You can read the overview for some details, but in a nutshell, we're going to talk about the ways you monitor a network as a thing outside of servers, and why you would want to. As far as why, well, the four of us realize that it's not just "nice" to know about the nuts and bolts of monitoring your network, and why you'd want to, it's critical. We also realized that while there's (obviously) a lot of sessions talking about Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server, there weren't many, (heck, almost none last year) that deal with networking outside of specific OS/Server functions. So you talk about DHCP and DNS, but not a lot about what's going on with the network that DHCP and DNS run on.
We, (again, obviously), think there's a bit of a hole in the conference in the networking area. It's interesting, some of the things I see on a mailing list, or on a web site that show the person with the problem may know a lot about the server, but the network as a whole was a bit of a black box, (or cloud) to them. That's a shame, because when you know about the fundamentals of monitoring and running a network, there's so much more you can do. When you understand what SNMP is all about, you gain so much flexibility in how you can monitor your network than if you're relying on what a tool gives you. I don't mean just servers but throughput, traffic usage, what a box is specifically sending across the network, how to read packets, etc. The knowledge I've picked up and been taught over the years saves me trouble and time every day, and this is a way for us to share our knowledge that we've picked up over our accumulated 80+ years in this business.
So, come to the session if you can, we're going to try to bring out some extra Minis, maybe some other networking boxen, and have the biggest networking geekfest you've ever seen at a Macworld.