Preliminary Agenda

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WAN Summit London

7-8 October, 2015 


Conference Day One: 7th October

8:30 Registration & Refreshments

9:00 Opening Remarks from the Chair

9:10 The Changing Role of the WAN: Matching WAN Networks to Shifting Business Needs (Keynote)

Corporate WAN managers must design networks and enter into multi-year service contracts that satisfy current user needs, and can also be adapted to meet their future requirements. This balancing act is complicated by the constantly changing set of applications used by their colleagues, as well as by the ongoing evolution of networking technologies. This opening keynote will provide perspectives on the evolution of enterprise applications and network technologies, and their implications for corporate network planners and service providers.

  • What are the key applications that shape corporate network requirements? 
  • How are service providers helping customers to meet these requirements?
  • Are there any emerging technologies that can help address these challenges? 

9:30 Traffic Detours: Shifting Network Traffic to the Internet (Panel Discussion)

Many organizations are seeking to shift a growing share of their corporate data traffic off of their private network to the "public" Internet, not just to reduce costs, but often also to improve performance. This panel discussion will explore the opportunities and potential challenges of this transition.

  • In what circumstances does it make sense to shift corporate traffic to the Internet?
  • What types of traffic are particularly well suited to transmission via the Internet? What types of traffic are not well suited to this approach?
  • What pitfalls can organizations encounter when seeking to move corporate traffic to the Internet?
  • What share of traffic can organizations shift to the Internet? How do network managers balance performance versus cost savings? 
  • Lessons learned and best practice: What has been the experience of organizations that have made the transition?

10:10 Enterprise Case Study: The Internet is My WAN

10:30 Morning Coffee Break & Dedicated Networking

11:10 WAN Evolution: Hybridizing the WAN

11:30 How the Cloud is Changing the Enterprise Network (Panel Discussion)

Cloud services have been hailed for their potential to reduce costs and improve IT flexibility by centralizing applications and consolidating resources. However, to capture these potential long-term savings, many organizations must first make substantial near term investments in network infrastructure. This session will explore common challenges experienced in adapting corporate networks to access cloud platforms, and steps that network planners can take to smooth the process and maximize the return on their network investments.

  • What common networking challenges do companies encounter when they expand their use of cloud services?
  • How do network designs for cloud centric organisations differ from traditional WAN designs? 
  • What near-term fixes can networks teams implement to improve cloud connectivity, without having to undertake a more extensive network redesign? 
  • How do the design considerations for connecting to public and private cloud services differ?
  • How can organisations ensure QoS and security of data and traffic when connecting to cloud services?

12:10 Adapting the WAN for Cloud Service and Applications (Case Study)

12:30 Lunch

14:00 WAN Security: Balancing Safety with Connectivity (Panel Discussion)

Security concerns about networks have grown exponentially in recent years. This session will explore the implications of network security for WAN planning, and vice versa. 

  • How do hybrid networks and the use of mobile devices and applications affect network security? 
  • Can organizations ensure a uniform WAN security model when procuring services from multiple providers? 
  • Is it possible to ensure WAN security without impairing network or application performance?
  • Are there risks associated with emerging technologies such as SDN?

14:40 Cost Considerations for Hybrid WAN Designs

15:00 Afternoon Coffee Break

15:30 The Past, Present, and Future of WAN Optimisation (Panel Discussion)

WAN Optimization emerged in the early 2000s as a key means of improving performance of applications over wide-area networks while rationing high-cost WAN bandwidth. Much has changed over the past decade. This panel discussion will explore how WAN optimization is changing.

  • What are the key current use cases for WAN optimization technologies in enterprise networks?
  • What is the interplay between "classic" appliance-based WAN optimization technologies and more recently introduced WAN optimization as a service techniques?
  • How might SDN and SD-WAN affect WAN optimization?
  • Is there a role for WAN optimization in improving connectivity to public cloud services that are accessed over the Internet?  

16:10 Hybrid WANs – Transforming Wide Area Networks (Case Study) 

16:30 Closing Remarks from the Chair

16:40 Networking Drinks


Conference Day Two: 8th October

8:30 Registration & Refreshments

9:00 Opening Remarks from the Chair

:10 Fifth Generation IT: Moving Towards Software Defined WANs

9:30 The Weakest Link: The Local Access Challenge (Panel Discussion)

Local loops are the shortest links in organizations' global networks, but they account for a vastly disproportionate share of network managers' headaches. Common complaints include prohibitively high costs, long delivery times, and limited technical options.

  • How do local access service availability and costs shape or constrain organizations' WAN strategies?
  • Have there been any meaningful improvements in local access markets in recent years?
  • What role can fixed and mobile wireless networks play in delivering local network connectivity?
  • Are there any technical innovations that can help organizations to mitigate the limitations of local access networks?

10:10 Global Network Procurement Case Study

10:30 Morning Coffee Break

11:10 The Promise and the Reality of SDN and NFV

SDN and NFV have been among the most widely discussed networking technology trends of recent years, but how and when these technologies will influence corporate WAN designs and management can still be murky. This panel will review the state of NFV and SDN deployment by carriers and enterprises, and examine the practical implications for corporate WANs.

  • How mature are SDN and NFV technical standards and vendors technologies?
  • What real-world enterprise WAN problems can SDN and NFV help to solve, and what are the most common near-term use cases for enterprises? What are the limitations of SDN and NFV? 
  • What are the implications of SDN and NFV for local access networks — and vice versa?

11:50 2020 Foresight: The Future of Workplace Networks (Panel Discussion)

We are at the beginning of a period of sweeping change in the corporate networks sector driven by the rise of cloud services, the emergence of new networking technologies and changes in user devices, applications and behaviours. This panel will explore the implications of these developments.

  • What will corporate networks look like in 2020?
  • What technologies will be in widespread use?
  • How will architectures change and adapt to demands of BYOD and the consumerisation of IT? Will network technologies differ in emerging markets?
  • How will companies approach networking contracting?

12:30 Closing Remarks from the Chair

12:35 Lunch and Networking