Well I have been back from Dubai for a couple of weeks and alot has happened, will add another post on that subject in the coming days (probably weeks).
In what will be my last trip for AMS-IX to Dubai (a clue as to the next posts content) I attended Capacity Middle East (www.capacitymedia.com) as well as the MENOG peering forum which is run by RIPE.
Capacity Middle East was as good as ever (with a record 950 or so attendees), as with all conferences I work hard before to make a good number of targetted appointments made in advance. I managed to meet all the people I needed to and again managed to get some verbal orders (now the hard work) during the event.
After the Capacity event it was onto MENOG and the peering day which apart from meet a couple of guys I needed to catch up with was a fairly big dissapointment. The event was basically hijacked by Equinix and DE-CIX for the launch of their joint venture known as UA-IX, a supposedly neutral IX which only has one way to get to it. I do not blame Equinx and DE-CIX in anyway for the way the event went, they are both commercial companies and took an opportunity that was presented to them and did a good job – I would have done the same! I wish DE-CIX all the best with the venture but not being with the incumbant (normally this is a no no for IX’s but MENA is different) they have a mountain to climb.
Other low lights of the peering day included a presentation by a guy talking about new methods in IX’s,only problem was the guy does not run an IX and has no experience of running them (neither did his advisors). The fact that most of the ‘peering personals’ were done by EU or US companies sort of summed up the issues facing the region in terms of infrastructure, maybe people should just let it be.
The two highlights of the peering event was hearing about the sterling efforts of the Palastinian IX and the complete over reaction of some people to the new release I did the day before at the capacity event, you can read more here:- https://www.ams-ix.net/newsitems/78 and see my picture below.
As for peering in MENA, well thats going to be a challenge as all countires have ambitions to be ‘the hub’ and all parts of the region have a dominate incumbent who wont give over control in the near future (ever?). I cannot disclose the amount of ‘secret’ IX inititaives people have spoke to me about in the the region but lets just say it’s alot. I do think a couple of them have legs but they will take time.
Generally speaking it’s nice to visit Dubai and hopefully I will be back before too long but that depends on the next challenge.