The Art of Network Engineering

Ep 123 - Cisco Live 2023 Recap!

July 05, 2023 A.J., Andy, Dan, Tim, and Lexie Episode 123
The Art of Network Engineering
Ep 123 - Cisco Live 2023 Recap!
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, A.J. Lexie, and Tim discuss their Cisco Live '23 experience. A.J. participated remotely while Lexie and Tim were onsite. We talk about their different perspectives on Cisco's announcements, as well as their event experiences. We also make recommendations for future attendees.

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00:47
This is the Art of Network Engineering podcast.

00:58
In this podcast, we explore tools, technologies, and talented people. We aim to bring you information that will expand your skill sense and toolbox and share the stories of fellow network engineering.

01:11
Welcome to the art of network engineering. I am AJ Murray at No Blankie Blankie. And I am joined this evening by Lexi at Track and Pacer. Lexi, how you doing? What's up? I'm doing good. I'm finally, I think I'd say I'm like 70% decompressed from Cisco Live. So, yeah. Still a little bit shaky, you know, but like I'm able to focus on one thing at a time now and, you know, remain in this reality for most of the day. So I'm good.

01:41
I know that feeling very well. So as we record, it's the week after, it's almost a full week after Cisco Live. And by the time we release this episode, it'll be about a month after the event. So still somewhat timely, which should be good. But yeah, even remotely, I really got into the event and, you know, all the interactions on Twitter and everything. And I was talking to quite a few people.

02:06
in various platform DMs and it just kind of catching up on stuff that I was missing. Yeah, you really got into it. You won one of the social media contests. Yeah, you were up on the big board. Both of you were up on the big board. We saw you. We were walking around, walking. Yeah, it was awesome. Tim, at Timbertino. How are you doing, Tim? Also recuperating, getting there. So much walking, right? Probably walked more that week than I will the rest of the year.

02:36
Yeah. It's just, words can't describe how massive that event is. And I totally get why they have it where they have it because it's just so large, it spreads everywhere. I probably went around that world of solutions a hundred times and every time I had to...

02:54
try to figure out my bearings and figure out where I was because nothing ever looked familiar. I never fully got the map of the... I felt so bad. I felt so bad for Lexi because we spent some time one day trying to meet up with a few of our past sponsors. We met up with Open Gear and Itential and it took us probably more time to find them than it did actually talking to them. But you know when I've been there before...

03:21
But it's been a few years and it's still overwhelming. But I will say that it was a much different experience because the first time I went was well before this community, well before this podcast. So I didn't know a whole lot of people. There wasn't a ton of interaction. And again, it was still overwhelming this time, but it was all about the people. It was really cool to meet a bunch of people that we've known online for so long. And I say this to everybody. When I meet...

03:48
these people in person for the first time, it never feels like that. It never feels like it's the first time we're meeting them in person. It's just almost like you're seeing a long lost friend after a long time. And it was just an entire week of that. It was so cool. Yeah. That's a great way to explain it. Like a long lost friend, you know, after a long time. That's so sweet, Tim. Oh, Ned NGN is calling me out.

04:12
because he said I must've done a lot of walking because I ran away from the entire week. I didn't get a median. You escaped from some people Tim. Like people approached me and asked where you were. So. Elusive. You're quick-footed. Yeah. Do you have any stickers left Tim or did you give them all away? So I think, so my lovely wife helped package all of them. I think it was over 50. And I think I came back with maybe a couple. Nice.

04:42
I feel bad about that too because I had some in my, so I had a backpack with me the whole week and I'd kept them back there so I didn't have to worry about it holding them and carry them around. But I don't know how many people I met and I was so excited to meet them that I'd meet them and then they'd walk away and I, shit, I forgot to give them the stickers. So I had to like find them on Discord and say, hey, where'd you go? I need to meet you somewhere. It's just crazy. I forgot to give mine out to you sometimes. So I need to ship you all the rest of them so you can have them for our next event.

05:11
Yeah, I've got quite a few. We can reorder. We'll restock the supply for our next in-person event, which I'm happy to be doing. And AJ, would you mind maybe telling us what that is? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So if everyone remembers, we went to Asheville last year. Our fans were asking for an in-person event. So we delivered with the help of Open Year. And I am very excited to announce on this episode that we are doing another live in-person event.

05:40
this time in Knoxville, Tennessee. Mike was asking in the chat before the episode started, how did we choose Knoxville? Well, Knoxville chose us, and that's no lie. Big shout out to Eric. He's on the Knoxville Technology Council as a board member. He's a huge fan of the show. He meant to get to Asheville last year and wasn't able to make it, but he brought an idea to the board of Knoxville Tech and boy, did they latch onto it. So,

06:09
They want to have us attend their event. They want to turn it into a community event. And it's going to look a lot like Asheville. It's going to happen over the course of several days. We're going to have a bunch of small events for people that get into town a little bit early. And we'll have one main event on Saturday afternoon and we'll do some recording and do some networking, have some food and some drinks. And of course a great time with everyone that comes out. So it's a combination of a...

06:37
A1 community event as well as a K-Tech event. So K-Tech, the Knoxville Technology Council, they do several technology related events throughout the year. They involve all of the Knoxville area businesses and they draw people as far away as like Atlanta, Georgia and Asheville and, you know, basically a three hour radius around Knoxville area. So it has the potential to be a very big event.

07:01
Just of note, another reason for why Knoxville, we have it in the fine print of our media kit that we will only do in-person events wherever Dan can drive to. It's not big on the fly in. That's right. That is a requirement for these events. Are you going to call him out like that when he can't defend himself? I don't think he would expect anything less from me.

07:25
Oh, Mike, that's Mike in the chat saying Atlanta, Georgia next year and he'll coordinate. No, Seattle. We do need to go to Seattle. I wouldn't mind Seattle. Never been there. I'm just kidding. We can do Seattle in a couple of years after I've recovered from Cisco Live. So by the time this episode is out, we will include a link in the show notes. You can go to the registration page and sign up for the event. There will be a code. I don't have the code.

07:53
right now to be able to announce it to you, but we will put that in the show notes that they, you're going to want the code. The code will get you to the event. Well, it will get you into the events that we have for free. Some of the events might have a cost and the cost is simply for skin in the game. We don't want a bunch of people oversubscribing the events and we just basically want to make sure that people attending the event are going to attend the event. So

08:23
Some events might have a dollar amount tied to it. It's not gonna be any more than like 10 bucks. And with the promo code that should get you to those events for free, it will be a limited time offer. And this whole thing is being quartered by the Knoxville Technology Community. They throw events like this often. I'm sorry, the Knoxville Technology Council, not community.

08:47
They throw events like this pretty often. They're very well versed at event planning at this kind of level. So this was all like their idea and how they wanna handle it. So we're happy to oblige and that's why we're gonna provide the code to y'all. So all of that information will be in the show notes. Just take a look at the show notes, whether you're listening in your podcatcher or on YouTube, the details will be there, I promise.

