Highlights from Cisco Live 2021

Cisco Live

Author: Puneet Duggal, Field Solutions Architect

Earlier this year I attended Cisco Live, which is Cisco’s annual conference for partners and customers. This event always exceeds expectations, with a vast offering of contests, hands-on labs, workshops and technical sessions for attendees.

Not only do CDW coworkers attend the event, but many of our customers as well. As a Cisco Champion, I was invited to various pre-briefings which allowed me the opportunity to ask the Cisco Business Unit some questions to better understand their latest innovations. The sessions I attended and technologies I was able to learn more about were:

  • ThousandEyes with Catalyst 9K Switches and AppD Integration – Cisco is moving quickly to integrate their new acquisitions and add value to their current software innovations. As observability becomes critical it’s great to see a solution that addresses visibility gaps and allows for correlation of a performance or operation challenge with its root cause.
  • Nexus Dashboard 2.1, AWS and Azure Integrations, Delivery model – Cisco is bringing simplicity, consistency and flexibility into how data centre networking is managed, consumed and architected by offering an experience that lets you operate on-premises and cloud in ways that work best for you.
  • Intersight Terraform service – Simplifying the configuration of on-premises environments to work with Terraform business cloud, Cisco allows you to automate across all of your hybrid cloud resources.
  • Internet for Future – Cisco Silicon One supercharges performance and scale and can deliver in the 400G era and beyond, with enhanced operations from cloud-delivered insights.
  • Smart Building – Combining innovations in IOT with increased power options, 90W UPOE+, location-based intelligence and central management, Cisco brings the workplace of the future to life.

Technology Highlights at Cisco Live

In addition to the above technology, here are some other highlights and announcements from the conference:

Enterprise-wide full stack observability: With cloud adoption, technology advancements using Cisco’s software for the network ThousandEyes & AppDynamics, IT will have visibility and actionable insights into external networks and services, as well as within the corporate network ensuring a seamless digital experience for users.

Simplifying Secure Access Services Edge (SASE), Zero-Trust & Extended Detection and Response (XDR): A number of SASE use cases were announced as part of a greater focus on delivering seamless, secure access to any application, over any network or cloud, anywhere users work. Passwordless authentication was well received, which is a shift from multi-factor authentication to using biometrics and providing a more user-friendly experience.

Cisco as a Service: After a recent enterprise agreement consumption model, Cisco is now offering networking, security, compute, storage, applications and observability Solutions as a Service with unified subscriptions that are easy to consume, simple to use and deliver an unparalleled experience. It features a flexible consumption model and a full lifecycle suite of services through Cisco Customer Experience (CX) and with partners.

Open Ecosystem while Innovating: Cisco is self-aware, and their product offerings are focused on adding value to multivendor environments. Cisco is having a lot of success in IOT projects as they are able to address connectivity, security and management. Cisco is committed to helping people upskill as technology continues to evolve quickly.

My favourite session was “Hybrid Cloud Connectivity: From, To and Across”, which can be accessed on demand here with a Cisco Live account.  

CDW’s Participation at Cisco Live

In addition to attending, CDW Canada offered our expertise during some of the sessions as well. A full list of our attendance can be found here. Our session “Cloud Adoption to Success in the Digital Future” was presented by KJ Burke, principal technology strategist for hybrid cloud at CDW Canada and Alex Lin, product manager at CDW Canada, where they discussed our 2021 CDW Cloud Report, A Cloud-Based Digital Fabric Supports a Transformed Enterprise, which was released earlier this year. This report explores how organizations approach their cloud journey and provides an overview of best practices and explores leading Canadian market technology trends which can help organizations successfully invest in cloud and achieve their digital transformation ambitions. In the Cisco Live session, KJ and Alex discuss how the cloud can provide scalable and reliable solutions to sustain business operations and more. You can listen to the session recording here.

Overall, Cisco Live was an amazing event this year and once I will continue to be excited for in the future. In the meantime, I will be continuing my Cisco education by attending Cisco roadmap sessions, and improving my DevOps skills. Cisco is also scheduling the next round of their partner virtual team training, and you can also watch any missed Cisco Live sessions or previous year’s content here as well. If you are interested in learning more about any of the technologies discussed in this blog, or our partnership with Cisco, contact your account team today or visit cdw.ca/cisco. Our 2021 CDW Cloud Report can be downloaded by visiting cdw.ca/cloudreport today.