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As NANOG 91 concluded, Kate Gerry’s participation over the past few days in Kansas City was marked by enriching experiences and valuable connections. The conference brought together a diverse group of networking professionals, fostering an atmosphere of learning and collaboration.

Kate’s journey began with the newcomers meeting on Monday, where she provided mentorship to first-time attendees. This interaction set a positive tone for the conference, emphasizing the importance of community and support within the industry. The enthusiasm from newcomers was a reminder of the value of guidance and shared knowledge in fostering growth and confidence in emerging professionals.

Throughout the conference, Kate attended several compelling sessions that highlighted current challenges and future directions in networking. Corey Quinn’s keynote, “TCP Terminates on the Floor,” stood out for its blend of humor and insightful discussion on IPv6 deployment and the pitfalls of poorly configured VPCs. His talk was a stark reminder of the evolving complexities in our field.

Kireeti Kompella’s presentation on the “Network Digital Twin” from Juniper Networks explored the transformative potential of digital twins in network automation. The concept, likened to simulations used in aerospace, offers a future where network behaviors can be precisely modeled and predicted, enhancing management and operational efficiency.

Dr. Nirmala Shenoy’s introduction of the Multi-Root Meshed Tree Protocol (MR-MTP) provided a fresh perspective on data center networking. MR-MTP simplifies the operational complexity associated with traditional protocols like BGP and ECMP. Her work highlighted the protocol’s potential to streamline data center operations and improve performance, positioning it as a noteworthy innovation in the field.

Wednesday evening featured a meet-and-greet hosted by NOCIX near their data center, where Kate appreciated NOCIX’s commitment to connectivity, especially in geographically isolated regions like Kansas City. Their role as a sponsor and active participant in NANOG 91 aligns with NetActuate’s mission to provide robust, low-latency connections to diverse communities. This event underscored the critical role of infrastructure providers in enabling communication and connectivity.

Following the meet-and-greet, Kate reunited with old friends who introduced her to the networking community many years ago. The dinner was a nostalgic reflection on personal journeys and the industry’s evolution, emphasizing the enduring importance of mentorship and community bonds.

With NANOG91 concluded, Kate’s agenda for the remaining days in Kansas City includes visiting the NOCIX facility where NetActuate is colocated. This tour will offer insights into their operations and their role in supporting the connectivity that NetActuate relies on. Additionally, she looks forward to exploring Kansas City’s renowned BBQ scene, thanks to NOCIX’s invitation to experience some of the best local spots. This culinary exploration is a fitting way to end her stay, combining local culture with professional engagement.

NetActuate’s involvement in events like NANOG underscores its commitment to bridging the gap between complex network demands and efficient deployment. Kate’s role in attending and engaging with these sessions highlights the company’s dedication to leveraging expertise and innovation to support customers with robust and efficient network configurations.

As Kate prepares to head home, she reflects on the invaluable insights and connections gained during NANOG91. The blend of technical deep dives, community building, and personal reflections will undoubtedly influence her approach as NetActuate continues to navigate the dynamic landscape of network technology.

Click here to check out the NANOG communities favorite moments from NANOG 91.