Barcelona is Europe’s greatest city to visit in winter. And February is especially notable with azure blue skies and moderate weather. It is also the time when the cultural calendar swings into action, and often sees the best exhibitions of the year. For me, the special draw is Cisco Live Barcelona and the opportunity to meet, learn and collaborate with industry experts in Data Center Analytics and Networking.

A week from now, Cisco Live Barcelona will be ready to rock at the Fira Barcelona Gran Via. From a Cisco Data center standpoint ACI, Tetration continue to grab the headlines.

In particular, Cisco ACI has established itself as the dominant SDN technology with more than 4,400 plus customers and a growing eco-system of 65 partners in just two and a half years. In this blog, I am going to present excerpts of what attendees can broadly expect to see and experience at this buzzing event, and I will take you on a tour of how Cisco Data center is ready to engage and enrich you.


At the outset, I’d recommend that you attend all keynotes to understand Cisco’s strategy for emerging technology trends and market transitions. Keynotes and Innovation showcases provide insight and strategic direction from Cisco’s executives. Join Rowan Trollope, Cisco’s SVP and GM, IoT and Applications, on Jan 30, 9.30 am at the opening keynote. Rowan will share Cisco’s vision and insights on the foundation for digital transformation.

Don’t miss several keynote innovation talks occurring throughout the week. Cisco Live’s Innovation Showcases offer a look at the latest innovations from Cisco, and they provide the context and inspiration today’s IT professionals need to create the world of tomorrow. The Innovation Showcase format will include product and service innovations, along with customer case studies, to provide a dynamic exchange of ideas that sets the course for an informative and engaging week. Cisco Exec Ish Limkakeng’s joint session with Ignacio Bernal, on “Delivering Intent for Data Center Networking” is going to be a sell-out. This year we also have Innovation sessions featuring security, collaboration, enterprise networking among hot topics. Make sure to check them out.

Now I want to segue to ACI and Tetration specifics. The last one year has been phenomenal from an ACI and Tetration eco-system momentum standpoint. F5, Citrix, Splunk, Turbonomic, ServiceNow, AlgoSec, NetBrain, Tufin and many others have developed joint solutions with ACI and Tetration, and we have accomplished several customer wins and success stories. The choice and flexibility to leverage full-fledged open APIs, and the ability to run data-processing apps on our ACI/Tetration platform has enabled a strong ecosystem of 65+ ACI partners and 19+ Tetration partners. These ecosystem partner integrated solutions cover a broad set of new use cases for our customers, and will be showcased in our World of Solutions and Partner Village locations. In ensuing sections, I will briefly cover the highlights.

AlgoSec, the leading provider of business-driven security policy management solutions, will be showcasing its integrated solution for Cisco ACI and Cisco Tetration as well as its long-standing support for Cisco firewalls and routers. Don’t miss this great opportunity to see how AlgoSec manages the end-to-end process of automating security across the entire Cisco estate including APIC controllers, IOS routers, FirePower Threat Defense NGFWs and ASA firewalls, in booth WEP12.

Additionally, AlgoSec and Cisco are jointly presenting 3 must-see sessions at the show – Mark your calendars!

  • Tuesday (Jan 30th): Ravi Balakrishnan, Senior Marketing Manager at Cisco, will be discussing “The value that AlgoSec brings to mutual customers who use Cisco’s Data center solution: Cisco ACI and Tetration.

Time and location: 4:45-5:15pm in AlgoSec’s booth, WEP 12.

  • Wednesday (Jan 31st): Douglas Hurd, Cisco Security Technical Alliances, and Edy Almer, AlgoSec’s VP Product will be presenting a session on How to Secure and Automate your Heterogeneous Cisco Environment.”

Time and location: 10:50-11:10am. Click here to reserve your seat – places are limited.

  • Wednesday (Jan 31st): Douglas Hurd, Cisco Security Technical Alliances, will be speaking on “AlgoSec and FirePower Threat Defense.

Time and location: 4:30-5:00pm in AlgoSec’s booth, WEP 12.

Avi Networks, an exciting California based ADC Company, is a Gold sponsor this year and is showcasing its offerings in booth G8. The highlight is a speaking session by Ashish Shah, PM and Marketing lead. Speaking session details: Tuesday, Jan 30, 10:50 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.  Topic: Completing your digital transformation with smart load balancing [BRKPAR-4209]. Avi is also hosting the World of Solutions Networking reception on Tuesday the 30th from 18.00 to 19.30 hours, local time.