09:12
So looking forward to seeing you all in Knoxville. That will be August 17th through the 19th. And again, we'll have various events, lunches, dinners, breakfasts, and so much more. So join us in Knoxville this August. All right. So as, yeah, so exciting. I cannot wait. So as we kind of open the episode with you guys attended Cisco Live. So this is going to be kind of like a Cisco Live recap episode.

09:40
So let's start with the big announcements that came out of last week. What got your attention, Tim? There were four main points that I heard throughout the week that either heard throughout the week or saw in press releases because you can be there the entire week and there's going to be some things you miss seeing announcements of because there's only so much you can see live. But the four main things I saw were around obviously artificial intelligence. That's something everybody's talking about.

10:09
sustainability, security, and I'll round it out with people. So starting with AI, one of the big things that's coming out of AI, Cisco has been putting a lot of money into WebEx over the last few years and how they can make collaboration hybrid work better because I think we're still kind of in a flux in many different industries where we don't know how long, you know, not everybody's working remotely, obviously, but we don't know how long this trend is going to last.

10:39
We think it's there to stay at least in some facet, but is it going to be 100% or 75% or 50% forever? We don't know. And I think that's why Cisco's putting a lot of investment into WebEx. So a few of the things from a press release that came out around collaboration in WebEx in this facet are they've got something called a catch me up feature, which I think is kind of around if you've been out for a little bit and...

11:06
you want to see what you missed out on and all the different ways that people can communicate with you on WebEx. They also have something that's called Intelligent Meeting Summaries. And that's really supposed to capture key points and next steps that came out of meetings. And then this one really caught my eye. It was summaries with an application they have called Vidcast. And I see this as being from video meetings or telepresence meetings. I see this as being the video Cliff's Note version.

11:34
of meetings. And how I kind of see it is I almost picture like Lexi going through and editing a meeting and just cutting it up into a bunch of little TikToks and shitposting the hell out of it. That's what I pictured when I saw that announcement. I'm honored. But also that's kind of a weirdly good analogy for it. Yeah. I'd attend a hundred meetings a day if they were just 45 second edited videos from Lexi.

12:00
That's the brilliance of TikTok, right? Yeah. For better or for worse, right? That's where we're at anyway. And then the last thing I saw on WebEx was conversation summaries within the WebEx contact center. So that would be things like employees sitting in a contact center taking in requests, like customer service types of things where they're having text-based conversations. They can get quick. They're supposed to be able to get quick to the point summaries of.

12:29
the conversations they had with customers. So leveraging AI within collaboration, I can see pretty much all those bullet points being beneficial. What do you all think about that? I tend to be paranoid when it comes to... Well, man, I'm going to alias so many people when I talk about AI on this episode. I'm sorry in advance. I tend to be really paranoid about some of that stuff. Not saying it wouldn't be a good thing to use.

12:58
many people. And it also sounds really helpful. But I don't think I necessarily like working at a company with like proprietary information and all sorts of crap going on, like, I'm not sure I want like an AI in a platform that I can't control that is not mine, listening and summarizing, right? Because they can say, you know, maybe there's a conversation to be had more in depth on this kind of stuff, but they can say, you know, oh, it's secure, like, we're not saving it. But

13:27
Webex or whatever and make sure you are definitely not sending that information back to some evil villain cave or something. I'm not sure how comfortable I would personally feel with something like that, but that's me being kind of a contrarian, a little bit paranoid. So I'm interested in your thoughts too. Yeah. There's definitely a lot to be said about that. I honestly don't think you're being paranoid at all. This was a topic that...

13:55
was covered in a heavy strategy episode from the packet pushers. And they talked about that and how organizations can safely adopt artificial intelligence solutions in the future. And the answer, Lexi, comes down to they think or we think collectively that you're probably going to see larger corporations running localized AI where it's just there within their control and their own data sets versus...

14:23
leveraging data sets from who knows where they're coming from or if you can trust them or not. So I think there is still going to be customers, big organizations that are going to seek out ways to make AI, leveraging AI privacy focused. So no, I don't think you're being paranoid at all. So Therian in chat, thanks for this point, says everything fed into AI is stored somewhere, right? So if it's stored locally, that makes me feel better about it for sure.

14:53
Um, but yeah, it has to be sent somewhere for processing, you know, so that's what I would want to know more about before I just sort of sign onto any platform that's going to do this. Right. My concern around some of this AI stuff and securing it from a business perspective is it's just, it's going to fall into the shadow IT category, right? Like no matter what the business tries to do to keep its data safe and out of public AI, what's the stop to employee from

15:21
throwing stuff into chat GPT because they're trying to meet a deadline or whatever, right? Whatever they see fit. And maybe it'll get blocked from your desk on the corporate network, but someone can be working on stuff from home on a personal computer and dumping information in there. What's to stop that kind of stuff from happening? So I certainly appreciate the approach. I think it's a smart one to have companies leverage AI locally, but that stuff's still going to leak out. Yeah.

15:50
We could go have a discussion about anything these days, IT related, and AI is gonna be somewhere a part of the conversation. It's the new hotness, right? It's gonna pop up, right? It's the new buzzword for sure. I'll say this, walking around the world of solutions, AI slash ML machine learning, everywhere, just everywhere. It's the new single pane of glass. Yes, it's the new cloud, it's the new automation, right? It's just like another evolution of it.

16:19
And I doubt that every single company that's building something they're calling AI or machine learning or that they're saying integrates with that is actually truly using like machine learning, you know, in that way. It's just another buzzword for a lot of places, but I digress. Yes. Thank you. Thank you, Alexis. Don't forget the word simplification. That is, yeah, that's all over everything as well.

16:45
Nice call out. I don't know about you guys, when I attend events like this, I'm so easily influenced, right? Cause there's such a vibe, there's a hype, it's really cool. And then they make these announcements and you're like, wow, like I don't even know what I'm cheering for, but I'm cheering. And you know, like I hear things about simplification and licensing and stuff like that. And it sounds great. I mean, that's definitely something that I struggle with when I'm implementing solutions for my customers. It's, you know.

17:13
How do we easily toggle between all of these different products that you bought? How do we get them to work together? The most frustrating thing sitting where I sit is seeing all of these different business units put out all these different products and none of them look the same. None of them feel the same, none of them act the same. If you want to do an API on one service, you got to do it in one way. If you want to do it on another service, it works completely different. This is all coming from the same company.

17:38
So when they did that analogy of the symphony, like, oh, we have the best string quartet and we have the best bass players or whatever. And then you hear them all playing at once and it sounds absolutely chaotic. It's like, you're right. You are so right. It was so satisfying to have Cisco acknowledge that this is where we are and this is how customers view us. It's like, oh my gosh, they hear us. They're listening. So it is exciting to see and hear things like simplification and easier licensing, but how are they going to do?

