Had some good classes today!! I enjoyed the class that covered an overview of the CAT 9000 series of switches! Although the class was focused on the access layer, there was some info on the entire line. It’s nice to see that their various lines of switches (2900, 3600, 4500, and 6500) have all been consolidated into a single series of switches with a common architecture and operating system. With the 9000 series, it can take you from the access layer, through the distribution layer, and into the core. Thanks Cisco!!
I then took an intro class into BGP…it’s been a long time since I worked with BGP (it was still a 2-byte AS field). The two instructors, Gustavo Sibaja and Peter Paluch, did a very good job tackling a complex subject…and they made it fun!!
I also stopped by a variety of Cisco booths, checking in on the status of Cisco SIG, future plans for branch site security controls, etc. I can tell you this…Cisco is betting big with Secure Access! Umbrella SIG will ultimately be rolled into this service, and if Cisco can deliver on their promises, this could be a game changer for many organizations. Hopefully, it won’t have the growing pains that SIG had.
While walking around the World of Solutions, I noticed the Social Media Hub…
Other than taking this picture, you will never find me sitting in one of these! I am not a big believer in social media…in fact, I like to call it Anti-Social Media. There is a lot of potential good with social media…however, the results thus far have been largely negative, and even damaging. One can always hope…
The main keynote address was this morning…it started out with a group of dancers doing their thing. It didn’t do much for me…but most of the attendees liked it. Afterwards, there were several talks by some of Cisco’s divisional VP’s…they were ok, but most of them were glued to their teleprompters…can’t flub in front of a world-wide audience! However, Chuck Robbins (CEO) did a good job…you can tell he practiced his material, and rarely looked at the prompter. He also had some good information and news, and did a really good job of addressing his audience…thanking us for the job we do on a daily basis. He should be pleased with his presentation.
As for the rest of the day, I had some interesting classes…took a couple of walk-in labs…it was a good day!
Started the day off by drinking the Cisco Kool-aid…don’t you know that Cisco SD-WAN solves all problems!! Actually, they do have a very complete and mature solution…but it is equally complex and costly. If you have a lot of on-prem and Cloud based systems, and they all need to communicate with each other in a variety of manners, the Cisco SD-WAN solution will make it all work. Seriously…they cover all the bases, and then some. For smaller enterprise networks though, it’s probably overkill. Do yourself a favor and research SD-WAN…let your application requirements drive the network design. And remember…keep it simple!
I also attended a class on the Cisco CCNP…just to see what’s changed…which is not much over the last 4 or so years. However, the CCNP test is changing a bit this September…not too much they said, maybe about 20% of the test is getting updated. Not sure what parts though.
My wife and I then took a taxi down the strip, had dinner, watched the fountain show at the Bellagio, then walked all the way back to the Mandalay Bay hotel. It was an enjoyable evening!!
It’s been a while since I last updated this blog…life gets in the way sometimes. However, now is the time! And what better reason than CiscoLive 2023 in Las Vegas!!
My wife and I flew in yesterday afternoon (Saturday), and we are staying at Mandalay Bay Resort. CiscoLive is also located here, so no worries about transportation to/from the conference…this is VERY nice! I also purchased the Explorer pass for my wife…she is a bit of a geek herself, and she enjoys attending the main Keynotes, World of Solutions Expo, and the Cisco Live Celebration!! And her pass includes lunches, so we can meet up for that too!
This most likely will be my last CiscoLive! I’m retiring soon, and my manager at work was happy to coordinate this “last hurrah”, and send me to CiscoLive. (The company I work for is awesome!) I’m looking forward to gaining more knowledge about SD-WAN and related technologies. The network I manage is DMVPN based, and it’s been rock-solid for years. And since we have no Cloud presence (as yet), there has been no need for SD-WAN. However, that may be changing in the next year or two…so SD-WAN may be an important option soon. Cisco has a solid SD-WAN solution, but so does Palo Alto, VMware and Fortinet. And to be honest, although I have been drinking the Cisco Kool-Aid for many years, I am very open to other vendors. Dealing with Cisco these last 5 or so years has been a bit painful…(more about that another day).
I’ll try to provide updates over the next several days…fingers crossed.