Hats off to Cisco for a great event last week, very well executed!
I was lucky enough to be a part of this year’s event, and was there in the role of an “Expert Roamer” which meant I should pick up and hopefully be answer a lot of the questions our customers and partners had. The questions ranged from “Which one is better, FCoE or iSCSI?” to “So, I see EMC is much more than just a storage company, can you tell me what you can do for me in the data center space?”. Our booth was packed throughout the course of the three days, and even more so during the sessions that we were running every 15 minutes. More on those in a bit.
Cisco Live was all in all a great event, with 4000+ attendees and a lot of partners showing off solutions, services and products at their booths. I talked to several of them, and most of them were on the same page. The data center is transforming, and automation will play a big part in that during the coming years.
During the keynote, Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer with Cisco, talked about what the future holds and also showcased several interesting product demos. What I found most interesting was how similar EMC and Cisco is in their messaging. At EMC, we’re always trying to show the best way of handling information. Storing it, making sure you can trust it, and enable information exchange throughout private, public and hybrid clouds. Cisco does the same but with another viewing point, namely communication.
With more than 50,000,000,000 devices thought to be connected through the Internet in 2020, technologies like smarter, more efficient wireless and IPv6 is becoming increasingly important. And I’m not talking about just your toasters being wirelessly connected either, but everything from manufacturing to healthcare. We’re talking about the Internet of Everything (#IoE).
With this Internet of Everything, communication will not just focus on person to person, but also thing to thing. And for all things to be able to talk to each other, we need more people with other skill sets than we have today. Therefore it was very interesting to see that this was acknowledged by Cisco, where they showed info from a Forbes article that contained information on 10 jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago.
New skills will need to be developed in the IT area, just as it has been in many other professions. Think you are the best network technician if you just understand how to connect a server to a network? Think again. Link here.
Of course, more than just connectivity and skills was presented during the keynote. Of major importance was and is of course the move to Cloud. Or “The Cloud” as Cisco names it. This of course doesn’t mean Public Cloud for all of you, but rather a mix between running some services internally and some externally, with proper, secure and fast information exchange between them.
Together with the Internet of Everything and Cloud was also the consumerization of IT, namely the rising user expectations and mobile lifestyle. I myself consider my iPhone to be an Internet connected device with multiple functions rather than a phone. I’d say the phone “app” is the one least used, and has been so for quite a while.
Seems like I’m not alone out there thinking the same, as could be seen at Cisco’s huge Social Media lounge, where tweets and photos were livestreamed throughout the entire event. It’s easier to send out an important message to hundreds of followers or friends on Twitter and Facebook than to call or text them all.
Aside from the really interesting keynote, there was a lot of cool things being showed at the booths as well. EMC, VCE and VMware had a huge presence, with two large booths for EMC and VCE and a smaller one for VMware. During the last day of Cisco Live we had over a hundred people in our EMC booth at one time, and the same over at the VCE booth! It’s was crazy and immensely fun 🙂
Cisco has made 8 acquisitions from June until now, all in the software space, extending the strategy Cisco has around the software defined data center. After asking on Twitter, the main thing people wanted to hear more about during the keynote was SDN and the programmability of networking. One thing I found really cool was the onePK which allows you to programmatically manage your entire network environment. And, what’s even better, you can manage it with Puppet. You can be sure of it becoming a blog post in the near future 🙂
To conclude this and make it a proper wrap up, I’d like to show you a collage of pictures from the event, to show you a bit more on how the feeling is to be there in the flesh. Enjoy 🙂