Berlin becomes a whole new city in winter. And February is especially notable, as you can see all kinds of premieres and rub shoulders with the glitterati. This is when famous movie stars make their way down the red carpet for the international film festival Berlinale. For me, the special draw is Cisco Live Berlin and the opportunity to speak German.

A week from now, Cisco Live Berlin will be ready to rock at the Messe Berlin. From a Cisco Data center standpoint ACI, Tetration and ASAP continue to grab the headlines. In particular, Cisco ACI has established itself as the dominant SDN technology with more than 2,700 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 the 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. Join Ruba Borno, Cisco’s Vice President of Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff to CEO Chuck Robbins on Feb 21, 9.30 am at the opening keynote. Ruba will share Cisco’s vision that the only future-proofed solution for digital transformation is the next-generation secure network. Ruba, an engineer herself, will be joined on stage by some of your peers to discuss their stories of business and personal transformation. They will share what engineers must do to keep pace with the changing face of technology and how the simplicity Cisco provides can help you drive change.

Don’t miss several technology innovation talks occurring throughout the week. Cisco Exec Ish Limkakeng and Liz Centoni’s joint session on Next Gen Data Center 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 year has been phenomenal from an ACI eco-system momentum standpoint. F5 and Citrix, leading ADC vendors, have developed joint solutions with ACI and we have experienced several customer wins and success stories.

ACI Solution Partners

Citrix is a platinum sponsor at Cisco Live Berlin. This year, Citrix has a signifcant presence in the partner area, at booth P2. At booth P2, see trusted innovators from Citrix that can help you to meet the rapidly changing needs of users and new applications using software-defined networking to modernize data centers and secure delivery of apps and data over any network. Engage Citrix experts on how to securely deliver apps and data over any network with Citrix XenDesktop, XenApp, and NetScaler on Cisco UCS/HyperFlex virtualization infrastructure that result in increased productivity, business agility and differentiation for your business.

There are multiple sessions featuring Citrix NetScaler with Cisco ACI. At the CMAX Theater, we have a presentation (BRKPLT-2000) on Tuesday, Feb. 21 @ 16:15: “Enabling secure delivery of apps and data with superior performance and agility via Citrix and Cisco”, by Raj Gulani, Senior Director, Product Management, Citrix. Accompanying Raj is Christian Reilly, VP/CTO, Citrix in the presentation. There is an Innovation Theater presentation on Wednesday, Feb. 22 @ 14:15:  “Delivering the best load balancing, virtual desktops and application delivery networking with Cisco and Citrix.” Citrix has been a regular at Cisco Devnet zone, every year. This year, Citrix is doing a DevNet Theater Presentation on Wednesday, Feb. 22 @ 13:00: “DevOps and Developers – Citrix and Cisco programmatically simplify deploying and managing apps on premise and in the cloud. Lastly, there is another Innovation Theater Presentation on Thursday, Feb. 23 @11:05: “Gain business agility through datacenter transformation with Citrix and Cisco.” As for me, I am presenting at the Citrix mini-theater (inside their booth) on ACI-NetScaler solution benefits.

For your benefit, we also have a detailed white-board video illustrating various ACI and Citrix NetScaler deployment scenarios. There are many other exciting activities to offer, which you can check out at the Citrix Booth P2.

F5 is a platinum sponsor and has a big presence at Cisco Live Berlin this year to delight the attendees. Visit F5 at booth P3 to meet with subject matter experts and watch live demos of F5 and Cisco solutions that enable rapid, secure, and reliable L2–7 services across physical, virtual, and cloud platforms. F5 has 4 key breakouts this year, on diverse topics. Attend F5’s technical breakout session BRKPLT-2004 led by Vincent Ng, for a Technical Deep Dive on real world ACI and F5 BIG-IP F5 Designs & Deployments. Vincent is complemented by Jeffrey Wong in a power-packed session BRKPLT-2300 that takes you on a journey of simplifying Application and Infrastructure deployments using Nexus 9k and BIG-IP. F5 also has big demo presence this year featuring 4 demo pods, predominantly featuring ACI and BIG-IP solution. In addition, there are mini-theater short presentations, Tuesday through Thursday, repeated every 15 minutes. Check out F5’s In-Booth schedule to pick your topic and time of day. I am honored to present at F5’s theater this year on today’s most hot topic of application agility.