18:08
do that. I think about enterprise agreements. Enterprise agreements are supposed to simplify licensing, but they're not for everybody. I come from a lot of small, medium-sized businesses, and as much as we bought Cisco Gear, we still didn't qualify for enterprise agreements. We couldn't take advantage of some of those things. I wonder, yes, they're coming out with more simplified licensing, but what's that going to look like?

18:35
Who's going to be able to benefit? Is it going to be the 80 or the 20? And my guess is it might be the 20. That's a good point. Yeah, definitely good points. The next thing that was pretty big, and I won't get into a lot of the details because I haven't done a whole lot of research on it, but sustainability. So as the world turns, how do we lessen our footprint? And so Cisco had a lot to say about that. Interestingly enough, WebEx came up

19:04
here as well. And there's been some pretty interesting things around WebEx and sustainability, and maybe not directly sustainability, but how do we make our buildings more efficient? And they've been leveraging WebEx telepresence units to do things like when people come into a meeting, WebEx can sense the number of people that are in a room and know how much clean forced air to put into the room to...

19:31
you know, not make it stuffy and make sure there's fresh air going into the room and that kind of stuff. That's really interesting. You wouldn't think that, at least I wouldn't think that a system like that, like a telepresence system would be used as a sensor for building automation, but that's exactly what Cisco is doing. So I thought that was pretty interesting. The room technology that they had was pretty neat. Like, you know, you could sit anywhere in the room and you could still be...

19:57
the focus on the camera when you're talking. So some of that stuff is really interesting. Sorry, Lexi, I didn't mean to cut you. No, no, no, you're good. I was just going to go into a ramble about how I just sort of stumbled in the sustainability area of the world of solutions. And it was actually such a positive experience. A lot of stuff at Cisco Live was super interesting for me, but sort of flew over my head, partly because I don't work in your traditional enterprise environment, and I don't

20:24
that much experience in one prior to my current role. So it's been an interesting sort of look into things. But one of the things, I was just sort of like wandering around and somebody approached me from the sustainability portion. He was like, Hey, do you know what happens to your switches when you're done with them or something like that? Or like when you're ready to like put them out to pasture. And I was like, uh, I was like,

20:49
I try to take them home, they don't let me. They end up on a rack to go somewhere in one of the labs and I have no idea where they go." He was like, okay, well, I encourage you to find out where they go. He told me a little bit about what Cisco does, recycle things or they'll take old networking equipment and wipe it for us.

21:18
put it, if it's able to be reused, they will help like, what is it called? Not gray market, but like they'll wipe it and make it suitable. Thank you. Refurbish. Why couldn't I get, yeah. The refurbish. Yeah, the Cisco Refresh program. Yes. And so he talked a bit about that and then like e-waste recycling, which kind of flew over my head a little bit because I don't know a lot about that, but it was pretty interesting. And I got to say, besides the social media hub, the sustainability area was the chillest, I think.

21:47
of world of solutions. So good job guys. I'm glad you brought that up because that is something that I will encourage people to take a look at. They have a program and I don't know all the details of it, but they call it the Cisco Take Back program. And it's supposed to be an easy way for you to get rather than going out and hiring a, having to go through a recycler and

22:13
have them come pick it up. You're supposed to be able to work directly with Cisco to have them come get your decommissioned gear that you have out of your environment. And they will basically do everything that Lexi just talked about for you. Can I ask what do y'all, in your experience, what do y'all's companies do? Or what have you seen past employers do with decommissioned networking equipment? Because I never really knew. I think it's typically the different electronics recycling companies that are out there. I

22:42
I don't know this for sure, but I think it's actually a pretty decent size market. There seems to be a lot of that out there. Yeah. There seems to be a lot of different options for recycling. And I think it's cool that Cisco is taking that on themselves to bring that gear back because you bring up a good point, Lexi. There's got to be a decent chance that they can reuse some of the different components, both in their refresh programs to be able to get that gear back out.

23:11
into the hands of other people who need it. So definitely a cool program. It got me pretty curious about how e-recycling, e-waste recycling actually happens, but I didn't have time to actually look into it. This is something I'm just a little curious about the details of. What do you do when it can't be refurbished and you do need to recycle the components? What happens? But that might be a whole other conversation. It would be really interesting to know that actual process. Yeah. Because that's just something we just tend to not think about, but it's got to go somewhere.

23:41
Maybe I'm gonna write that down just in case I might be the only one who cares about that enough. But yeah, okay So this sustainability zone changed you Impacted me I gotta say it was right across from social media hub and there I was so When I was an IT manager and other places that I've worked a lot of it was Selling it to a local e-waste

24:07
like Recycler. Again, no idea where it goes after that, but we would have a gigantic box on a pallet and we would just throw monitors, switches, you know, whatever into the box and then they would come and haul it away and do I don't know what with it, but oftentimes we would encourage, you know, if we had people that were like studying for, you know, Cisco certifications, we would let them take older gear home and, you know, make sure it's white beforehand and...

24:37
allow them to use it in their home lab. I did work for a company that resold equipment on eBay. After we were done with it, we would clean it up and make sure it was good to go, how to clean bill of health. And if it didn't have a clean bill of health, we would tell in the eBay link or whatever, like, hey, this thing's probably good for spare parts, but that's about it. So yeah, and that was the same with servers and all sorts of stuff. There were some companies that did an employee purchase program. So when we had laptops that

25:07
done with their useful life, but they were still perfectly fine for home use or kids or something like that. Sometimes we look for opportunities to make donations to local schools, although all the local schools around here do one-to-one programs now and they buy their own laptops from Direct. So there's not much opportunity for that. But I've heard other places looking for opportunities to donate laptops and devices to low-income families that need...

25:34
technology and other organizations that support those families too. So there's lots of great things that can be done with enterprise hardware once it's reached the end of its useful life. But that's some of the experience that I've had over the years. Well, I actually got my, I have a couple of pieces of equipment in my home lab that I've been slowly breaking over time. And I got those that way, just companies that...

26:00
took over an office building and there were network devices there that weren't their equipment technically so they just sort of gave it to me. They couldn't sell it. I like that. I like that giving it away where you can to people who need slash want it. Why not? For sure. Let's shift to security. There was a lot of buzz about the Cisco Secure Access

26:29
their SSE solution, Security Service Edge. And I'll just kind of read this from the press release. Cisco Secure Access is an SSE or Security Service Edge solution that helps end users securely access whatever they need to do their best work from anywhere. With extensive security capabilities converged in one solution, Cisco Secure Access mitigates security risk by applying zero trust principles and enforcing granular security policies. So it's a lot about.

