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:
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.
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.
IP Address Management and the Cloud is a topic that requires solution architecture for every cloud deployment. While Cisco IA for Cloud has a basic in-built IPAM system out of the box, often times we find customers need one of the worlds highest scale IPAM solutions. Cisco’s Prime Network Registrar is one such product in this category.
The follow blog is from our guest Blogger, Jim Kao of the Cloud & Systems Management Technology Group Product Management team.
Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) is a cloud management platform for Enterprise IT or Service Providers to build cloud services, such as IaaS. You can learn more about it here. The IAC solution supports a customer’s cloud journey by providing a solution that is extensible, scalable and easy to use in order to help them reduce the operation costs, optimize their resource utilization and efficiency.
One of the areas that are critical to customer’s infrastructure growth is IP Address Management (IPAM.) This is especially critical to large enterprise or service providers who need a scalable and extensible IPAM solution. Cisco Prime IPAM is the solution that provides strong IPAM management capability as described in Jamie Lerner’s blog. With these two best of breed products both coming from Cisco and both aiming to give customers scalable management solutions, it makes perfect sense to build integration between the two products. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce an integration recently made available by our engineering team to integrate CIAC and Cisco Prime IPAM. This integration will be made available to customers as part of the latest release of IAC, 3.1.1.
To explain what we have done, the following figure shows the high level end-to-end use case:
In this use case, it starts with a user ordering a virtual machine from a cloud built with Cisco IAC. This order is handled through the Cisco Cloud Portal (CCP) and Cisco Process Orchestrator (CPO). In the case where a customer has Cisco Prime IPAM, IAC will obtain an IP Address from the Cisco Prime IPAM. Before IAC invokes the API to acquire an IP address, the Prime IPAM shows the first available IP address is 192.168.10.9, as shown in the following figure:
Today, Cisco announced the latest additions to our Unified Access portfolio to enable One Network for wired and wireless access. I’m personally excited about this because it is finally closing a loop we started a year ago when we introduced Cisco Unified Access with One Policy, One Management, One Network. Now Cisco and partners can offer a truly converged wired and wireless experience.
Let’s take a look at what’s new and how these solutions present an excellent opportunity for you to help meet your customers’ needs.
As part of my work at Cisco, I get to talk to customers very often. Through these conversations, I learn what works for them and what concerns them. Lately, I’ve been hearing a common theme from a lot of customers: in many organizations IT staff is small and not growing while they are being asked to do more to meet the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) challenge.
BYOD has drastically changed the technology landscape as users bring many different types of personal devices to the networks of schools and colleges, hospitals, financial agencies, enterprises and other organizations. One university IT team, including their chief technology officer and their IT administrators, recently told me that they had 200% network user growth and 300% endpoint device growth over the last several years. As for their network, they used to have less than 100 wireless access points (APs). Guess how many they have today? Over a thousand. And they are planning to deploy several hundred more APs in the coming months. How about their IT headcount growth? As you might have guessed, it’s not grown at all.
In my previous blog, we looked at how Catalyst switches can be used to assess video application readiness in the network before rolling out a video based collaboration application. In this blog, let us take a look at available tools on the Catalyst switches to monitor and troubleshoot video problems in the network.
As we know, fundamentally, video traffic is different from data traffic. Video traffic is more dynamic and bandwidth intensive and even small changes in delay or loss can cause visible disruptions to user experience. Routinely, IT trouble tickets are opened by users that are faced with degraded video experience. To add to that, interactive video is real time. Any delay in troubleshooting will make IT miss the window to rectify the problem. For a firm with many locations and buildings, finding the problem can be complex and time consuming without the right tools.