My take:

Cisco Live EMEA 2024 – Amsterdam by Joacim Wicander

One of the things I always look forward to with Cisco Live Amsterdam is meeting colleagues from across the Conscia group, competitors, friends, and colleagues from Cisco. And last but not least, meet all the Teams, Advocates, and Rockstars from Cisco Insider. It’s a learning week for a Cisco engineer and a great experience that I want to share.

Cisco live Amsterdam 2024 Joacim W

Cisco Live EMEA 2024 took place in Amsterdam again, and this was the 7th Cisco Live I’ve attended.

Cisco Live Monday: 2 technique sessions of four hours each

1st session: Next-Generation ACI Data Center Architecture and Deployment Best Practices (TECDCN-2438)

For me I love going to sessions where I get reminded about the basics but also learn new things at the same time. This was one of these sessions. A lot of new features and ways of bringing up a new ACI fabric, including automatically upgrade of APIC if replacing or adding a new APIC to an existing ACI fabric. Presenters was Takuya Kishida and Maurizio Portolani.

2nd session: A Deep Dive into ACI Multi-Site (TECDCN-2464).

A very technical deep dive into Cisco ACI Multi-site and Nexus Dashboard Orchestrator (NDO). The deep dive as delivered by the maestro around anything Multi- in Cisco ACI, Max Ardica. As always Max delivers a superb session with many good things to keep in mind when doing Multi-Site in Cisco ACI and NDFC.

On Monday evening I attended the Cisco Live CISG dinner. There I got to meet new people from Cisco, Nutanix, Metsi and more. During dinner, some very interesting discussions took place. The social aspect of Cisco Live is just as important as the sessions if you ask me.

Cisco Live Tuesday: a meet the engineer, a whisper session, and some sessions

Cisco’s engineers are often very busy in their everyday lives, so a meeting with an engineer is a luxury. It’s almost as if this meeting is worth the trip to Cisco Live. But what is mentioned in the meeting stays in the meeting. A big thank you to Håkan Palm who solved some problems around my meeting.

1st session: DevOps Dashboards featuring DIY DevOps Dashboard (DEVNET-1704)

Something very new and foreign to me, but a very interesting session to attend. basically, a session about building you own Dashboard around you CI/CD pipelines both DIY and ready systems you can buy.

2nd session: Simplify Data Center Network Operations with Nexus Dashboard (PSODCN-1729)

A session around Nexus Dashboard, what’s new and coming around Nexus Dashboard, not that technically deep but very still very interesting and rewarding. Delivered by the unmistakable and cool guy, Carlos Campos Torres, and Javed Asghar.

3rd session: Your Data Center Is Back in Vogue and Cool … Again (BRKCLD-2280)

A session about the trend we are seeing that many companies are going from cloud only to multi cloud where one cloud is their on-prem datacenter with hopefully Cisco ACI and Cisco UCS in them. this session was very good and expertly presented by Roger Dickinson.

4th session: Customer Whisper

I had a whisper session with a customer about Cisco ACI and Nexus Dashboard. Me and the customer met Håkan Palm an SE from Cisco Sweden and Joey Ristaino a TME from Cisco.

5th session: Elevating Data Center Security – A Keynote on Transforming Cisco’s Security Landscape (BRKCOC-2671)

This session is in a new area for me, Security, I have up until now wanted to leave this to the security professionals but need more understanding of the security landscape that we can face in the Data Center area. The session was really good and gave me many things to think about in the future implementations of Cisco Data Center platforms and was presented by Tom Deckers and Sanjeet Sharma.

On Tuesday night I attended VIP Welcome Reception – AMD, Cisco, Pure Storage and Veeam, where I again had some very interesting discussions with representatives from Cisco, AMD, Pure and Veeam.

Cisco Live Wednesday: Mostly breakout sessions during the day.

1st session: Why You Shouldn’t Fear Upgrading Your ACI Fabric—the Handbook (BRKDCN-2910)

A session about the how to mitigate some common issues customers have seen when doing upgrades of Cisco ACI, before we can be affected by them. Some very good tips and tricks to help the upgrade process be as smooth as possible was presented (some was new to me, even an old guy can learn new stuff :D). This session was presented by Takuya Kishida and Joey Ristaino.