Turbonomic is making waves in recent times, and Cisco Insieme Business Unit has a strong partnership with them in emerging areas like SDN (ACI) and Network Analytics (Tetration). Turbonomic has booth presence (P1) in World of Solutions, and offers both speaking sessions and demos for customers to attend and learn.

  • Two speaker sessions as part of their Platinum sponsorship:
  1. How CIO’s Accelerate IT Transformation Using Workload Automation, Speaker: Ben Nye, CEO, Turbonomic
  2. Optimizing Performance & Cost in Hybrid Clouds with Self-Managing Workloads, Speaker: Barry Howard, Director Presales, Turbonomic
  • @ Turbo booth – demonstrating Turbonomic and Cisco Workload Optimization Manager (power by Turbonomic) as well as showcasing integrations with AppDynamics & HyperFlex
  • Tetration demo video.

There are CWOM (Cisco Workload Optimization Manager) sessions as well to delight customers. Stop by P1 booth to gather full scoop.

Together with Cisco, Tufin’s Network Security Policy Orchestration solutions make security manageable across heterogeneous and hybrid cloud networks. The integration of the Tufin Orchestration Suite with Cisco ASA, Cisco Firepower, Cisco ACI, and Cisco Tetration delivers greater visibility and increased business agility for even the most complex, multi-platform networks. Stop by Tufin booth #WEP12A in the World of Solutions to see a private demo or join one of our in-booth presentations by a Cisco expert for the chance to win an Amazon Fire Tablet with Alexa!

Two-time Cisco Global ISV Partner of the Year award winner Splunk is excited to join Cisco in Barcelona. Learn how Splunk collaborates with Cisco across virtually every aspect of its portfolio in the Cisco Live World of Solutions showcase, Security Partner Village, DevNet Zone and nearly a dozen sessions, workshops and labs. Check out live demos of the new Cisco Networks Assurance Engine App for Splunk plus expanded Splunk integrations with Cisco ACI, Tetration, NGFW, and AMP for Endpoints. Get hands on experience integrating Splunk and FirePower in multiple self-paced labs and Technical Seminars. Finally, don’t miss sessions showcasing real world implementations including Cisco IT’s large-scale deployment of ISE, pxGrid, TrustSec and Splunk. Find Splunk sessions in the Cisco Live Content Catalog here.

A major reason SevOne is so excited to participate in Cisco Live Barcelona is that it has become a real rallying point, bringing together many of the partner companies into our extended Cisco ACI ecosystem.  Specializing in monitoring next-gen digital infrastructures, SevOne has developed a solution that is adding a lot of value to Cisco ACI deployments. It’s called the SevOne SDN Monitoring Solution for Cisco ACI, and it provides unique ways to visualize ACI performance.

I’ll be discussing this solution and previewing the latest version in SevOne’s booth (WEP5) on Wed. Jan 31st at 3:30 pm and on Thurs., Feb 1st at 2:30 pm.  I hope to see you there.

One other important ACI ecosystem partner NetBrain is showcasing their wares in Partner booth G4. Located in the World of Solutions, NetBrain will be conducting round-the-clock demos and presentations of their network automation platform. They will show how NetBrain’s integrated offering with Cisco ACI bring end-end visibility across hybrid environment, enable easy transition towards application centric management mode empowered by ACI, automate repetitive tasks and streamlines network operation workflows through API integration. Check out this blog for more details on the solution.The ACI-NetBrain integration is in Beta now and scheduled for release later this year.

Don’t Miss NetBrain’s Presentations:

  • Toward Continuous Automation: The Next Frontier in Network Management

Grant Ho, Senior VP of Global Marketing, Thursday, February 1st at 13:05-  C-Max Theater, Session ID BRKPAR-2944

  • Achieving Agile Network Operations: How Automation Can Improve Visibility Across Hybrid Infrastructures

Jason Baudreau, Director of Product Marketing, Ravi Balakrishnan, Senior Marketing Manager, Wednesday, January 31st at 13:40-  Partner Theater, Session ID: BRKPAR-2509

In addition, special presentations with be hosted at NetBrain Booth (G4) to showcase the integrated solution.  Once per day, Ravi Balakrishnan, Senior Marketing Manager at Cisco, will co-present.

  • Introduction to NetBrain – Cisco ACI Integration

Tracy Jiang, VP of Product Strategy, Tuesday, January 30 at 11:00, 14:00, 16:00 , Wednesday, January 31 at 11:00, 14:15, 16:00, Thursday, February 1 at 11:00, 14:30, 16:00

Demos and Theater Presentations at WOS

The World of Solutions is the energetic core of Cisco Live where you’ll have the chance to learn about the latest innovations from Cisco and our partners. Think of it as the place to be when you are not in a session. It is a lively pace with over 150 partners ready to engage you. The Cisco Campus to the Innovation zone to the Partner Theater and more – all under one roof!

