It’s nowhere near the size or scope of its sibling, Interop Las Vegas, but Interop New York 2008 show organizers were expecting about 5,000 attendees at this week’s event. Helping to draw the crowds is TechWeb’s collaboration with O’Reilly Media, which pairs Interop with a Web 2.0 show. Both are horizontal shows but Interop is heavy on security, and thus financial services attendance.

The hot topics are also about what you’d expect: Cisco is pushing private clouds; IBM unveiled its Social Software Center, the Big Blue answer to building Facebook; Novell’s CEO says open source is the future of IT; virtualization, and securing it.

And how has the near collapse of the financial system over the past week affected the show, exhibitors, and attendee purchasing intent? Well, about as you’d expect. “Don’t think that banking has any discretionary spending this year,” laments Michael Hyatt, CEO and co-founder of BlueCat Networks, a Toronto-based vendor whose product helps enterprises control the spiraling number of IP addresses they need to track. He continues, “Your product better be useful!”

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