26:57
Cisco jumping into the space of more so of zero trust and edge level security. So there was a lot of that happening, which makes sense. I'm not a security person. Okay. So there's going to be a lot of dumb questions coming for me on this, but like, aren't we, isn't the whole, who doesn't implement zero trust? Is that a dumb question? Who doesn't implement zero trust with security? I thought that was like one of the foundational principles of like, don't try, you know, like you have to

27:25
Real, AJ, your face. So I think, and I think AJ may be going the same place with me. I think that terms like, we've talked about this before, how these acronyms can mean something different to everybody. So whenever I talk about zero trust or security strategies, I'm always very careful about what I say. And I'll never say like implementing zero trust. I always say getting as close to zero trust as possible because...

27:54
I think it can be, I don't want to say it's a myth, but I think it's a very difficult end goal to reach. Because my interpretation of zero trust is really you're treating any network, whether it's a local area network, a home network, an airport, whatever, you're treating any network as potentially a hostile network. And that any action that is taken by a workstation, a mobile device, whatever,

28:20
every specific action must be authenticated and authorized. So you got to have potentially a bunch of different solutions to be able to handle that. You're talking potentially endpoint solutions, edge solutions for SD-WAN and cloud. So I think it's maybe still a little bit of a unicorn, at least in my feeble brain trying to wrap my head around it, but it seems like it's an easy phrase to throw around. Yes. Much more difficult in practice.

28:50
Yeah, it seems like a buzz or it at least seemed like a buzzword to me hearing. Again, not a security person. So I hear it a lot and I don't know exactly what it means. So thank you for that clarification. Well, AJ, you're out there implementing networks for a bunch of different customers. Are you getting involved in straight up security deployments where they're looking at micro segmentation and zero trust?

29:17
No, I will say that there's a lot of customers out there that, quite honestly, have a difficult time doing the basics. Right? Like, even implementing best practices and switching and, you know, just doing the kind of the minimum, right? Like there's networks that are, you know, everything's just wide open, you can get to anything from anywhere. And when you have a solution that like Zero Trust, like Tim's right, there's a lot of different moving parts and pieces to that.

29:46
which adds overhead and to some of these smaller network teams that depend on a company to come in and help them just do some of the basic stuff. It's hard for them to operate a system like Zero Trust. So they definitely do what they can to secure the perimeter and prevent stuff from getting in. But then at some point, if you don't have the people to manage it, you just kind of have to trust that your internal network is trustworthy. I see now why this was like...

30:16
Like one of the, I think they made a huge deal out of this at the keynote, right? Because they're implementing, they're using AI in it, right? And so I understand a little bit better now why it's such a big deal because they're advertising this as like a single solution to like zero trust, total secure, like network with very little like user intervention, which does sound kind of groundbreaking to me if this is indeed like...

30:44
a huge undertaking for most companies. So I'm curious, the keynotes, they don't go into how they actually accomplish these things under the hood. It's just, it's a lot of sparkly, shiny things, understandably, right? They only have so much time. But I'm curious, because they talk about, I think I heard something about they coordinated with Apple or they collaborated with Apple in some way to bring this to Macbooks and Mac OS and iPhones or something.

31:13
I'm really curious what exactly is going on behind the scenes AI wise and what they did specifically with Apple to bring this to their product. There's a lot there. So it's a lot to chew on, I feel like, if you wanted to really delve under the hood. But I don't know how we can really get those details at this point in time. Well, you keyed in on something that I think is really important in talking about how you want to have secure solutions, but they also need to be usable.

31:43
And there has been such a butting heads argument over the years for secure solutions and convenient solutions and choosing security over convenience or convenience over security. It seems like it's been so hard to get both in a single solution. So we'll see to your point Lexi, if this is Cisco's push to try to secure all parts of the network, but also not make it suck to have to use on a daily basis.

32:10
Yeah, like it seems like a very complex thing to manage all these different pieces of your network in a secure quote unquote, zero trust way. So yeah, if their goal is to eliminate complexity, and if it actually does that, I'm super interested in hearing more about it, right? For sure. But is this stuff available now? I don't think any of this is like available at this point in time, right? It's all coming in the fall. Is that right? I'm not 100% sure, to be honest.

32:38
Yeah, I think a lot of it was in various stages. Yeah, I think you're right. At least part of it, I want to say, is available either by the end of the year or maybe the first part of 2024, Q1 or something. But yeah, it seems like a lot to Q1 for sure. Pretty interesting. So the last highlight that I really wanted to hit as far as announcements and news and things that came out of Cisco Live was around the people. And specifically, and I thought

33:08
they highlighted this because it might not be something that a lot of people think about just because it's always there. And AJ, this would be near and dear to your heart. They talked about the value in really celebrating the partner organizations that are out there. So I know that Cisco has an arm that does professional services, but I also know that the value-added reseller and the partner organizations are a big part of implementing

33:37
Cisco's actual solutions for customers. So I thought it was really cool to have those partner organizations highlighted. Obviously, there would be a lot of them there because they're there to see what's new with Cisco. They're there to support their customers and help them. I had a partner that was there with me that sat in some sessions with me and I was able to ask him questions about things. And it was really cool to highlight. I don't know if that's the norm, but they gave...

34:07
You in general AJ, a lot of praise. Yeah. It's fun working for a partner. I won't lie. I'm the kind of person that has a very short attention span and when I used to work as a customer, I only got so much money per year to put into projects. I had maybe one or two projects a year that were fun and exciting, maybe one major project like server refresh or new software rollout or something. But now that I work for a partner in the post sales, I get new projects all the time.

34:36
And so it's, you know, we roll something out, we moved to the next project. I've got like four or five projects at any given time. And then small level of effort things pop up. Like I'm troubleshooting an issue with a customer. Now that they have issues with VPN tunnels with AWS. And so, you know, it's just, it's just fun and you never know what you're going to see. So there is a lot of hard work that goes behind the scenes. You know, when stuff like that comes up, there's a lot of coordination.

35:03
with, you know, and it's not just Cisco. We work with a lot of partners. So we engage with support. We engage with the account teams. We engage with internal teams. There's a lot of, a lot of stuff to it. And it's, it's just fun. And back to the security solution real quick, a little bit of a humble brag. It's, it pays to have a Cisco employee in our chat. Alexis says that SSE is out for GA in October. So we get...

35:31
We get the news traveling fast here. Yes. Thank you. So let's, let's pivot to, uh, some of the sessions. Lexi, did you get to sit in on, uh, on any exciting sessions you want to talk about? I wish I had had more time. Um, for sure. Yeah. I had, I had a blast in the sessions. I only did a few of them though. Um, so I did in, they didn't have automotive stuff. So I did the next best thing, which was industrial stuff. So I learned.

35:58
a bit about industrial ruggedization of the actual physical hardware that they do to get this stuff ready for like, I forget all the terms, but they have a blast rating, an explosion rating for some of these. They'll proof them against explosions, which is really cool and all the physical things that they do to ruggedize this stuff and make it function better and be more resilient in environments with crazy temperature extremes and things like that.

