BlueTree Bloggartikkel

Revisiting where it all started: Cisco Live

As we celebrate our fifth anniversary as a company, nothing could be more fitting than to return to the place where our story began. Cisco Live is a must-attend event for any networking professional keen to learn first-hand about the latest technology and use cases. For us, it was about being able to dive deep into key technologies, talk with the men and women who are currently developing new solutions, and understanding potential gains for our customers.

The main focus was directed towards trends such as IoT and software-defined networking in the LAN (SD-Access), WAN (SD-WAN), data center (ACI) and even at the service provider(controller-based segment routing). We see a clear pattern in most trending technologies with using abstraction layers to create virtual overlays over a shared underlay. The other big focus was on DevNet and on developing the new skills and mindset required to integrate and create tailor-made solutions to address real-world challenges.

It was very exciting to see that these trends were being promoted since we have invested a lot of our effort these past years in software development and integration through APIs to create solutions that meet our needs and not the other way around.

Cisco also released three new CVD (Cisco Validated Design) documents that were presented at Cisco Live. CVDs are always a valuable resource to have when designing networking solutions, as they provide detailed and proven designs for the technology or solution that they cover. One of the CVDs released concerned Industrial Automation Environments, and it was the one that caught our interest the most as it is very relevant for us and our large Norwegian customers in the industrial sector. It was really fun to see our design approach is very similar.

As digitalization and Industry 4.0 are hot topics for our large industrial customers, it will come in handy with a CVD that tackles the imminent challenges presented by them. These new challenges on the network and other parts of the organization are what we strive to solve together with our customers to realize the value of new technology. At the World of Solutions, we discussed with Cisco experts on mobile and LTE solutions. They presented new approaches such as 5G slicing which are very important for customers introducing IoT solutions in large and complex areas.

Some of the best sessions were in the DevNet zone, where you could find ways to become more efficient as a networking professional by taking advantage of Cisco APIs and automating time-consuming manual tasks. They had interesting sessions on the journey to transition from traditional networking to a world with automation and networking programmability. The DevNet zone assures that Cisco has put a lot more effort and focus on software development recently.

They also host labs for all the latest technologies and trends out there. This was a natural visit for us, specifically the DNA-Center/SD-Access labs. While we also have our own SD-Access lab environment in the office, we value an instructor-led lab greatly as it's a different learning environment, and we get to ask some difficult questions.

There were many other interesting labs and it was a tough choice on which labs to prioritize. At BlueTree we are devout followers of 'learning-by-doing' and the entire team wishes they could've participated in a lot more lab sessions than we had time for.

As network engineers/nerds, we also enjoyed some deep-dive sessions in specific technologies such as VXLAN, FlexVPN, Segment routing, and DNA center. These sessions are great when you want to really understand the inner-workings of technology or protocol.

Two of us also jumped on the opportunity to take a certification exam at Cisco Live. We were not alone as there were hundreds of people that had the same thought. Even though it was early in the morning on the first day, the room was filled with eager and talented exam-takers that only motivated us even more. We're also happy to announce that both passed the exams(congratulations Bjørnar & Anti)!


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