At the World of Solutions (WOS) this year, SDN/ACI, Tetration Analytics, UCS and Cloud take center stage in the Data Center category. There are multiple demos showcasing ACI and Tetration innovations. Let me walk through the highlights.

Tetration is a ground-breaking Cisco innovation. In the Tetration demo area, customers can learn the details about end-end application visibility and automated white-list policies for granular segmentation. Meet our experts to enquire about major recent innovations such as automatic policy enforcement, Tetration Apps, and flexible form-factor based deployment options. The recent ACI and Tetration innovations have attracted terrific endorsements from customers, partners and media. Check out ecosystem partner quotes here.

On the ACI front, we are illustrating, via demos, how to manage multiple ACI pods from a single APIC cluster.  With ACI, you can now build networks that enable multi-data center applications and disaster avoidance/recovery.  We also have plenty of excitement for you to see live action at the Cisco App Center demo pod.  In particular, we are showcasing apps developed by our partners and community in areas such as monitoring, troubleshooting, and security. Some of the key apps developed are those from ServiceNow, Infoblox, Splunk and AlgoSec. Stop by, and I will be there to take you on a tour of these demos.

There are ACI security demos as well that show how you can secure workloads across east-west traffic in a mixed environment of heterogeneous hypervisors and bare-metal servers. You will learn about user-identity based Micro-Segmentation for secure (VDI) access, and Trustsec and ACI identify and group policy integration between Enterprise and ACI data center.

We also have demos featuring the Cisco Cloud Center coupled with Cisco ACI. This demo depicts how ACI can deliver end-to-end provisioning, visibility, and mobility, all from the perspective of what an application needs – a departure from micromanagement of network objects. The demo highlights the ease of application provisioning and application modeling, with a heavy emphasis on cloud governance.

So stop by the WOS to explore new technologies and get answers to your unique questions.

In addition to the hands-on demos, we also have round the clock mini-presentations at the WOS Cisco Education Zone mini-theater. This year we have several exciting ACI and Tetration theater topics and if you are hard pressed for time, these sessions are ideal for you given their short duration nature.  Check our WOS Theater roster in the agenda handout.

There is also the ”Meet the Engineer” program, which gives you the opportunity to engage with a Cisco engineer in a 1:1 conversation focused on your unique questions and challenges. Click here to setup a 1:1 session. Finally, you have access to our subject matter experts staffing the booth demos.  They will give you a real-life demo and explain how these are relevant to your needs.

Breakout Sessions

To your heart’s delight is how I’ll describe Cisco technical breakout sessions. Yes, we have more than 700 breakouts from industry recognized experts at the show. ACI and Tetration breakouts feature prominently, and the legends of the ACI domain including Mike Herbert, Carlos Pereira, Maurizio Portolani all are presenting stimulating day-long session (TECACI-2009) on Intent based Data Center. Visit the sessions catalog to choose from 50 plus ACI and 15 plus Tetration sessions. I recommend Mike Herbert’s PSO breakout PSOACI-4591 that takes you on a journey of how Cisco’s Tetration platform provides industry leading telemetry, analysis and control for the multi-cloud based Data Center. Last but not the least, Devarshi Shah, Distinguished Speaker and TME from Insieme Business Unit, is delivering a DevNet session on Network Programmability with Cisco ACI, Jan 31, 3 PM. Seating is available on a first come first seated basis. Gain the skills required to operate Cisco ACI through this broad and extensive hands-on session.

Social Networking

As a Cisco Live attendee, you benefit from the opportunity to interact with your peers, Cisco staff and partner technical experts in both structured and informal settings. Our Welcome Reception and Customer Appreciation Event are the highlights of the week’s social calendar. Read more on the Social Events & Networking Onsite section. Tuesday’s welcome reception at the WOS, Thursday’s Customer appreciation event are the highlights.  Special guest performers for the evening are yet to be announced, so stay tuned!

I can go on and on, but I’d never be able to cover all of the excitement in store. There is so much more you can explore on your own, and our Meet and Greet ambassadors will be happy to assist you at the show. As for me, if time permits, I plan on acquainting myself with some of the legendary artworks in Barcelona’s myriad Museums.  Safe travels and a happy Cisco Live.

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Ravi Balakrishnan

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Datacenter Solutions