36:28
And then I did another session on industrial POE, which was also fascinating, but I feel like it didn't go into depth enough. So I want like, I wish I could take another like whole class on that. And then I took, so I don't know anything about VXLAN or like these sort of tunneling extend layer two type protocols. So I took a, I found an interesting one that was comparing any protocol called Deneve to VXLAN.

36:57
And I don't know if y'all are familiar with Geneva. I learned exactly what those things are just in that session. So they're very new to me. Um, but yeah, I was comparing them for data center use and like which one is best for you. So it was really fascinating. I've heard of that protocol at a very high level. Um, and in the context of, like you said, large data centers, in fact, maybe some of the, the large hyperscalers are starting to leverage that is, is kind of their forwarding mechanism potentially.

37:24
there is very little implementation of Geneva right now. Is there? Okay. Yeah, it was actually shocking to find out because it actually sounds like a really interesting useful protocol is just that, you know, you have to get the ball rolling. That's really, really hard if people are already using something like VXLAN, right? But one of the benefits of Geneva, as I understand it, is that it can carry non ethernet, like traffic, right? Whereas VXLAN cannot do that. And so, and there's a few other like, you know, there's other little

37:54
differences between them, but that is one of the most fascinating things about it, I think. So even the guy teaching the course was being pretty honest about it. And he was like, well, if you had to ask me, go to my head, what I'd recommend for you right now in this moment, you should probably use VXLAN. But as more places adopt Geneva, we might start to see that tide changing. So this is really interesting. I would like to learn more about it. I came away from these sessions.

38:23
wanting to know more, not because the session wasn't adequate enough. You know, we only have a little bit of time, right? But I personally would love to just like sit down with a book and live stream, making fun of typos and something about to need for something, you know, like that would be really fun. So yeah. But what about you, Tim? Like, what sessions did you take? What did you like? For me, it was all about network design. So the first one I sat in on, there are times where, you know, we, it's so easy for us.

38:52
in IT to just want to learn the next best thing and continue to forward education. But there are times where I just kind of want to get back to basics. And there was a really good session on just basic, like I said, back to the basics, enterprise campus, wired design fundamentals that talks about the multi-layers, the three tier, the collapse core, just getting back to those design fundamentals. And it was kind of funny when I...

39:21
I walked into that. This was delivered by principal TME, Sean Wargo. I walked into the session, I was just kind of looking around and because I was in part control of the A1 Twitter account that week, which was probably not the best idea because I'm not the best social media. But so I walk in there and I'm trying to take a picture of the main slide that he had up there.

39:47
So I'm kind of standing in the back doing that. And then I hear somebody from behind me saying, Hey, how's it going? And I'm like, Oh, I'm good. He said, do you want to take a picture? I said, well, yeah, sure. I'll take a picture with you. I'm like, what's your name? He goes, I'm Sean. I'm the one doing the presentation. I'm like, Oh shit. So that was a great way to kick that off, but it was a great session. Like I said, it's sometimes it's good to just get those refreshers on what the different options are out there for even

40:14
basic networking to help reinforce why it is you're doing, what you're doing and what potential other options are out there. So that was a really good session. And then another thing was design fundamentals around Cisco's software defined access solution. So basically they're software defined networking for the campus or the access layer. So they have application centric infrastructure, ACI and the data center.

40:41
and Software Defined Access is in the campus. And it was cool, I also got to do along the same lines, at Cisco Live, they have what's called the Meet the Engineer sessions, where you can sign up ahead of time or go on demand if people have availability and you can pick a topic and even pick an individual engineer on if they're available or what you wanna talk about. So when I signed up for that originally, I wanted to do something on Software Defined Access.

41:11
And I went looking through the available people and none other than Roddy Hassan was on there, who we had on the show a long time ago, talk about SDA. And it was pretty funny because he gets, I think, pretty busy at Cisco Live as many people do and he didn't even know that he was on the list of available people to do that. So he told me, he actually put it on Twitter a while back. He said,

41:41
Did you request a meet the engineer with me? I said, yeah, I did. He goes, oh, okay. I was going to decline it. And then I saw it was you. So I guess we can talk. So it was good to, it was good to catch up with Roddy. And what I really appreciate about him is that, uh, I think it's, I'm not saying that people specifically at Cisco do this, but I think it's easy to, when you get into cause he's.

42:06
technical marketing, right? So he's got to have the technical side, but he also has to be able to help sell the solution. Being, you know, essentially in a sales role, I think it would be easy to just, you know, show the sparkles and rainbows and everything. But what I appreciate about Roddy is that he actually tells it to you straight. If there's something that he maybe thinks you should do a specific way, he's not going to sugarcoat it and everything. So it was really good to have that kind of conversation.

42:36
a meet the engineer session for anybody going to Cisco live in the future. But there was also at the end of that session, they had some hardcover books about, and I'll try to show this here, Cisco software defined access for the different industry verticals. So this is something I'll kind of want to jump into. They have basically like best practices is what it's supposed to be for different verticals like education and healthcare and finance.

43:06
just a free ebook that you can get online on Cisco site too. So for anybody delving into software defined access, I recommend checking that out as well. So yeah, it was all about network design for me. I'm with you 100%. I wish I would have put some more time or had some more time to put into the different sessions, but there's just so much and it was definitely...

43:29
not only about the sessions, but definitely about the people for me because I knew I was going to get to run into a bunch of different people this year. Yeah, for sure. The people. Well, AJ, did you... So the remote experience for you, did you take any sessions? Did you look at any stuff yet? Do you wait until after it's done to look at the... How did that go? The only sessions I did remotely were the keynote sessions. If I was available, not working, you know...

43:56
with a customer in a meeting or something like that, I would have the session on and listen to it. I am definitely gonna check out several sessions as soon as they are available or on-demand viewing, especially the one that Tim was talking about with Sean. So, and they usually do that fairly quickly. Like I would, if they're not already out yet, I would expect them to be available as soon as like tomorrow or early next week, maybe.

44:19
So yeah, I definitely have a short list of sessions I wish I was there to attend and that I plan on watching on demand here soon. But yeah, I mean, it was great to see the keynotes. The remote experience is fun. I've done the remote experience a few times now, mainly in 2020 and 2021. I took last year off and then this year, it was pretty fun. I will say I've been to every major

44:47
tech industry event, Dell EMC's conference, VMware conference, Cisco. I haven't been to Microsoft's conference, but I've been to a lot of them. They're all more or less the same. They all have a world of solutions and various other areas. They do a lot of them in Vegas for some reason. I don't know why. I will say that the Cisco Live social media team really makes this event something.

