Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cisco Live Recap and October CCDE Class in Orlando

It has been a bit over a month since Cisco Live wrapped up. Immediately after it ended I embarked on a family vacation, and I'm just now getting my thoughts together.

First, thank you to everyone I got a chance to meet and speak with this year. My favorite parts of Cisco Live are catching up with former colleagues and students, and making new connections with other networkers. This year Cisco graciously invited me to record some video on my thoughts about the future of networking, some of which was displayed during the Keynote presentations. Take a look at the Opening Keynote and the Luminary Keynote on CiscoLive365.com for my opinions on the value of Cisco Live and the pace of change in IT.

I had two technical goals this year. One was to learn as much as possible about updates to Performance Routing. I attended two PfR sessions and I had an hour-long Meet The Engineer with Jean-Marc Barozet where we covered my primary use case. Unfortunately my requirements are not met by PfR3, so I'll be sticking with PfR2 for the foreseeable future. Jean-Marc was sympathetic to my requirements and took some good notes, so I am hopeful that my needs will be met in a future version. As I see it, Cisco removed quite a few configuration knobs between PfR2 and PfR3. I suspect this is to address competitor's claims that Cisco's version of SDN is too complicated (and maybe end users' complaints as well). I'd much rather have the knobs!

My second technical goal was to learn more about wireless LANs. My primary network uses a lot of Cisco WLAN gear. We are also nearing End-of-Life of much of our LAN gear. I would like to migrate the vast majority of my end users to wireless-only connectivity. My sessions and conversations during Cisco Live have given me reason to reconsider this. No one was enthusiastic about my plan. The major stumbling blocks are IP phones and overall throughput. Fortunately I have some time before making a decision, so perhaps wireless technology will catch up to my plans. The wireless QoS session was particularly interesting; once enough endpoints support the needed features the all-wireless campus could become a more realistic option.

This being John Chambers' final Cisco Live was quite bittersweet. The CCIE/DE NetVet reception was less of the "State of the Union" that we had in prior years, and more of a "Farewell to John". Cisco Live won't be the same without him. All attendees had the opportunity to take a picture with John. Here's mine:

Denise Donohue also organized a congratulatory card for John that many of the CCIE NetVets signed. Here is my picture of the card. There is a lot of "CCIE Royalty" in the signatures, if you look closely enough :)

October 2015 Class Update

I relocated my October 2015 CCDE Practical class from Dubai, UAE to Orlando, Florida USA. For anyone who is interested in attending, please take a look at the class registration page. Moving the class allows me to once again offer this training to remote attendees. If travel to Orlando is difficult, please consider this option.  I am excited about returning my class to Orlando this fall, and I can't wait to see many of you there!

It is becoming clear that candidate demand for the CCDE certification is higher than ever, and Cisco is putting some muscle behind the certification internally. I've had a number of recent Cisco students explain to me that their immediate managers are steering them toward the CCDE rather than additional CCIE certifications because this cert aligns better with the Systems Engineering role. At Cisco Live I spoke with several CCDE team members including Elaine Lopes (CCDE/CCAr Program Manager) about the certification. I will be incorporating that information into my next CCDE overview session scheduled for August 1st, 2015. If you are a student of mine before sure to email me so I can send you a Webex invitation for that session.


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