What is Future:NET?

Is it a thinktank? A forum? An incubator?

4 years ago VMware launched Future:NET with a simple idea of bringing together some of the brightest minds in networking together for an open and honest conversation about the future direction of networking.

While other networking conferences have been reduced to vendor showcases, Future:NET has banned product pitches in exchange for open debates that foster intellectual conversation among professionals across the industry.

Why Attend Future:NET 2019?

Come join us at Future:NET 2019, a premier networking technology event, where we are bringing together everyone from enterprises, startups, and academics to debate and challenge the status quo. Wizards may predict the future, but you should plan to come and play a key role with interactive sessions and network with your peers.

This year we are continuing the tradition of open conversation on technology shifts, the organizational challenges they bring and asking the question “are we really making things simple?”. Topics range from the emergence of XaaS, integrated operation models (SOCs vs NOCs), and the effect of 5G, LISP, and v6 on networking. Join experts from Microsoft, AWS, Stanford, and more as they drive deep technical discussions on the future of the networking landscape.

Request an Invite

Requesting an invite is open to everyone, but attendance is not guaranteed due to the exclusivity of the event. You can request an invite to Future:NET 2019 here. Space is filling up so apply now!

Future:NET banner

Sessions at Future:NET 2019

The wizards of networking predict architectural shifts to happen by 2025

Prediction or certainty? Each wizard will have a chance to forecast the future state of networking in this lightning round capturing the impact of security, from the bits and bytes of hardware, to the role of software, to multi-cloud. How will networking architectures shift? Containers? Going serverless? No tarot here, these are experts.

DC network-focused, or DC infrastructure-focused? Other?

For decades IT professionals focused on buying, building, and managing infrastructure. The emergence of XaaS is completely changing what is procured, provisioned, and managed. Pundits have proposed with the advent of AI/ML and new cloud services, Infrastructure and Operations teams will simply buy SLAs. Is that paradise possible? Is it just another cruel promise never to be fulfilled? There might be one man on the planet with the answer, and he’s got the chops to guide you through it.

Networks should be simple, right?

Simplify, simplify, simplify. What’s the best approach? That’s open for debate—as in “open source” hardware and software, hyperscale designs, and automation. How will the transitions around IP, MPLS, v6, LISP, and 5G impact the future of networking? Let’s hear from the specialists.

SOCs? NOCs? Both, just one, or maybe one and a half?

Do we really need both? What could an integrated operation model unlock? Is the technology ready? Are the people? Can the mindset really be shifted? Thirty minutes, so many questions. Fortunately, we have John Pescatore who is the authority on the matter and brings SANS’ unique points of view.

  • John Pescatore—Director, Emerging Security Trends / SANS Institute

The keepers—who should control the keys?

Network admins, security admins, and developers all carry sets of keys. But who should really hold the identity, network policy, and security policy keys to the kingdom? This group of tech leaders will get on their respective soapboxes and rationalize their stance, but ultimately you get to decide the outcome through an audience poll.

  • Forrest Bennett—Cyber Security Advisor / FedEX Services
  • Lane Patterson—Co-founder, Investor, Board Member, Infras. & DevOps Expert / Global Webscale
  • John Pescatore—Director, Emerging Security Trends / SANS Institute

What’s next in Branch+?

Let’s delve into the world of edge networking, the Internet of Things, 5G, and innovations in SD-WAN. Join Mike Frane as he spells out the impact of these developments on emerging networking architectures and infrastructure. He’s got the expertise and the real-world experience to do it.

  • Mike Frane—VP Product Management of Network, Security, Digital Experience / Windstream Enterprise

Networking—from automation to operations.

The internet was designed to keep running even after a nuclear attack, but now it can’t survive when the lead network engineer goes out on PTO. AI Ops, DevOps, chaos monkeys, distributed visibility, self-healing, roles and responsibilities, and changing interactions… (deep breath). You will be nodding your head in agreement as experts describe fails, follies, and fixes.


IT organizations of the future—a tale of org charts.

Buckle up for skill gaps, siloless IT, and the role of networking—structure, operational models, tooling, and worst of all, certifications—as two esteemed leaders propose their vision for the org chart of the future. Dog fight? Maybe. Thought provoking? Definitely. Either way, you’ll be compelled to listen.