45:16
different. Like it just all the interaction that goes on on Twitter with the Cisco Live social media team and then just with other people in the community. You know, like I almost felt like I was there. Obviously I knew that I wasn't. It felt like you were there for us because you're on that leaderboard. That's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. So it's a lot of fun. Even really. Yeah. It was a hell of an A1 commercial all throughout Cisco Live. It was.

45:45
They it was awesome. They had like, I don't know how many people eight people at least like at this. They had a little section called the social media hub where everybody was taking like the pictures with the triangle like prism thing. But in front of that they had like eight people at like this genius bar type thing that were all just like logged into the social media doing the social media for Cisco is really great. And then and then

46:08
We had Alexis and some other people from Cisco social media also wandering around doing TikToks and doing all sorts of stuff, interviewing people. So it is definitely a lively social media activity there. It was awesome. Awesome. Tim, was there anything else you wanted to cover in that segment before we jump to the next? No, no. I want to talk about the social aspect and the experience. And now a word from our sponsors.

46:34
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47:01
A place called the network cables of our lives. Tired of all the network drama? Give forward networks, digital twin technology that models your entire network. Search every path and find vulnerabilities in seconds. For networks.com forward slash cables of our lives. And now back to the show. Awesome. I wanted to rapid fire some questions that you guys, if you don't mind. Definitely. So, so, uh, Lexi, how was it attending your first Cisco live? Like all. Oh my God. I like.

47:31
Your first major event, well, I don't know if it's your first major event, it's your first school life though. It definitely was my first, I'd say it's the biggest event I've, you know, after our event last year, I think it's the biggest event of my professional career so far. And definitely like among the best, right? It was extremely overwhelming for a number of reasons.

47:56
in good and bad, good and not so good ways, right? Overall, an incredibly positive, awesome experience. I'm so glad I went, but it was like, it was a lot, right? So I wish I had been a little more prepared for just how much, but it's like, how could I have, right? I had people warning me about it the whole time, but it's like, you can't really know until you're there experiencing it for sure. I think I've heard a lot of people compare it to like, you know,

48:24
Disneyland for network engineers. And I think that's actually probably pretty accurate, right? Like it was, it was huge. There's like something like 30,000 people there, right? Like absolutely wild. They definitely needed the space. Yeah. It was, it was awesome. What was the phrase I kept hearing? Nerd summer camp is what I kept hearing it called. Yeah. That's my favorite. Denise Fishburne. I think she said that. Oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah. Nerd summer camp. Yeah. So

48:53
Now that you've gone and experienced it, I'm curious, you're comparing your perceptions to what am I heading into now having done it? What would you do differently? Would you pack anything differently? Would you prepare differently? Had you known now, or had you known then what you know now, how would you approach the conference? I would have like...

49:18
I don't know. What do you do to prepare your immune system for whatever brand of cold you get at every conference? I would have done that. I definitely got a cold. I definitely got whatever cold was going around. What's it called? That stuff that you take that's supposed to be a ton of vitamin C. It probably doesn't work. But anyway, yeah, I would have probably just...

49:40
I don't know, for me, I'm pretty introverted. So I would have honestly prepared myself a bit more for mentally stealing myself for meeting so many people. I met a lot of people, all awesome, all very kind, but it was just a lot of social interaction. So preparing myself for that mentally, at least I would have probably done a bit better ahead of time. Also I would have planned out my schedule a bit better. I didn't...

50:08
I didn't overload myself with sessions, which is good. Someone had warned me against that, so I made sure I didn't do that. But I didn't anticipate what parts of the day would be the most activity going on just around and people walking around and having free time. And so I scheduled a few sessions that ended up in the early afternoon, which is actually when everyone is either going to lunch or going crazy in the world of solutions. And that is the time actually that I personally felt.

50:35
would have been most fun to be around, but I had a few sessions during that time on different days. So I wish I had been able to schedule a little bit different times of day. Other than that, a selfie stick would have been helpful. Yeah, a selfie stick and preparing a spiel for vendors. The vendors were not like...

50:57
harassing anybody that I saw. I didn't get bothered or anything. I've heard some horror stories about them chasing people down for their badges to scan them and stuff. Didn't have any issues like that. But I did get approached by a few vendors here and there. And as I was wandering around, it would have been nice to have a spiel about.

51:15
either whether or not I'm a good customer for you to talk to or a really bad one that will waste your time. Like, I, you know, I didn't have a great, if that makes any sense, like I didn't have a great spiel for myself of like what I might be interested in of your product or why I'm not like a very quick, like brief summary of like why I actually am not that interested in your stuff in a polite kind way. If that makes sense. So yeah, absolutely.

51:40
Yeah, it's hard to walk around the world of solution sometimes because everyone's like jumping out and, oh, you want to learn about us? Oh, come here. I'll scan your badge and do some free shit you probably don't need. Although, yeah. And you know what? I would have packed a little less because I got a lot of swag and it almost did not all come home with me because it didn't fit. So leave room in your suitcase for swag is what I'd say. Absolutely. Tim, this is not your first Cisco Live. You've been to one before. It's been a few years. I guess I would ask you like...

52:09
What was different this year, post COVID world? How different did this feel or look or did it feel different at all since the last one you went to? So I think the biggest difference between this one and the last one was honestly this podcast and the community that has come with it because when I went previously, it was well before this. It was like 2017. So well before the It's All About the Journey, Discord community,

52:38
But I'm kind of glad I got that as the first time because I kind of got a feel for the overwhelmingly that is Cisco Live because while it was still overwhelming this year, and I think I could go a hundred times and it would still feel that way, I at least had a little bit of exposure to it. So I kind of knew some somewhat what to expect, but it's still overwhelming. As far as like things to bring, I think maybe next time I might have to like bring like a camel back and just...

53:08
like get beer into it somehow, walking around the world of solutions. I think that would be good. Brilliant, yes. But it was really cool to meet people. I mean, this podcast has given me so much and getting to talk to kind of some of our, have become kind of our family extension in some of these vendors that have sponsored us, like Open Gear and Itential. In fact, I was talking with some of the team at Itential and one of them mentioned to me that

53:37
they actually had, I think in the recent past, they had somebody they were interviewing as a prospective employee that brought up listening to our show in their interview. So I just thought that stuff like that was really cool. And getting to catch up with all of them, Kristin, the VP of marketing there, and the rest of the team at Itential was just awesome to get to talk to, as well as Open Gear people that have invested

54:07
dollars into us and we've gotten really good experiences out of getting to meet them and having them help us out. So it was really good to get to reconnect with those people as well as folks in our community. So, Tim, that's a great segue into my next question, which I'll throw at both of you. Tim, first, what...

54:26
was it like to attend Cisco Live as like somewhat of a celebrity? And that has little to do with the podcast, Tim and Lexi. You guys both have your own audiences. You both do Tech Field Day. You're very active in the community. So podcast aside, you stand on your own when it comes to, when I say like celebrity or whatever. So how do you think that affected your event experience?

