A Steamy Cisco Live….and fun

Cisco Live 2018 in Orlando, Florida just finished up …. and once again .. I went to one session. HA. This time was my fourth year, which allowed me to become a NetVet, aka the Red Lanyard. Being a NetVet allows you access to a lounge area with drinks, snacks and quick access to lunch. This lounge area also has a good amount of chairs and tables to relax at. Also, they had some retro arcade games setup to fool around with. Good times.

So why only one session? I typically schedule a few sessions, mostly on Wireless topics. Sometimes I manage to join in, sometimes I do not. Let me explain why.

I find the “networking” aspect of Cisco Live more fun than anything. Just the random encounters and walking up to people that I know or recognize, or sometimes don’t even know at all, and just saying “Hi”, is the best part. The little stories you hear and people talking about what they do and why they do it. That’s the best part.

I find the randomness of chatting with people more of a value than sitting in a session(plus most of the sessions are recorded anyways). Now, sometimes sitting for an hour long sessions is great, because, Cisco Live is huge, the first day alone you will walk at least 10 or more miles.

Another part of the community I find fun is the Cisco Champion group. Being part of this group allows access to some private activities and sessions. This is a yearly “application” that you do and if you’re in, it truly is worth it.

Also, last but not least is Cisco DevNet/Create. The DevNet group of people are truly a fun time to hang around with. They have little sessions, usually around 10-20 people on different topics, from IoT automation, to face tracking with cameras. Lots of cool stuff going on there.

If you are new to Cisco Live, I will leave you with these important rules: wear good walking shoes and drink lots of water.

See you again next year!

Good weather and some DevNetCreate

The 2nd Cisco DevNetCreate conference was recently held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.  Pretty cool place to see the history of technology we use on a daily basis.

This picture reminded me of a scene from the movie Sneakers.

IMG_8746

Lots of sessions and really good food. They brought in local food trucks so we had a good variety of choices over the two day conference. The only down side, lots of really good sessions but not enough time(i.e. some ran at the same time as others).  Maybe somehow they could be recorded?? Overall, I would give this conference a 95%, hmmm, why not 100? Well, that reason is, just not enough time to see everything.  Not sure if adding another day would make this better.  I think the two days are perfect, however the recording of sessions would add that little 5% for sure.

Normally, I don’t stick around for keynotes at ANY conference. Usually I get distracted and wonder off.  BUT, this time I tried it out.  Being part of the Cisco Champions group added some fun to it, front row, center seating.

This one was pretty cool, Guy Kawasaki was invited to talk. He tells a great story! If you get a chance to see him at a conference, do not pass it up.

IMG_8795

As for sessions, Cisco Meraki had several workshops/sessions talking about their API.  Lots of focus on Node-RED and how to make that “magic” of programming an easier process.

Michael Chenetz did a great job of doing an intro to using Node-RED and showing how things can connect with ease using the Meraki API.

IMG_8750

Now, the next one is a bummer, it was about designing your own PCB along with using Upverter and Hackster.io.  I was actually really excited for this one. BUT, I quickly realized I don’t have the patience for it. The little circuits and what-not, nah, that’s not for me. Which was a good experience that I was able to see what someone had created and quickly found out I would really not like to do it. So in the end it worked out well, PCB design is not for me.

IMG_8828

Now comes the very fun “Create” part of the conference, it was a bonfire and create your own S’mores. If you don’t know what a S’more is, well, you’re missing out … stop reading right now and make some, they go great with some beer(or wine).

IMG_8777

Thanks to the entire DevNetCreate Team for once again, having a great conference and fun time! I hope to see you all again next year!

As you wish, Captain. This way.

Hey, I’m still around. So here’s a little update for 2018. More conferences! Yeah!!!

First on the list is DevFestKC, it’s local so easy to hit.

Then right off to the awesome WLPC, if you do anything with wi-fi, you have to go!

Also, thinking about hitting up HPE Aruba Atmopshere, always a good one, just might not have time–we’ll see.

Then Cisco DevNetCreate — If you love APIs, IoT and Developer stuff, it’s a great time!

Hoping to visit InteropITX again, loved it last year. A diverse group, awesome to see and learn new things

and.. then RSA Conference in SFO.

Many more on the list… but we’ll leave that for another blog post later on.

…seven bells and all is well

In the last 90 days, the conference trips have been going. It started off with Interop ITX, Cisco DevNetCreate, Purestorage Pure//Accelerate, Kansas City VMUG Regional Conference, and lastly Cisco Live in Vegas.

