Cisco Live US is one of my favorite weeks of the year. It’s a time to learn, meet with friends, make new friends and focus on what is going on with Cisco’s products and technologies. Cisco Live US 2019 was the 30th and took place in beautiful San Diego. Do you know how many people attended the first Cisco Networkers event? 150 people! Many of them still coming to Cisco Live.
Parts of Top Gun was filmed in San Diego, hence the title, but do you know what the CCIE program was initially called? Top Gun! Cisco probably made the right decision in finding another name though considering the lawsuits that would have followed…
Saturday – CCIE Advisory Council Meeting
This year I flew in on Friday to make it to the CCIE Advisory Council meeting on Saturday. As you will have heard by now, there are major changes coming to Cisco certifications. I spent my Saturday talking to the leadership team of Learning at Cisco and DevNet to be fully updated on the changes and to give feedback on the changes that are coming. The new updates will better align with the expected skills of the future work force. Exciting times ahead!
Sunday – Deep Dive into SDA
My Sunday was spent in a Software Defined Access Techtorial. Techtorials are paid for 4h or 8h sessions where the entire focus is spent on one product or technology. My first contact with SDA, which at that time was called Campus Fabric, was 4 years ago in Las Vegas. A lot has happened since then! One of the best use cases for SDA going forward, is to segment the network based on user identities, instead of IP networks. With the integrations coming with SD-WAN and ACI, it will be possible to carry the segmentation end to end in the network. Very powerful!
Monday – Licensing and VIP Dinner
I started out my Monday by attending a session on Smart Licensing. Gone are the days of the PAK files! While Smart Licensing comes with a learning curve, and connectivity requirements, the result will be easier to handle licensing for customers and partners. No longer will licenses be tied to a specific device, they will sit in a pool to be consumed by the device that needs a license, returning the license to the pool if the device no longer needs it.
The evening was spent with the leadership team of Learning at Cisco at the Barley Mash restaurant. Every year, Learning at Cisco hosts a dinner for their VIP members of the Cisco Learning Network forums and the Cisco Support Community forums. This is always a great time to catch up on what has happened since last year and to give feedback on Cisco’s offerings, both within the learning area and products in general.
Tuesday – More SDA, meeting Chuck and going live on TV!
Tuesday turned out to be a very eventful day. I had some more sessions on SDA and the integration with SD-WAN and right before the Tuesday key note I had the chance to be featured on Cisco TV due to winning Cisco’s IT Blog Awards in the “most inspirational” category. It’s exciting to go on TV in front of thousands of people watching the stream remotely. Here’s a picture of me getting interviewed by Robb Boyd.
After the interview, I went to the yearly reception with Chuck Robbins for CCIE/Netvet lunch. It was a very positive meeting and the consensus is that Chuck has done and is doing a good job of turning Cisco into a more software-focused company.
Every Cisco Live, Cisco hosts a party for everyone that is CCIE certified. This year it took place in the San Diego Air and Space Museum which was a very nice venue. I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Cruise (Maverick) there. Ok, not really, but this guy certainly looks like Tom.
The theme, as mentioned before, was Top Gun. The CCIE party is always a good event to catch up with people and to congratulate those that have recently become CCIE certified.
Wednesday – Even more SDA, CAE and social media interview
Wednesday, my final day on site, was spent doing even more SDA and SD-WAN, which were my two focus areas for this event. The SD-WAN on ISR integration is coming along and the July release will be a major mile stone. I had another interview on Wednesday around social media and my friend Rowell managed to snap a picture as he was walking by.
In the evening we met up with our customers that were there and attended the Customer Appreciation Event (CAE) which often is a concert, although the previous year it took place at Universal Studios in Orlando. This year, Weezer and Foo Fighters took the stage. Stellar performances from both bands! Hearing Foo Fighters play “Under Pressure”, one of my favorite songs, from one of my favorite bands, was a real treat!
And that wraps up Cisco Live for this year! Next year it takes place in the “City of Sin”, Las Vegas. I hope I see you all there next year!
Did you see our English travel report from Cisco Live Barcelona 2019? Check it out here!
Are you interested in our fresh’n free 15-page white paper on SD-WAN (Swedish) Download it here!
Daniel Dib is one of two Cisco Design-certified experts at Conscia Netsafe (CCDE), he’s also a CCIE and an AWS Solutions Architect Associate. Daniel is the only Swedish representative on the Cisco CCIE Advisory Council which helps develop the Cisco certifications. He’s a well-known blog author and a member of the Cisco Learning Community, he has been in the Cisco VIP program for six years running. Daniel is a Cisco Learning Network VIP and a Cisco Champion. Daniel runs one of the more popular networking blogs, Lostintransit. Daniel has also written in Network Computing, IDG/Techworld and in the Cisco blog.