Sponsored by CoreSite, NANOG 73, which took place June 25-27, 2018, in Denver, Colorado,, attracted more than 1,000 attendees from around the world. Representatives from a wide range of companies, including ISPs, equipment vendors, network operators, cloud services providers, software vendors, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), web service and hosting providers, education and research, regional Internet registries, consulting, and non-profits attended the event. The North American Network Operators’ Group (NANOG), is the professional association for Internet engineering, architecture and operations. Its core focus is the continuous improvement of the data transmission technologies, practices, and facilities that make the Internet function.

Facebook Vice President of Network Engineering, Najam Ahmed kicked off the conference with the keynote address, “’Operations First, Features Second’ Philosophy” during which he explored the skills required to be a successful network engineer and the ability to maintain an operational mindset. This address was followed by an official introduction to NANOG’s new Executive Director, Edward McNair during a live interview followed by a Q&A session with conference attendees.

For those who had never attended a previous NANOG meeting, organizers and members were there to welcome newcomers with open arms. NANOG first-timers were invited to an exclusive lunch on Monday where they had the opportunity to meet both newbies and seasoned vets alike for an afternoon of networking and mentorship. In addition, NANOG 73 hosted a Women in Technology luncheon on Tuesday, celebrating gender diversity throughout the technology industry.

As with every NANOG meeting, NANOG 73 featured a wide range of thought-provoking presentations on subjects including IPv6 Networking, DDoS mitigation, segment and BGP routing, network automation and hyperscale data centers. Additionally, the agenda featured lightning talks about submarine cable maps, legal parries to routing architecture and BGP transport security.

It wouldn’t be a NANOG event without fun and exciting opportunities to network with colleagues and peers. Its signature Beer ‘n’ Gear event attracted crowds with beverages, happy hour fare and swag items provided by multiple event sponsors, and each evening was capped off with sponsored off-site socials and various Denver hot spots.

In line with tradition, prior to the main NANOG 73 conference, 39 network operators, systems administrators and IT students gathered for Hackathon to explore new ways to use existing systems in networks to defend against different types of cyberattacks. Participants briefly shared their findings and voted for the top teams, who then presented their winning hacks during the NANOG 73 general session.

The two winning teams to emerge from this event were Problem Gopher and Ocean’s Six. Problem Gopher participants included Brandon Premo, Network Engineer, Facebook; Jason Reifstenzel, NET Student, Carleton University; Gabriel Nuñez, Sandia National Lab; Akshat Sharma, Technical Marketing Engineer, Cisco; and Mike Korshunov, Technical Marketing Engineer, Cisco.

The Ocean’s Six team included Benedikt Rudolph, Researcher, DE-CIX; Flavio Castro, Network Engineer, PayPal; Shraddha Tekawade, Network SRE, Oracle; Aaron Ashley, Senior Network SRE, Oracle; Andrew Warren, Applications Sales Manager-Healthcare, Oracle; and Syet W. Ahmed, Senior Network Engineer, Oracle.

NANOG relies upon the support of its sponsors to produce its tri-annual conferences and ongoing communications. NANOG 73 was produced with the help of more than 50 individual sponsors, including event host sponsor, CoreSite; Diamond Sponsors, Netflix and NTT Communications; Platinum Sponsors, Imperva, Microsoft and Oracle; and Gold Sponsors, Google and  Verisign.

NANOG 74, which will take place October 1-3, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada, is supported by host sponsor TekSavvy. Joining NANOG provides a $25 discount on standard registration fees for any NANOG conference. Registration for NANOG 74 opens March 12, 2018 and the registration can be accessed here.