I’m very late in publishing this but since I had all of my notes handy, thought I’d put this together before posting my 2017 review. This is just a brief review of the conference as a whole and the sessions I attended.
This was my first visit to Las Vegas and I had to play the tourist, apparently 67 miles worth (according to Fitbit) during the week. Most of the mileage was accumulated on Sunday and Thursday, but commuting between the Luxor and Mandalay Bay Conference Center is no small feat.
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With the advancement of SDN (Software Defined Networking) there are infinite possibilities for network engineers to build intelligence into the network, and create great/new things. Problem is, you will need the newest hardware to exercise these ideas on.
DNA (Digital Network Architecture)
This is not about physical network topology, but their initiative to create better performing networks by:
Layering applications across the top, using APIs in the middle for Automation and Analytics, and virtualization of network functions
13 Smart Ways to program your Cisco network
Covered a large part of the DNA by reviewing programming they are supporting (NetCONF/RestCONF, YANG). There was a review of their SDN controller (APIC-EM) and what it can do for existing networks, app virtualization within routers, monitoring hybrid networks, and a PNP agent for onboarding of new devices.
Advanced Cisco IOS Device Instrumentation
The advanced instrumentation picked up where the programming session stopped. Providing the how-to utilize TCL scripts, EEM, Embedded Packet Capture, and the APIs to obtain data and control devices.
The Blood and Guts and Gore of QoS
In a word, overwhelming. A full on deep dive into the inner workings of NBAR2 and its deep packet inspection capabilities, followed up by operation reviews of the new ASICs in the 3850 switches and ASR 1000. This is where the processing happens that powers AVC (Application Visibility Control), packet processing, and queueing happens. This was an impressive amount of information crammed into a fast paced 2-hour session.
Mobile Devices and BYOD Security
This was a review of ISE onboarding for mobile devices, and some popular methods to handle. Lots of content around certificates, and suggestions to use internal or public CA depending upon deployment.
Deploying Cisco Smart Software Licensed Products
The Licensing session reviewed the Smart Licensing portal, and offered valuable insights into their licensing strategy going forward. Overtime, they will begin permitting use of everything, and send notifications for insufficient licensing. They also covered Smart Call Home, which automates the opening of service requests.
7 Ways to Fail as a Wireless Expert / Analyzing and fixing Wifi issues /Advanced Troubleshooting of Wireless Networks
These wireless sessions were very good, with one taking a different approach of using failures as examples and following up on why you shouldn’t repeat them. Key take away from the first is to perform periodic site surveys to assess changes in the environment. Doing this effectively requires specific software (Ekahau was referenced) and multiple dedicated adapters (not using the onboard). In addition, Windows inhibits accessing the drivers, and the Mac platform is recommended for the level of access the application can have to the adapters(and as observed from the attendees, Mac is the preferred platform). Macs also has a good wireless survey tool built in as well.There was a slew of troubleshooting tips on understanding the technology, capturing traffic, and analyzing in a variety of ways to isolate problems.
Apple / Cisco Partnership
Announced last year is now beginning to provide some fruit. IOS 10, paired along with the latest WLC release (8.3) is supposed to be the sweet spot. IOS 10 is supposed to support some QoS, allowing for better mobile Jabber experiences. Sounds like they are moving to a model of deploying Jabber to mobile devices instead of selling handsets.