54:53
Well, Lexi's the celebrity. I'm just the goofy bald guy. But I tell you, it was, it was cool because, you know, like Lexi said, being, being an introvert, like I'm, I try to play it up. Like I, I am putting myself out there and going to talk to people and that kind of thing, but people knowing that we were there as, uh, because we're on the podcast made conversation starters a lot easier.

55:22
And being able to see people that we knew in the community, you know, walking past people like Daniel Dibb and Dewan and Quinn. And we got to see obviously the star of Cisco Live, the Musketeer, David Penaloza. You know, it just, it makes it, because you said AJ, like what sets Cisco Live apart, you know, the social media aspect.

55:51
the live social aspect of getting to see these people that you feel like you know so much about seeing them online and having these interactions and you feel like you're catching up. There was this one, I thought was a really special moment. I think it was the Wednesday afternoon. It was up at the front of the social media hub where they had some chairs and some lounge areas. And we were all just kind of sitting around in a circle. It was, who all was there?

56:19
Quinn was there, Jordan Martin was sitting there, flubba-dubba-fill. A lot of those people, we were just talking. It was one of those things where I just sat back and went, wow, this is cool to just have like-minded conversations with different people that you feel like you've known for such a long time. It was cool getting to talk to them.

56:47
people in our, it's all about the journey study group or discord channel community that we're getting some pretty cool experiences too. Mike Cutka got to actually do a talk with Thousand Eyes. So he actually did a presentation, which was funny. He was the first person I saw and I'm going to call him out about on this a little bit because I think it was funny. He was the first person I saw on Monday morning because I didn't get into late Sunday night. So I want to make sure I got.

57:15
the registration area pretty early Monday because I think I had a session pretty early too. So I got there and just as I kind of got outside of registration, he was sitting there at a, just at a small table and he was sitting behind his computer. So I'm like, I got to go talk to him. So he was super nice and everything, but after a few minutes, he's like, Hey, you know, I got a, I got a talk I'm giving a little bit and I'm, I'm a little nervous about it.

57:40
Can you, I'm like, all right, dude, I'm leaving. I thought it was the funniest thing. So yeah, getting to talk to him. I also, while I was talking to Cutcut, John Capobianca walked up and it was one of those things where it was, cause obviously we've talked to him many times but never met him in person. So I meet him in person and it's like within a flash, I didn't realize it was happening. It's like, I'm realizing that I'm meeting John, I'm talking to them, to him. And then all of a sudden, without even me knowing,

58:10
we're talking about working with an automated network run by AI. And I'm like, what the hell just happened? When did we start talking about it? He's just so passionate about that. That guy looks larger than life. Like he is. He has a big personality. No, he literally is. He physically looks like super tall. It fits his personality. So, you know, getting to meet him and then, um, fellow people in the, in the podcast community. I mentioned Jordan Martin, who had run a network collective for a long time. Got to meet, uh, Pat Allen.

58:40
over there breaking down the bites. So it was just so much. I can't, I could name names all day long. So I was going to say, like you said, naming names, like I met so many people, I don't even want to name anyone because I feel like I'm going to leave out 500 other people. Like everybody. It was, it was wild. Yeah, it was very, very cool. So Lexi, how was the

59:04
Cisco Live experienced, I don't know, I don't want to assume it was enhanced because of your celebrity status, but how did it affect your attendance? I realized how introverted I really am at Cisco Live. It was a mental awakening for me. No, it was really, it's hard to describe. It was really touching, really. I keep using the word amazing.

59:31
the worst at vocabulary right now. But it was just absolutely phenomenal to meet all of these people who are in the community, super supportive, so kind. I had so many people come up to me and talk about... The most common openers I got were like, love the podcast, been listening to it for forever. Y'all rock. So that was super feel good.

59:56
And then also had a lot of people just like really, a lot of men came up to me and they're like, Hey, I know men suck. I'm really sorry. So many, so many, so many guys came up to me and they're like, man, men suck. And so that was hilarious. And just absolutely just really funny. So yeah, I had had so everybody was so supportive and kind and like I, I'm, I was so humbled the entire

01:00:25
like three or four days I was there because I knew I was probably going to get approached by a few people. I didn't prepare myself for the sheer number, but it was life-changing in a way. I'm not trying to inflate my sense of self-importance or anything. It was just like, I made so many friends. It brought my relationship with a number of people that I've met online and been friendly with online and had...

01:00:53
supported here and there to another level. And it was just like, it's so fantastic to have these connections in the community. I mean, it's so hard to describe, but I think we all kind of understand that support in this industry and in life, of course, is very important. And having these connections means so much to me. I can't say enough good things about.

01:01:17
about having that. So everybody who came up to me, if you're listening, thank you so much for, I don't want to even name names anymore because there's just, there's so many of you and you were all wonderful. And I just, I got to meet my, like one of my like biggest heroes, Denise Donahue. And like, I like, it was so overwhelmed, like just, just everybody was so amazing. It was so wonderful. So being visible is like pretty difficult for me as an introvert, because I get

01:01:47
It was an amazing experience to meet everybody. And I'm so, so glad that everyone came and said hi. So it definitely enhanced my experience for sure. That's great. That's really great. I guess as we're winding down here, one last question, and then we can move on to something else or kick around any last thoughts before we wrap up. Any advice or recommendations to?

01:02:12
future large conference attendees, be it Cisco Live or some other large event like this, what would you recommend to somebody who's never been to something like this before? What advice would you give to them? One thing I can't recommend enough is reading the ahead of time, like you should read this ahead of time Cisco blogs. And I think there were some others that people write independently too that aren't just from Cisco, but there's good advice in those about all the little things that you need to get in order.

01:02:40
It definitely helped me mentally prepare and physically pack the things I needed and stuff like that. It was really good. That's maybe my number one piece of advice right off. Nice. Tim, any- Yeah, I'll echo that as well. Try to find people that have been there before. And I do think that Cisco Live does a really good job at helping prepare you. In fact, on their main site, theciscolive.com, I think there's a section there for things to know and do before you come.

01:03:09
And it might sound funny or silly, but you know, down to packing because there is a good chance that you could come back with a lot. Even if I know I did this, I didn't probably, probably didn't need to check a bag just because of the stuff I took, but it, it was a kind of a, a safety blanket in case I came back with more stuff, which you always do at these kinds of things. And then, you know, just down to health, make sure you, you monitor, like Lexi said, it

01:03:39
really overwhelming. If you got to take a break, go take a break. They had a few pretty cool places throughout the world of solutions. We haven't even mentioned this, but they had like a miniature dog park where you could go pet the dogs and chill out. Tanner Iskra I could not find that. That is my biggest disappointment of Cisco Live. John told me about it. He was like, did you know there's dogs over there? Like, go check it out. And I could not find them.

