole lot of sitting in the NOC watching pretty graphs of DNS query traffic (made beautiful by our incredible Director of Uptime Neil Schelly). Aside from a brief presentation on the beauty of DNSSEC and a couple of loops around to check out the show floor (big thumbs up to Dell for pulling my name out of the bowl for one of their giveaways), there were thankfully no alarms a ringin’ or lights a flashin’.

Thanks to the great people behind the bleeding edge equipment at Interop like Glenn, Mark and Scott who took point and ran with it, in addition to Bernie and Gunter from Cisco who probably made email rules to handle my traffic, Interop was a stunning success and a lot of fun!

And that’s a wrap.

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