Cisco Live Europe 2018 – Day 2 #cleur

Wow – so Day 2 of Cisco Live Europe (#CLEUR) 2018 was BUSY!  There were keynotes, there were presentations, there were meetings … oh … and I won a prize!

Stick with me – this post could be long!

Tuesday 30/Jan/2018 saw #CLEUR move into full swing, and it wouldn’t be launch day without a keynote speech!

20180130 - Cisco Live Keynote Entrance
20180130 – Cisco Live Keynote Entrance

The layout of the hall was different to VMworld 2017 Europe - conference attendees walked into the room via the stage that was later used for presenting.  There was also a walkway to a platform which was used really well to bring the presenters into the middle of the room.

Watching people enter this way gave you an idea just how many people were attending this year – it was a full house!

Pre-Keynote Talks

There were a few themes from the presenters who kept the audience entertained while we waited for the keynote to kick off – to my mind, done in the style of a sports event, with main a presenter, and a couple of roaming presenters – kinda fun!:

  • Cisco’s “Smart Cities” programme with Barcelona
  • “Persona’s Sessions” – people interviewed on the big screen
  • Automation
    • Faster delivery
    • Costing less
    • Better user experience
    • Looking to free up people so that they can concentrate on “what’s going to happen” rather than “what’s happening”


The keynote was kicked off and hosted by Rowan Trollope – Cisco EMEAR Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Applications.

Predictions of the Future

Rowan took us through a fascinating vision of the future.  Making a number of predictions over the next 30 years – from driverless taxi’s, to job titles in LinkedIn that don’t even exists yet, to permanent bases on Mars.  What was amazing to hear was how innovations and technology that is being researched “today” can lead rapidly to fascinate these later, bolder, predictions!


Rowan continued with a presentation of Cisco’s strategy – and the emerging “Age of Intelligence”, and how Cisco is aligned to privide a “Secure, Intelligent Platform for Digital Business”.  There were 5 pillars to this message:

  1. Security is foundational
  2. Reinvent the network
  3. Embrace a multi cloud work
  4. Unlock the Power of Data
  5. Connecting Everything and Everyone

Reinventing the Network

Having taken us through Cisco’s strategy forecast, Rowan introduced David Goeckeler – Executive Vice President, and General Manager for Networking and Security.

David took us through Cisco’s message of “Reinvent the Network” – introducing us to a theme that has resonated in all of the sessions I’ve been into these last few days - intent … the concept of “Intent-based Networking”.

20180130 - Visualising the network
20180130 – Visualising the network


It was during David’s presentation on “Leveraging Context” that we saw three new announcements:

  1. DNA Center Assurance
  2. Meracki Wireless Health
  3. Cisco Network Assurance Engine

These products compliment and enhance their existing product portfolio in the automated discover, analytics, and reporting of problems.  I will be interesting, over the next couple of days, to see if this message evolves from simply the “automated detection”, to “automated remediation”.  I would like to see how a problem is automatically flagged to the attention of an engineer, rather than it being highlighted when doing a deep-dive analysis.  I don’t doubt it’s there, I just didn’t see it in the very brief demo that we saw.  What I saw – I liked though!

Partner Keynote

I then had the privilege of joining the Partner keynote, hosted by Wendy Mars, Vice President EMEAR Partner Organisation and Digital Acceleration Team.  Along with a number of other presenters, there were a few topics that really piqued my interest.

First was a comment on the “critical importance of hardware in a rapidly increasingly software defined world” (not a direct quote, that was what I wrote down!).  Given my intensive work on the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, this was an interesting observations to me.

The other presentation that really interested me was the topic of the future of the  System Engineer, and how these professional roles are evolving, and need to evolve, to match not just current, but also predicted trends in technology and delivery.  Again, a topic very close to my heart, and one I should really blog about soon 🙂 #noteToSelf

More Sessions

The afternoon then continued with sessions on security, and also on Cisco’s UCS platform, one of the key areas of interest for me coming to Cisco Live!

Catching Up

In the evening, I again joined Alan and Edvard from Cisco for dinner along with a number of my IBM colleagues.  What I love about IBM is that despite the VAST number of people in our organisation, the world really is very small – affording me the chance to meet with Krzysztof Kosicki – one of our CCIE qualified network engineers from Poland, who had been helping me on a recent Technical Health Check that I led!

And a surprise …

So there is a Selfie competition at Cisco Live … so I submitted my entry:

20180130 - CLEUR Selfie
20180130 – CLEUR Selfie

Imagine my surprise when I walked out of dinner, back into mobile phone reception, to find out that I HAD WON the competition! So. Excited.

Day 3 will include me picking up my prize!

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