Cisco Live 2014 – Day 0

Day zero, since the primary Cisco Live! activities start tomorrow. Today however, you could sign up for and attend workshops (Labs). After learning the hard way from a different conference, I decided not to miss the opportunity to get some hands-on training.

So, early Sunday morning, I walked from my hotel to the Moscone Center. to attend a Nexus 7000 course.  Having never actually logged into one, it was a chance to actually run my fingers on the CLI. The good new is, its all Nexus-OS. Nothing really new there. However, the concept of Virtual Device Context (VDC) was new to me. It sounds reasonable when you read about it, but, actually logging into the device and creating a VDC, makes it somehow more real. (Does that make me a tactile-learner?)

This evening, there was a “tweetup” where you could get to meet people that have only been a twitter handle on your screen. Being somewhat new to the game of Twitter, I’ve been tweeting some things in relation to Cisco Live using the hashtag #CLUS. I even had a twitter conversation with @CiscoLive.  At any rate, I was also lucky enough to meet some of my “heroes” in the networking industry, namely, Ethan Banks (@ecbanks), Amy Renee (@amyengineer) and Tom Hollingsworth (@networkingnerd).

CLUS Tweet Up

I’m trying to meet-up (the old-fashioned way, by phone) with an old friend who is also supposed to be here, but, unfortunately, I’ve yet to make the connection.

All-in-all, a good day 0.

BroadSoft Connections 2013 – Day 2

Thursday was the first full day of  Broadsoft Connections.

The Opening session was the “Industry Vision Keynote”, delivered by Michael Tessler, President and CEO of BroadSoft.

Next on the agenda, was a Panel discussion, entitled; “The New Mobile Enterprise”.  The discussion was led by Paul Johnson of Bowen Advisors.  Members on the panel we Clark Peterson, of Telesphere, Davide Acovitti of Amcom, Steve Smiley of Verizon, Michael Booth of Telstra and Josbert Kester of Vodaphone. Topics included the somewhat controversial statement; “Mobility will affect business more than the PC”, “What is Unified about Unified Communications”, “How important are Over-the-Top (OTT) applications, and “How important is the WebRTC protocol” to the industry?

Before lunch, started breaking out across three tracks; Market Trends, Go-To-Market, and Technical. Of course, I attended the technical topic; “Enabling Mobile Unified Communications”.

THe afternoon was spent on work-items (non-conference), and then it was time for the evening “Solutions Showcase”. The evening Activity was a “San Diego Bay Dinner Cruise”.

It used to be, I couldn’t care less for the “big-wigs” talking about vision, or strategy, or any of that non-technical stuff. Now, I like seeing (or at least trying to see) the bigger picture. “Why would I want this technology”, “how does this technology fit with other technologies I may have interest in?” “What does the future look like with these technologies?”. I enjoyed the panel discussion. I thought the questions were thought-provoking.

 

 

BroadSoft Connections 2013 – Day 1

This is my first time at the BroadSoft Connections Conference. This year it is being held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel.  My company, Datatrend Technologies, is a Sponsor of this conference, which means for me personally, this is the first time in a very long time that I have attended a conference as a”vendor”, and not as a speaker (IBM days). Datatrend has been a sponsor of this event for many years.

Most of today’s activities were not necessarily related to the products or the companies, but instead, was more about getting to see your friends, and to see the San Diego Bay area. There were tours of the Zoo, the USS Midway,  Land and See Tour, and apparently, a very quickly sold out Torrey Pines  Golf Tournament (what do you expect when you bring multiple sales people together?)

As I arrived around noon on Wed, I did not attend any of those activities, but instead, after we got our booth set up, we went to the Networking Pool Party. Not too many geeks in the pool, but, as the other tours returned, many folks ended up chatting in the bars around the pool. I got to meet some of the people from the companies we support, and some of the vendors with whom we do business.

In the evening, there was of course, the Welcome Reception, and then the first night of the Exhibit Floor. Plenty of food, and drinks (wouldn’t be a conference without it, right?)

This was a day of meeting new people, and catching up with old friends. Getting to see friends from all over the country (sometimes even world-wide friends) has become one of my favorite parts of Conferences. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still “geeky to the core”, and I love the Technical sessions, but, there’s actually quite a bit of value in just gathering with the people you’ve worked with in a more casual atmosphere. I guess us geeks have some human qualities after all.

NFD6 – Day 1 thoughts

So, I’d heard of Network Field Day from some of the bloggers I keep track of. I’ve seen some great write-ups of past year’s events, and have (not so) secretly wondered if I’d ever be invited to this prestigious event. Well, I’m still a long way from being invited to be there in person, I did by chance, discover that the event was being live-streamed. So, in effect, I actually got to see the event live, just not in person.

 

There were three sessions today; Spirent, Plexxi and Thousandeyes.

Spirent

I missed the beginning of Spirent’s presentation, but did get to see quite a bit of the session, and heard some really good thoughts and feedback from the bloggers on-site. I look forward to the write-ups from them when they return.

 

Plexxi

I was really looking forward to the Plexxi session, since they have hit my radar a couple of times.  Ivan Pepelnjak has a good write-up on their product, and PacketPushers has a podcast with them.

As I was watching the Plexxi session, I was thinking about IBM’s most recent announcement for NeXtScale product. I can see a real use-case for the pairing of these two products. Its something I will have to delve into soon.

 

Thousandeyes

Unfortunately, I was unable to stay on-line to see the Thousandeyes presentation live, but the replay is here. They also tweeted a 30-day trial of their product.

 

Personal giddiness:

I was watching the Twitter-sphere during the presentations, since most of the bloggers in the room are also people I follow on Twitter. I made a smart-aleck comment in reply to somebody else’s comment, and ended up getting two new followers. – I know, its not that big of a deal to get somebody to follow you on Twitter, but the new followers are folks I respect, which, to me, is a big deal.