2nd session: How to Set Up an ACI Multi-Site with Single Pod and Multi-Pod (BRKDCN-2919)

The second-best session for my week. The comedic duo of Max Ardica and Ramses Smeyers delivered this session. A very interesting way of presenting but they got the message across in a very fun way. And the message was: it is pretty easy to extend you Cisco ACI fabric from single pod to multi-pod to multi-site (with 1 site being the multi-pod) using automation tools, like Ansible and Terraform.

3rd session: ACI Nexus Dashboard Insights from Zero to Hero (LTRDCN-2258)

This lab was hosted by the unmistakable cool guy Joe Ezerski and his colleagues Vladimir Joshevski and Stanislav Martinicky. A very interesting lab, that sadly was cut short by an issue with the webserver hosting the lab-guide. But I will take time out of my schedule after Cisco Live to finish this lab, as it is supposed to be available sometime after.

On Wednesday night I attended the Dinner with the Advocacy Team, with the specially invited CTO of Cisco Netherlands. I had a really good night together with my fellow Insider Advocates and team from Cisco Insider, some very interesting discussions was held during the night with all attending.

Cisco live Amsterdam 2024 Joe Ezerski

Cisco Live Thursday: a couple of session and of course the Cisco appreciation party

I started Thursday morning with a breakfast with Cisco, Cohesity and Nutanix. Some really fun and interesting discussions with representatives of Nutanix and Cohesity were held. Every moment on Cisco Live is a chance to learn, understand, and share, something I try to maximize.

1st session for the day: From Zero to Multicloud Hero in 60 minutes (BRKCLD-2409)

A session about how we can utilize Cisco’s SD-WAN to connect our multicloud to or offices and even our on-prem Data Center. A good session presented by Matthew Howlin and Michael Wielpuetz.

2nd session: Simplify Infrastructure and Operations with Cisco Compute Hyperconverged with Nutanix (PSODCN-1733)

A marketing session around the partnership Cisco and Nutanix has entered, very interesting to see where this will end up. I am looking forward to learn and start utilizing Nutianix and AHV at customer sites.

3rd session: ACI Troubleshooting – Expand Your Tool Set with Nexus Dashboard Insights (BRKDCN-2626)

An excellent session about how we can utilize Nexus Dashboard Insights to simplify the troubleshooting of you Cisco ACI and NDFC fabrics. this was presented by Ivan Kovacevic

4th session: ACI Layer 4–Layer 7 Policy-Based Redirect (PBR) Deep Dive and Tips (BRKDCN-3982)

Sadly, this session was interrupted by a medical emergency and we had to leave the session very early and I instead went to the 5:th session for the day.

5th session: No official session, but the best session of the week.

A Customer CX Session in the Cisco Insider Lounge around a customer success story for a winemaker in Spain. Very interesting to hear about the technological advances the wine industry is using and going to be using to make the wine making process more sustainable and efficient.

The second half of this session was a wine tasting of 4 different wines from this winemaker. A tasting led by the only female Wine Master in the world and technical director for the customer in this session, Almunda Alberca.

I of course attended the Thursday night party – Cisco Appreciation Party. Started with some beers and food together with my colleagues and customers from Sweden. I left them when the live music started and found my fellow Cisco Insider Rockstars. And we had a really good time together for the rest of the night.

Cisco live Amsterdam 2024 Party

Cisco Live Friday: 2 sessions before starting my journey home

1st session: Cisco ACI – The Foundation of an Internal Private Cloud (BRKDCN-2984)

A session about how we can utilize Cisco ACI the same as a public cloud, focusing mainly on different design strategies. Even here a learned some very interesting tips and tricks. This session was expertly delivered by Steve Sharman who was very understanding of how tired we were. So he handed out candies so that we could stay awake during his presentation.

2nd session: Managing Your Data Center Network with ServiceNow (BRKDCN-2969)

A session about how we can utilize ServiceNow to inventory our Cisco ACI and/or NDFC Data Center fabrics. A very interesting and powerful way of doing inventory in my opinion. This session was presented by Lionel Hercot.

Cisco Live EMEA 2024 – Amsterdam: A very rewarding week

So in conclusion, to me Cisco Live EMEA 2024 – Amsterdam has been a very rewarding and interesting week. I got to meet old and new friends from Cisco Insider team, and of course my fellow Cisco Insider Rockstars IRL. I hope to have given you an insight into the education, networking, and joys of a Cisco Live. An experience that I can thoroughly recommend.

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