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Funny Thing Happened on the Way Past the Casino

May 11, 2013 at 3:14 pm PST


Interop was made more fun for us this year since we got to be on stage. Most of what we usually do is on camera of course…but presenting in front of people is the best.

Since we started TechWiseTV 7 years ago, we have tried to always get better at our on-camera skills. This has involved diligent effort not just improving our own skills but also how we can make it easier for others to shine with us. In other words, hosting.

It was Cisco’s Enterprise Networking team that asked if we would like to host a few stage spots during this years Interop show. Heck yeah we said. Mainly because it was a chance to ‘work an audience.’ You can certainly work a camera but what sucks is that the camera really never gives anything back.

Even the dullest audience will provide at least one nodding head or small smile. That alone can fuel an entire presentation. So we mixed it up this time. We had our A-Team for the camera crew so we were able to divide and conquer.

All of our stage appearances were quite free-form, but they did have a structure even if it was not apparent to those present. It was built around work pioneered by Marlowe Fenne. Marlowe is actually a day one veteran with TechWiseTV who has continued on his own path building bridges between customer problems and Cisco solutions. He had put together what I called a ‘MOC NOC’ for Interop. Customers were able to see first hand how their top challenges (as determined by multiple focus groups) were mapped to Cisco technologies and solutions. Easier than it sounds, let me assure you. Marlowe is such a good presenter, we were able to leave our crew with him while we did our song and dance on stage..then all Jimmy Ray and I had to do was record an intro and a close.

Challenges in the NOC: Wired and Wireless

 

Four ‘success factors’ were gleaned from these focus groups:

  1. Maintain or enhance user satisfaction
  2. Bring in projects on time and on budget
  3. Maintain or enhance security/compliance
  4. Create new business

The technologies highlighted for getting this done across both the areas of BYOD/Unified Access and Cloud included Cisco PRIME, ISE , AVC , ISR-AX Catalyst 3850 ( Fundamentals of Converged Wired and Wireless and more.

Don’t miss Bridging the App Gap where I will interview multiple Cisco customers and even Cisco itself. Fully understand all the Application Experience has to offer.

Funny Story

Our first day of presenting overlapped just a bit as Jimmy Ray was previously committed to one of his popular TechWiseTV workshops that he had to give from his Mandalay Bay hotel room. He did his usual pre-presentation technology checks to make sure all was working well. This was even more important this go-round as the hotel wireless was so bad it felt purposeful..as in…why are you on the Internet? Get down to the casino! Who knows. Well try as he might, he could not get a consistent connection wired or wireless in the hotel room.

Backup plan A was a higher powered wirelesss card that he tried to use and acces wireless from the adjacent Luxor hotel…but that was not holding steady either. So fallback plan B involved something I would never have guessed: An acoustic coupler. Fancy (but accurate) term for a modem.

If you don’t know what this is, go ask your parents…this is how we all used to get on the network. (I hesitate to say Internet). Plan B goes into action at a blazing 28.8 baud and another workshop goes off without a hitch..the audience was never even aware. Anyone else out there hosting Webex on a modem? I didn’t think so.

Thanks for watching!

Robb


Twitter: @TechWiseTV, @robbboyd

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Cisco Still Number One for Data Center Security

We were excited to read the Infonetics Data Center Security Strategies and Vendor Leadership: North American Enterprise Survey, which was released yesterday. It revealed Cisco’s continued leadership in a market that spans a multitude of vendors – application/database, client, data center integration and network. The report indicates that leaders need to offer the right mix of products across the data center security and cloud arenas as well as demonstrate security efficacy and integration into adjacent markets. Cisco has continued to execute on a unified security portfolio spanning firewallsIntrusion Prevention System (IPS), gateways, and integrated threat intelligence further complemented by strategic partnerships. Seamless integration and shared security intelligence with routing and switching (Nexus and Catalyst) and converged infrastructure (Cisco UCS) enables our customers to benefit from optimized traffic links, the highest levels of security resilience, increased availability and scalability as well as lower costs of ownership. Per the report, “to say you’re the leader in the data center/cloud security is to say you are an innovator who can tackle the biggest problems in IT security for the biggest and most demanding customers.”

We’d like to highlight two areas that Cisco has continued to demonstrate an outright lead over other vendors. In the area of perception as the top data center security supplier, Cisco leads with 47 percent of votes compared to IBM with 38 percent and McAfee with 28 percent, who ranked second and third. Cisco scored between 40 to 60 percent of respondents’ votes (covering 10 criteria) for being the leading data center security supplier with McAfee scoring 15 points below Cisco, HP received around 20 percent of votes, and Juniper and Trend with 15 percent.  Read More »

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Announcing my3850

C05-726773-00 my3850 community banner_v2bNot mine, exactly, but it could be yours.

my3850 (lowercase intentional) is the new community for people interested in learning more about the new Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series Switch.  This community is also for those currently using the Catalyst 3850 or those partners helping plan, deploy, or run a network with these new converged-access switches .  We actually launched this community with the Catalyst 3850′s launch in January and have been quietly planning and organizing.  The first of those planned endeavors is Office Hours! Click below to find out how you can join in. Read More »

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Demystifying the Catalyst: Cisco Context Aware Secure Access (Security Group Tags – SGT) Technology

In this blog, let us take a look at how Catalyst access switches enable and enforce context aware access to IT resources.

Many types of devices, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets, are used by end users to connect to the network wired, wirelessly, and remotely through VPN. With bring your own device (BYOD) access, the devices can be personal or corporate owned. Every enterprise has policies that dictate who can access what applications and databases, when and how. Traditionally, IT manages the policy either by introducing appliances at points in the campus where users connect or by manually configuring all the access switches. Appliances incur additional capital and operational expenses, whereas manual configuration of the switches requires maintenance of every switch. Moreover, the network can carry traffic using Ethernet, IPv4, IPv6, or other technologies, so the configuration must keep up with changes in technology, which leads to higher operational complexity and costs.

Read More »

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More from London – Unified as ONE

February 7, 2013 at 9:16 am PST

BugEyes
I was really impressed with Cisco Live London..for those of you who took the time to shake our hand and say hello…THANK YOU!  You make us feel like geek rock stars!  Good thing the doors are really big at these conferences so my inflated ego could still make it through.  I mentioned our Fundamentals of Converged Wireless and Wireless Access yesterday…but there are a few more detailed videos surrounding this Unified Access Launch that were definitely worth mentioning.
 
First off -- Jimmy Ray gets with Muhammad Imam so that he can demonstrate the new controls for QoS on wired or wireless now.  
 
We circle back with another friend, Sachin Gupta, to hear what kind of feedback we are getting back from both geeks and others who have actually already deployed the Catalyst 3850. The pricing is extremely attractive on this…no extra cost even though this is a HUGE revolution from the previous 3700 series. 
 
Perhaps a bit overshadowed, but really should not be overlooked, are the changes we see within the 5760. As the first IOS based Wireless LAN Controller -- this new release has identical commands for configuration and management as you do with the 3850. Great example of the ONE Network we speak of now on such a regular basis.

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