Lots of travel and long nights.  I’ll be posting a little more details of each conference in the next few days. Just wanted to drop a little note as to why this blog seems a little lacking the past few weeks. Stay tuned!!!

…of travellers and merchants

Finally, after four years, I used Ekahau Site Survey & Planner. This journey started at the first Wireless LAN Professionals Conference. I first met Jussi Kiviniemi walking out of registration at WLPC, he was in the lobby area. I noticed his badge/name tag had that funny word. At the time I had barely heard of it, nor how to even pronounce it. He mentioned the name, I said “oh yeah, that’s it”, he smiled and I walked away.  The last evening of the conference was a training session for the software, I wasn’t planning on staying for that, had to catch a plane. But I was around long enough to have the phrase “Hello, Mr. Anderson.” forever burned into my mind. During the training session, that phrase was mentioned several times.  Not really sure why that was being said, but that’s what I remember.

Over the past few years, I’ve watched people design with the software. And, what issues they have with it and how responsive support is. Everybody seems to love it. I even hung around longer during other training sessions at WLPC to try and pickup more about it. Just a little bit here and there.

So this brings us to today, right now. Well, I downloaded the trial version.  Hmm. OK, it has some limitations.  But, during that time I just clicked around and figured out what each button does, where to find things and how to “draw” with it.

I have a floor plate of my office, nothing fancy just a PNG image. If you have the CAD file for your floor or building. You can important that, and if the walls are put in and other stuff that goes into a CAD file, the software will know that and design correctly, vs. you having to place walls. So this is what I started with after placing some Access Points.

IMG_3036

Hmm, wow … green is good … coverage is great. HA … well, yeah. But, lets do some more with it.

 

After adding some attenuation areas, elevator areas, brick walls, drywalls, glass walls. More walls, and lots of walls. I ended up with this…

IMG_3040

Of course this is not even close to being done. I still need to adjust heights of some walls–we have walls that are six and nine feet tall used for dividers. Most of our office is open with 11+ foot ceilings. However, based on what WiFi Explorer shows me. I would say so far this design is pretty accurate—take that with a grain of salt, because much more goes into wireless design than an hour or so of playing around.

Now, there is a reason for Ekahau Certified Survey Engineer (ECSE), this software is pretty intense. Lots of little knobs and things to “tweak”.  To get it right, or close to perfect as possible.

So, yeah, I’m kind of happy about this. I can see why people love this software and why they spend hours with it. Now the only downside is—I should have used this software sooner.

Where we’re going we don’t need backups.

So yeah…. that was my thought for six years. And, for six years it was good. But wait, nothing bad happened, data was still safe and “snapshots” were done.  Yeah — you heard me “snapshots”.  But then after a BLT sandwich with Vince Vaughan, we bought Veeam.

Now, Vaughan didn’t convince me to buy Veeam, he just explained what it can do.  For a few years prior I had been listening and watching to what other people had done, had come from and what was being used.  It still came back to “Hey, use Veeam”.

Our setup is simple, one VMware host with around 20 guests. Nothing big, nothing fancy, other than being a relic of another time—i.e. just damn old, I mean super old.  The system was turned on December 2009.  We needed a good way to get the data, the guests off the host. Now, we could do other things, yeah, but I’m lazy. I wanted something fun and simple.  Plus, I like the color green and Veeam fit the need!

Wait, did you just say you bought something based on a color??? Sure why not, lots of options for backups exist. But, I figure if a company has good marketing throughout the product and brand.  I’m thinking they must be looking at the little details. And, to me those little details count. And guess what, I think I was right.  So far we have not had any issues with using Veeam, updating Veeam, doing backups, doing recoveries(just for fun).

So what’s your point?  The point is, find something simple and easy to use, because one day, today or five years from now—things will break.  And, they could break–not during your maintenance window, not during the low usage times, but when you least think about it.  And, you want something simple, easy to use and stable.

That’s why I picked my road colored with Veeam green.

The day with Bernie… or Interface Tour

After just getting back from Cisco Live 2016 in Las Vegas, the Interface Tour was a nice slowed down pace.  This has been my third time and each time is getting better.  After a few emails from Bernie Bokenyi and finally meeting him during an advisory council meeting, having Bernie around makes for a fun time. This guy has always been great to talk to and makes the event a well organized time(thanks to him and all the people involved).

If you have time check for an Interface Tour in your area. It’s a great time.  Being a smaller event makes it easier to talk to the vendors and enjoy the sessions. You don’t have to run around trying to make it to your next session, usually the next one is just a few hundred feet away.  Which makes for less walking–always a good thing!  And, the sessions have “CPE accreditation”.

Also, they have lots of great prizes when the event is over. 🙂