As Las Vegas glows in the intense June summer sun, another glow is appearing on the horizon. The heat is hot and the ground dry, but the air is filled with sound – I am reminded of a famous America song. Are you wondering what the song could be?

Cisco Live 2016 is arriving in town a week from now, and the city is already getting prepared. Cisco Live US 2016, Cisco’s premier education and training destination for IT professionals worldwide, kicks off next week in Vegas.  More than 28,000 customers and partners converge to network and share their experiences, and potentially meet new peers onsite.

Like you, I am eagerly awaiting the keynote set for Monday, July 11, 10.30 AM local time. Chuck will discuss how IT and Network play a key role in the emerging Digital world, and how Cisco’s vision and strategy will help organizations succeed and lead digital transformation.


There are several other additional keynotes , including  a Guest keynote by actor Kevin Spacey, a luminary keynote by Jason Silva, and an industry keynote by Cisco CTO and SVP, Zorowar Biri Singh.  So prepare your agenda in advance to get a broad exposure.

For the remainder of this blog I will focus on Tetration Analytics and Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) highlights. The logical place to start is with Tom Edsall and Ishmael Limkakeng’s Innovation Talk on the topic “Next Gen Data Center Part 1: Automation, Analytics and Orchestration” which is scheduled for July 11, 2.30 PM.

Tom and Ish will also be joined by Cisco Exec, Joseph Pinto, as the three of them discuss how customers can achieve pervasive visibility across the data center with Cisco Tetration Analytics. This action packed session includes a demo, ACI and CliQr customers sharing their digital journeys, and highlights from our newest eco-system partners.  You’ll also learn how ACI’s jumpstart solutions can pro-actively help ensure your success.

Let us now segue into ACI and the Tetration Analytics Breakout sessions. More than a 100 sessions are dedicated to Tetration Analytics this year at the show. I’d recommend  Senior Director Yogesh Kaushik’s session titled “Real-time application visibility and policy management using advanced analytics” as a must-attend. I also recommend Cisco fellow Navindra Yadav’s session BRKDCN-2040, for a close peek at machine learning and Network analytics and how they enhance Data Center security and operations. Plus there are many more, and you can pick and choose from the session catalog?

More than 75 ACI breakouts feature prominently among a large collection of 1,000 plus breakout sessions this year with several experts addressing hot topics in operations, deployment, and eco-system. I recommend a few breakouts I consider relevant to current data center trends and ACI deployments. Dhritiman Dasgupta (DD), Vice President, Data Center Marketing, is presenting a business session and explores the top strategies companies can factor into their planning cycles in building their next-generation data centers over the next 3 to 5 years. DD is an amazing story-teller, and in this session he’ll discuss how SDN, Hybrid Cloud, Analytics, Big Data etc are coming together to create a compelling architectural play.

Many customers have expressed their interest in hearing how ACI helps simplify DevOps operationally in application centric data centers. Harry Petty, Director of Marketing with Cisco systems, brings you exactly that perspective in his breakout session.  My own personal favorite, Carlos Pereira, will treat you via both a short (2 hour) and long (9 hr) session.  Please check the session catalog for date and time. Rami Rammaha from Cisco Data Center Marketing team is doing a session on topic “Speeding Up Business By Simplifying The Data Centre With ACI & Nexus”, Monday, Jul 11, 5:00 p.m. This session will discuss the Nexus portfolio and clarify how ACI simplifies these elements resulting in a faster, more flexible and responsive IT that better aligns with the business needs of todays rapidly shifting environment.

Most of you by now will be raring to make a beeline to the world of solutions as it is where exhibitors and subject matter experts from various partners and customers of cisco throng to gather insights on what’s new and exciting.


This year, we are showcasing a big collection of solution demos spanning multiple architectures including Data Center, IOE, Security etc. It will take me several blogs to cover them all, so I will stick to Tetration Analytics and my focus area, ACI. Solutions from hundreds of cisco partners are on display in the world of solutions.   This is your opportunity to explore the broader Cisco Partner eco-system, find answers for your specific networking challenges, and hear unique perspectives from Cisco engineers and partners, Monday-Wednesday 11.30 – 7.30 PM.

Our ACI and Tetration Analytics solutions and demo showcase focuses on typical customer care-abouts. The demos include Multi-Pod ACI, ACI Security, Cloud Orchestration with ACI, Tetration Analytics, and Cisco CloudCenter. There’s more, so please stop by our Cisco booth for a detailed engagement with one of our subject matter experts.