AlgoSec, the leading provider of business-driven security policy management solutions, will be showcasing its integrated solution for Cisco ACI, including its new Connectivity and Compliance App in booth E-35-36 at Cisco Live Berlin. Additionally, Anner Kushnir of AlgoSec and Juan Lage of Cisco will be presenting a joint session on accelerating data center application deployments, on Wednesday, February 22 at 11:05 am in the Innovation Theatre, World of Solutions.

The value of the partnership between Tufin and Cisco is centered around achieving greater business agility. Stop by the Tufin booth at E11-E12 to learn more about Cisco ACI – Tufin partnership, see a demo, and learn how Tufin and Cisco can benefit your organization. The Tufin booth will also feature four “Meet the Experts” presentations with Cisco’s Ravi Balakrishnan: Feb 21 – 23, “Orchestrating Application Connectivity with Cisco ACI & Tufin”.  Come and learn how Tufin orchestration suite works with Cisco ACI and Cisco Tetration analytics platform and see insightful demos.

Demos and Theater Presentations at WOS

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 recent times. At 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 the recent innovations such as automatic policy enforcement, Tetration Apps, flexible form-factor based flexible deployment options among major ones. The recent Feb 1 launch of Tetration innovations have attracted terrific endorsements from customers, partners and media. Check out ecosystem partner quotes here. And do not forget to read Tom Edsall’s blog.

On the ACI front, we are illustrating via demos how to manage multiple ACI pods from a single APIC cluster, enabling you to build networks that enable multi-data center applications and disaster avoidance/recovery.  We have plenty of excitement for you to see live action at the Cisco App Center demo pod.  In particular, we are showcasing the 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 also 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.

We also have a ”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.

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 theater topics such as “Secure and Accelerate your Applications with policy-based L4-L7 services”, plus many more. If you are hard pressed for time, these sessions are ideal for you given their short duration nature.   They will give you a quick overview on innovative features and architectures of technologies like Cisco ACI, Tetration, Cloud center.  Check our WOS Theater roster in the agenda handout.

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. Hall of fame elite speakers Carlos Pereira, Mike Herbert sessions are must-attend. ACI and Tetration breakouts feature prominently, and the legends of the ACI domain including Mike Cohen, Juan Lage, Yogesh Kaushik, Victor Moreno, Jim French, Thomas Scheibe all are presenting stimulating sessions. Visit the sessions catalog to choose from 60 plus ACI and 10 plus Tetration sessions. Search the session catalog to pick your choice sessions. I recommend Yogesh Kaushik’s PSO breakout PSODCN-1800 which takes you on an end-end journey of how real-time Tetration analytics will simplify Data Center administrative challenges including network hardening, application mobility, security, DevOps and disaster recovery. Also BRKACI-1008, an introductory technical session by ACI big guns Jaimin Patel and Azeem will give you an end-end view of the Cisco App Center. You can learn how users can write custom applications and hosts those in Cisco APIC without worrying about Role Based Access Control (RBAC), single sign on and HA issues. Jaimin and Azeem will also go in details of the App Center architecture, types of applications that can be developed, security, how much resources are available as well as distribution of those apps.

There is a Tech Field day event, hosted by Cisco Tetration experts Tim and Remi on Feb 20, 1.45 pm local time. This one hour session on Tetration includes a walk-through of new features like automatic policy enforcement, asset tagging, multi-tenancy and Tetration Apps. We also have a cool demo following that to illustrate all of the above.

There are numerous PSO sessions, and check out for details here – : http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/your-time-is-now-make-the-most-of-it-at-cisco-live-emea

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 a


Ravi Balakrishnan

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Datacenter Solutions