First Cisco Tech Day!
It’s was like my first day of Kindergarten back in 1988. I finally got to go to a Cisco Tech Day, more specifically the Cisco Tech Day Honolulu!
I really didn’t know what to expect, but we received the invitation from our Regional Cisco Account Manager, Shiva HIremath, and signed up for the presentations that I thought would be most beneficial to my employer.
I was not disappointed (for the most part, more on that later). As soon as we show up to this FREE event we are welcomed to FREE FOOD! Sometimes to get to someone’s heart, you have to get to them through their stomach! Free food always works for me! I was impressed with all the Cisco partner vendors set up and their presentations (and free goodies!). I really enjoyed meeting new people who had a passion for networking technology. And again, I cannot understate this, it was all FREE!
Here was the official presentation list:
Session 1: Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) Innovation Update: How Cisco Is Staying Ahead of the Pack
Session 2: Data Center Mini-Talks
Session 3: Make the Data Center Simpler with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI™)
Session 4: Transforming Workspaces with Unified Communications
Session 1: Cisco vBranch
Session 2: Cisco Prime™ Infrastructure and Cisco Wireless Network Management Software Suite
Session 3: Cisco Identity Services Engine
Session 4: Cisco Wireless Gigabit Wi-Fi and the Cisco and Apple Partnership
Session 1: Cisco Security Everywhere Solution
Session 2: Easy-Button Networking with Cisco Meraki Enterprise Networking and Security Stack
Session 3: Deploying the Cisco Multilayer Campus Model: Cisco Multilayer Architectures and Design Principles
Session 4: Cisco Cloud Based Collaboration Technologies to Simplify How You Work
Session 1: Cisco Network as a Sensor
Session 2: Smart Licensing, Cisco ONE Software, Cisco EnergyWise Suite, and Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (Cisco APIC-EM)
Session 3: Cisco Intelligent WAN Architecture Design
Session 4: Software-Defined Networking in the Enterprise: Cisco APIC-EM
Sitting through the presentations I felt it was earily quiet amonst the audience. Could have of just been me, but I like a teaching environment where the audience is engaged. Perhaps it was because most of the audience was not at the technical level to understand or truly the grasp the content of the presentations. Don’t know, but when I and a few others in our circle did ask questions I could not help but feel it was out of place or making others uncomfortable.
I love the content, loved the people, but perhaps it was because my questions highlighted shortfalls in the products being demonstrated. For example, during the Cisco Prime Infrastructure I asked about a Proxy-SSH functionality that was present in the purchased from Dell OEM Cisco Network Compliance Manager that was absent from Cisco Prime. It sparked a mini conversation about the shortcomings of Cisco Prime compared to the old Dell Cisco NCM, which may not have of been the intention of Cisco, who is presenting this product to get “buy-in” from potential sales customers.
Again, during another presentation it came up about Zero-Touch Configurations and equipment deployment. I simply stated that the same amount of work has to go into the configuration, but instead of putting the device configuration directly into the device, we put it into a server, and then have to make additional changes to ensure that configuration can get remotely “pulled” into the new device, which in turn, seems like actually more work.
While I love Cisco, and their people, I like to be neutral on things. If it makes sense, cool, if not, I have questions because I want to understand. In order to understand I have to present to you my perceived flaws in what you're showing me, so that you can in turn explain to me where my understanding is incorrect or missing pieces of vital information to shape my outlook.
Directly after the FREE lunch, to be honest, many of the participants began to leave. Couldn’t help but think for most it was a paid work day, and they just wanted to be at the presentations long enough to “check the block”. By the end of Track 4 there were not many people left, and even fewer who hung around for the social hour.
This was the golden opportunity, Because so many left it was very easy to actually socialize! Met a lot of great people with a log of great interests. I walked away truly feeling like I had a great experience and cannot wait for the next one!