01:04:07
So they had that, they had a few other places that were just kind of like off to the side where you could just like quiet areas where you could go kind of chill out. Definitely make sure you have like a plastic water bottle or something. Make sure that you're staying hydrated and everything. Cause it is, I mean, you may not think of it, especially, you know, we're talking Cisco live, but other conferences as well, they, they have to be that big of a space for a reason because there's a lot of people there. So you're

01:04:36
you're walking all over the place and just take care of yourself, I think is one thing. It can get to be a lot. There's so many people, there's so many conversations. You just need to make sure you watch out for yourself too. Nicole Sarris Take note of when food times are because you serve breakfast and lunch and stuff, but you can easily miss it if you're not careful and you're just running around. So I would say if you can make a schedule, it doesn't have to be extremely strict.

01:05:05
but a schedule that can really help guide you. Even down to lunchtime, breakfast type, here's when I, 15 minutes before my session, start getting ready, if you can put that on your phone as a little alert. That helped me a lot because I found myself in conversations with people quite often and suddenly it was time for my breakout session. I was like, oh shit, I have to run. I have to run upstairs in Mandalay Bay. I have to go find it. So...

01:05:34
And also, oh, download, well, this is Cisco specific, but for Cisco Live, definitely download the app that they have. Oh, it's, yeah, I'm sorry. It's so helpful. I didn't have it downloaded the first day and I was really confused. You download it and like it has, you can look at where all your sessions are. It'll show you, like it's, it'll show you the world of solutions, like all the vendor booths mapped out and everything is very, very useful for navigating especially. Yeah. And one...

01:06:02
kind of a interesting thing. So that I found it the last Cisco Live too. So there are, where I'm at, there are a lot of folks from my area that work for different companies that go to Cisco Live. People that it's crazy, they live in the area that I live in, I never talked to them, don't really know them, go across the country to Cisco Live. And I get to have these really good industry related conversations with these people that have the same problems that we do.

01:06:31
And it's really cool that it takes a plane ride to go talk to people that live in your backyard, but it's kind of a cool side effect of Cisco Live. And back to the what to prep for. Ian mentioned stick some power bars in your pocket. I think that that sounds like an album or something. That'd be a good album. Power bars in your pocket. But yeah, I mean, to your point, Lexi, just stuff that pay attention to stuff that you may take for granted or you may not think about.

01:07:01
how cool Cisco Live is, time management is so freaking hard because it's so easy to get distracted. I don't know how many times I looked at it like, shit, session, gotta go, like you said, just take off in the other direction. But it was cool when we got to meet the team that is behind the Cisco Learning Network and Cisco certifications. It was so cool getting to, not only to meet Matt Saunders, but to...

01:07:29
hear about what their team does and that people just took time out of their day. I couldn't believe another one. I can't believe I almost forgot to mention this, but Jason Gouly. So Jason Gouly had almost every minute of his every day at Cisco Live was accounted for the amount of stuff he had to do as far as book signings and appearances he had to do at the different booths and that kind of thing. So I saw him actually at the Open Gear booth.

01:07:56
I just thought I was going to go up and just say, Hey, how's it going? He took me aside and talked to me for like 15 minutes. I mean, I did not expect that at all. And that was just so, and it was just a week long of moments like that. Just really cool experience. I saw all the badge flags that everybody had on their badges, right? Like they have, you have your attendance badge and then you have all the flags. So, so next year, I don't know where we get them done, but I'm going to find.

01:08:24
a place and get, and it's all about the journey bad flags so we can represent while we're at the conference. Oh, that would be so awesome. Yeah. There were some great badge flags. They saw it like there was a Stroopwafel one. I think that's Nicole Weasger. I think that's her doing. I think I got one too. I have a Stroopwafel one, but I didn't actually get a Stroopwafel. So next time I'm going to get a Stroopwafel with my- There was a Superfluous one too. That was-

01:08:53
Oh yeah, that was cute. And then like if you're a Cisco champion, you get one. If you're a VIP, you get one. I forget the other one. There's a lot of that. Oh, okay. For people who aren't aware of this, apparently it's Kilted Monday on the Monday of Cisco Live. So wear a kilt and be a part of that fun tradition. So you also get a badge flag for that. So whatever. One more thing I want to say.

01:09:21
that I totally forgot when you asked me how my first Cisco Live was. I met every single person at this Cisco Live whose content I used to get my CCNA, with the exception, I guess, of Boson practice exams. But I don't know who the individual person would be there. But I met every single person who helped me get my CCNA. And that was including David Bombal and CBT Nuggets trainers. It was magical. It was amazing.

01:09:50
Yeah. Getting pictures with Keith Barker and Jeff Kish was, and talking to them. I mean, they were another couple of people and they had more folks from the CBT Nuggets team that actually took time to stop and chat. They were so kind. It was really cool. Very kind. Yeah. And they were handing out baseball cards themselves. That's just funny. Yeah. They had the whole get up and everything. It was cool. Yeah. It was awesome.

01:10:19
Awesome. Any other last minute thoughts on Cisco Live, conference attendance, what you liked, what you didn't like? Overall, totally worth it. Definitely do it. Like seriously, if you haven't been to one, you should. It's fantastic. Yeah, I might be just rested up enough by this time next year to maybe do it again. We'll see. Maybe do it again. Yeah. Well, I'm looking forward to attending next year. I'm going to make that commitment.

01:10:46
Right now I'm going. I don't know how I'm going. I don't know. I don't know a lot of things, but I know I'm going and I'll just figure out the other parts and pieces as, as we get closer to that date. So I don't regret missing, uh, as, as much FOMO as I had, uh, I was home because my, my oldest son graduated from high school and that was just a great moment to experience last weekend. So no, no regrets. It was cool to see those pictures. Yeah. It looked like a really cool moment.

01:11:15
It was, it was. It came way too fast. Time flew by. So anyway, this has been a fun chat. I agree with you 100%. Definitely go if you're on the fence, just go, just go. We'll see you there. It's a fun time. And it's going to be so much fun next year when we finally get the band together at Cisco Live. It's going to happen.

01:11:40
Again, Knoxville's coming up. Make sure you hit the link in the show notes and join us at Knoxville. It'll be about a month-ish away from when this episode releases, so we look forward to seeing you there. And we'll catch you next time on the next episode of the Art of Network Engineering Podcast. Hey there, friends. We hope you enjoyed listening to that episode just as much as we did recording it. If you want to hear more, make sure you subscribe to the show and your favorite podcatcher.

01:12:08
You can also give that little bell rascal a little ring-a-dingy so you know when we release new episodes. If you're social like we are, you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram. We are at Art of Net Inge. That's Art of N-E-T-E-N-G. You can also find us on that weaving web that is the internet at ArtOfNetworkEngineering.com. There you'll find our show notes and some blog articles from the hosts, guests,

01:12:35
and other friends who just like getting their thoughts down on that virtual paper. Until next time, friends, thanks for listening.


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