Oh yes, I know i am late in delivering this one. I’m a bit tied up with a boatload of new research coming out, and I was at home for 5 days in June… July looks pretty bad, and then the rest of the year eases up thankfully. I was able to attend Cisco live this year during the last week of June in Orlando. When it comes to networking the Interop show has all but died as of 2013, and there isn’t really any other good pure play networking conference. Cisco Live is the show for networking companies (unless of course you compete with Cisco… then maybe VMworld is your spot).
In terms of the content Cisco puts together a great analyst program called C-Scape where we have a chance to meet with and spend time with Cisco executives we normally speak with on the phone. It’s great to discuss and share insight with these folks in less structured environments. They also give us access to many demo stations with product managers to discuss our coverage areas. The analyst relations folks at Cisco spend a lot of time and energy putting together this program, thank you to them!
I was also able to attend a few of the sessions on Cisco’s onePK platform for the strategy around APIs and programmability (SDN). These APIs need to be better standardized (maye OpenDaylight will provide this). There are so many standards and APIs which Cisco supports in order to be open, puzzling these APIs and components together without a standard reference architecture can cause problems down the line. Once these technologies and architectures mature we should see better published best practices in terms of implementation, but it is early. Similarly while the vision around Insieme sounds interesting, there was not enough meat for me to really get a handle on it. I am curious to hear how Cisco will improve and measure application performance with this new technology. We will all have to wait until later this year.
I spent time with the software teams around the Cisco Prime management product lines, the future of Cisco network management appears to be opening up in terms of the Cisco only perspective there once was. I haven’t seen the result of these strategic shifts, but I hope to see Cisco supporting the management of non-Cisco network equipment as they have done well on the UCS side, where they do well in supporting other cloud and virtualization platforms.
Finally in terms of other vendors, I had a lot of meetings and discussions, here are some of the most memorable ones in no particular order:
- Seeing and interacting with the new Netscout nGeniusOne was great to see in person, this launch represents a massive redesign of the UI and architecture of the platform. This launch includes a new packet virtualization technology (ASI 2.0) with major improvements. The re-platforming will result in pricing simplifications which should make the product more attractive. I look forward to getting deeper with the new product as the rest of the modules are incorporated through the year.
- Gigamon shared vision of the product lines, moving from being network packet brokers (NPB) towards being monitoring systems which can analyze and alter the stream of packets in a real-time manner. They have a daunting task ahead of them, but flush with cash after an IPO they could make this happen.
- I got deeper into Corvil’s new products including messaging and positioning towards enterprises as they evolve from being a trading based monitoring technology into a performance monitoring generalist. Very interesting to discuss some of the multi-hop analysis and time synchronization technologies they have created over the years and how those can help re-assemble transactions across segments.
I had lots of other meetings as well, don’t feel bad if I didn’t include you here, I appreciate everyone’s time, and thanks again for Cisco’s hospitality. Please leave comments or track me down on Twitter.
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