Enterprise Networking Planet's Top 10 Networking Experts You Need to Follow

For insightful takes on the latest networking news and trends, be sure to keep an eye on these bloggers and their Twitter accounts.

By Jessica Vartabedian | Posted Jan 22, 2013
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When you've read every article on Enterprise Networking Planet, where can you turn to for interesting reads on networking? Our editors currently like these blogs and Twitter feeds because they are written by networking technologists and practitioners who share not only vision, but in-the-field insights. For the most part, these experts share unique points of view without the usual marketing spin.

We've compiled our list of the Top 10 networking experts who are active bloggers and Twitter users. These individuals have varied backgrounds and professional experiences from networking engineer to industry analyst. While a number of them have been or are employed by networking vendors, their blog posts and tweets are their own words and are not endorsed by any of those companies.

Without any further ado, here are Enterprise Networking Planet's top 10 networking bloggers and Twitter accounts to follow (ranked by number of Twitter followers).

1. Greg Ferro (@etherealmind) has spent twenty years in IT and more than twelve years in networking. He is currently freelancing as a network architect and a senior engineer/designer. Ferro also co-hosts a podcast, Packet Pushers, that covers hardcore networking and allows bloggers to gather and share their work. Ferro feels network security is headed nowhere in 2013.

To get an idea of what you can expect from Greg, here are his takes on:

  • Networking security: "IT Security is completely stagnant and has no innovation engine for adapting to the future. The tension between legacy security practices and modern virtualization does not appear to have any workable solutions. As always, security professionals are looking backward instead of forward."
  • 10GbE, 40GbE and 100GbE adoption: "…it's not really an issue for the vast majority of networks today. Niche businesses like cloud hosting and carrier backbones have specific requirements and lots of marketing dollars to make noise, but really, underlying demand is muted in the wider market."
  • Converged networks: "It's already done and dusted. Most "storage professionals" who will take another five years to realise the world changed from block storage to object or file oriented storage clusters, the transition to Infiniband or Ethernet is already complete."
Greg Ferro

2. Jeremy Stretch (@packetlife) is a networking engineer who frequently evaluates equipment and makes recommendations. He also runs a free training lab in his spare time. Jeremy is not afraid to "tweet" his mind when he's carrying the burdens of a network guy's duties. He recently asked The Spamhaus Project, "please stop adding all Rackspace IPs to your PBL. This is the third year in a row I've had to request my server be removed."

Jeremy Stretch

3. Ivan Pepelnjak (@ioshints) has been building networks since the early 1980s. Currently, he is the chief technology advisor at NIL Data Communications. How much a networking expert is Ivan? Cisco press has published two of his books. You'll always find an interesting networking technology discussion on Ivan's Twitter account. He regularly goes back and forth with other networking pros on our list, @etherealmind and @bradhedlund.

Ivan Pepelnjak

4. Brad Hedlund (@bradhedlund) brings 16 years of IT experience to his current engineering architect, virtual networking role at VMware. His main focus is on data center fabrics, cloud networking and converged infrastructure. When he's not tweeting and blogging, Brad disseminates information the old-fashioned way: speaking into a microphone. He was a speaker at the Interop 2012 conference and Cisco Live 2011.

Consider his network security prediction for this year: "In 2013 we are going to see security in the data center become a consumable service in a dynamic virtual network completely decoupled from the underlying hardware and that's defined by a rich set of APIs. Instead of configuring and managing N security hardware boxes, data center operators will define a security policy once which is omnipresent in the virtual network topology."

Brad Hedlund

5. Abner Germanow (@abnerg) compiles the most important news on his blog and provides additional commentary. He is currently employed by Juniper Networks as the director of enterprise data center marketing. Prior to Juniper Networks, Germanow worked for IDC researching all things networking. Always good for a laugh, Germanow's sense of humor comes through on tweets like this: "I <3 breakfast and putting CIOs in front of a room full of partners. At #JuniperGPC BOTH at the same time! Wed. Early."

Abner Germanow

6. Tom Hollingsworth (@networkingnerd) works as a network engineer for United Systems. He is also a Cisco partner engineer who loves taking tests. But even after achieving the Holy Grail of the CCIE, Hollingsworth shares that it's not all Nirvana for Cisco-certified internetworking experts: "Hey @LearningatCisco, what's the ETA for removing the silly need to remember my #CCIE written results to log in?"

Tom Hollingsworth

7. Matt Simmons (@standaloneSA) is a system administrator who specializes in small infrastructures. Simmons is working on a series of books about Small Infrastructure Administration and is also a regular writer in a journal for SQL Server, .NET and SysAdmin professionals. Simmons tweets regularly about industry happenings. One of his recent tweets was, "I suspect that Python's os.removedirs() might be the biggest accidental 'oops' waiting to happen that I've ever seen. #wow."

Matt Simmons

8. Amy Arnold (@amyengineer) is a network engineer who has eight certifications. She has been working in voice technology for the past year, and although there is quite a learning curve, Amy is known for sharing her learning in a humorous way on her blog. Arnold includes her humor in tweets as well. @etherealmind wrote "There is nothing more pointlessly complex than a Voice deployment with SIP & SS7. Complexity makes it expensive. No wonder IP telephony wins." Arnold's response: "…that *almost* sounded like a compliment toward ip telephony… ;)".

Amy Arnold

9. Andrea Mauro (@Andrea_Mauro) has been working with Assyrus Srl, an Italian IT company that specializes in networking, security, virtualization and consulting, since 2000. He holds numerous certifications and is a systems administrator on Linux and Windows OS.

Here are Audrea's insights on a couple of trending topics for 2013.

  • Networking security: "Network security is still a big challenge and will be also in 2013. I think/hope that we will see more solutions in the virtual environment... NIDS, appliances to have a deep network flow inspection, but also virtual honeypot and honeynet could be an interesting direction applied to virtual machines."
  • Converged networks: "Converged networks could be a solution to have at least the common Ethernet layer, but in my opinion I don't see this as a big advantage, because you bring new complexity (FCoE is different that IP). I think that storage, when possible, must be on a dedicated network (for security, performance, simplicity reasons)."
Andrea Mauro

10. Jeremy Gaddis (@jlgaddis) has been involved in computing since he was just a child and has been learning ever since. Today, he has numerous industry certifications and he founded his own consulting company, Null Ventures LLC, which focuses on implementing open source solutions for a variety of clients. Gaddis isn't afraid to speak his mind either. In a recent Twitter conversation, he said, "…Heh, I like BGP but I don't think 802.1Q is inherently evil. Guess that means I'm not ideal. =)"

Jeremy Gaddis

Of course, you can always follow Enterprise Networking Planet (@networknotes) to keep up on networking news and trends.

Who do you follow on Twitter? What blog do you check regularly for networking content? We want to know! Tweet us, @networknotes, or list your favorites in the comments below.

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