If you have some time, please plan to take in the Theater presentations – it runs every 15 minutes.


These short duration presentations give you an overview on key topics such as how ACI’s open API has enabled a broad L4-L7 eco-system with Citrix, F5, A10, Radware, et al. The session titled “Secure and Accelerate your applications with Cisco ACI” runs on Monday 1.20 pm. I recommend you attend the session titled “CliQr – A path to digitization in a hybrid cloud world” on Tuesday 11.30 AM. These are very highly sought after topics in most of our customer engagements. There are several others you can choose from in the agenda planner.

One of the key pillars that made Cisco ACI phenomenally successful is the Open and Secure eco-system of 50 plus leading partners that have built joint, integrated solutions with ACI. F5, a leading ACI partner on the L4-L7 integration front, have a big booth presence (booth #617) this year as an Emerald sponsor.

F5 has exciting demos and videos featuring Cisco ACI- BIG IP & iWorkflow, OpenStack, SAP with F5 BIG-IP, NFV etc. Please check them out. There are multiple speaking sessions Monday through Wednesday at the F5 booth on “Deploy your Application using F5 iApps in Cisco ACI using iWorkflow.”  Several F5 execs will be present in the F5 booth, so you can understand the big picture and strategy behind how the two companies are evolving the SDN landscape. F5 will also be speaking in the DevNet Zone on how programmability helps in easy deployment of applications with F5 iApps and Cisco ACI.

Citrix is another of Cisco’s key ACI eco-system partner. They are lighting up the Partner section with booth demonstrations, speaking opportunities and social media outreach.

Join Citrix at Cisco Live Las Vegas – the destination for the education and inspiration you need to thrive in the world of digital business. Visit Citrix booth 609 to learn about our technology-driven solutions to enable digital business transformation.   Meet our technology experts on delivering business agility through datacenter automation and application and desktop virtualization from the leader in secure delivery of apps and data.  Stop by our sessions on July 11 at 1:15pm in the Cisco Solution Theater and July 11 at 3pm in the Think Tank Hub:  Citrix and Cisco Alliance – Delivering the best load balancing, virtual desktops and application delivery with Cisco ACI. Citrix booth 609 will also hold hourly theater presentations on our solutions with a grand prize raffle of 3-D Printers at the end of each day. Cisco is presenting at the Citrix theater Tuesday and Wednesday 5 PM on topic “ACI and NetScaler joint solution.”  We will cover key integration features, benefits and customer adoption.  Do not miss this presentation if you are looking to integrate NetScaler with ACI.

There are also new members to the ACI eco-system. Tufin is the latest one. Tufin Orchestration Suite™ integrates with firewalls, routers, SDN platforms such as Cisco ACI, and public cloud platforms to provide Cisco customers with visibility and control of security policies across heterogeneous networks to ensure security and compliance and boost agility of network security teams.  With Cisco Tetration and Tufin, customers have the ability to discover, monitor, modify, and validate application connectivity across a multi-vendor infrastructure, in the data center and the cloud, all in compliance with their security policy. Stop by Tufin booth #3045 at Cisco Live to learn more!

AlgoSec is the newest kid on the ACI eco-system block. AlgoSec extends ACI’s policy-based automation across customers’ heterogeneous enterprise network infrastructure, to deliver unified, automated security policy management. This integration provides users with visibility and control, risk and compliance insights, as well as extends the range of 3rd party devices that Cisco can manage. AlgoSec will be showcasing the joint solution at Cisco Live, booth #2944 – stop by!

We also want you to have lots of fun amidst your busy schedule. Excited to see Elle King and Maroon 5 at Cisco Live? Cisco customers will be in for a treat at the Customer Appreciation Event this year, and T-Mobile arena will be the setting for this spectacular celebration on Wednesday, July 13, 7:30 p.m.


There are several other ACI and Tetration partners of cisco showcasing their ACI centric solutions, and I will exceed the guidelines for a blog if I were to describe each one of them.

I hope you enjoy the event, and paint the town red. And for those who are new, don’t feel overwhelmed.  I have been there.  Our Cisco ambassadors will meet and greet you, and make you feel at home.  Do not hesitate to ask Cisco staff what you are looking for, and enjoy the show!

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Ravi Balakrishnan

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Datacenter Solutions