Like the RSA Security conference in March, Interop will likely offer non-stop hyperbole about all things related to cloud computing. Nevertheless, I expect a lot of additional and very useful dialogue around the following topics:1. 40Gb Ethernet. While 10GbE is still ramping up, expect vendors to turn up the heat on 40GbE. Why? High-density data centers running thousands of virtual machines will need 40GbE sooner rather than later. Aside from basic connectivity, 40GbE could also be a tipping point where Ethernet replaces Fibre Channel and Infiniband. On a completely separate note, more video traffic will drive the need for 40GbE network backbones.2. 802.11n. The Trapeze acquisition a few years ago was a bit of a downer for the Wi-Fi crowd, but 802.11n is the networking equivalent to that old ditty, "Happy Days are Here Again." Lots of organizations are ripping out old b\/g networks, especially those in health care, education, and State\/Local government. New 802.11n equipment is also the first true wireless access layer so it is likely to replace a lot of wired access switches. On the vendor front, the Meru IPO offering bolstered Wi-Fi visibility while Aruba and Cisco continue to chug along. I also like Aerohive technology which seems like a very good fit as 802.11n networks scale. 3. Network security. ESG Research indicates network security is a high priority for both networking and security groups. This is due to several factors including high bandwidth network security requirements, firewall consolidation, server virtualization, and new types of threats. Look for lots of talk about Layer 7 visibility, high-end UTM boxes, and virtual capabilities.4. Server virtualization. Networks must be aware of virtual machines to enforce network security and segmentation policies. Look for more one-off relationships between networking vendors, Citrix, VMware, and Microsoft. I also anticipate more support for the VEPA standard.5. WAN optimization. Think of this as the other side of server consolidation. While market saturation limits new business, there is a lot of WAN optimization consolidation going on. Good news for market leaders Bluecoat, Cisco, and Riverbed.6. Questions around HP\/3Com. These discussions fit into the Interop scuttlebutt category. How will this merger work? Will there be personnel changes? Can HP really challenge Cisco in the enterprise? All of these questions and many more will be debated ad nauseum next week.See you in Vegas.