Cisco Live 2016: 3rd year feels like the 1st

Cisco Live 2016

We are just a few days away from the big show: Cisco Live 2016. It has become a conference that I have made a point to attend every year. While it would seem natural to be writing a post on the tips and tricks of navigating this large conference, I won’t be. Why not? Even though it is my 3rd year in attendance – final year till NetVet status – and I thought I had Cisco Live figured out, this year is different. So, instead of a “How To” post, I am writing about what has this Cisco Live returner excited and strangely nervous.

In past years, I have approached Cisco Live as organized chaos. My free exam and classes, usually based around various projects that I’m dealing with at work, are scheduled weeks in advance. Then I generally forget about the conference until about a week out, when Cisco Live news is everywhere. Once the conference begins I hit the ground running and don’t stop until it is over Thursday afternoon. My days are filled with classes. My breaks are spent wandering the conference floor gathering swag (I’m a sucker for a free t-shirt) and marveling at all the latest and greatest technology.  My evenings are packed roaming from one party to the next. By the end of the week, I am completely spent. My head is full of knowledge and exciting ideas to explore.  My bags are packed with swag and business cards, all from great people, but very few whom I will ever meet again. It is an exhausting yet wonderful week of forgetting the imperfections of work and dreaming of an unlimited budget. Eight months ago this was my plan for 2016. Well, plans change.

In that time, Wireless has become my passion. My goal is to design and implement Wi-Fi. Ironically enough, I realized this at Cisco Live 2015. For me, Wireless has always been an interesting topic. So, for my free exam, I thought I would take the CCNA: Wireless. I spent six months studying, learning, and enjoying every bit. I passed the exam wanting more. However, it wasn’t until sitting in Frederick Niehaus’ class, “Understanding RF Fundamentals and the Radio Design for 11AC Wireless Networks” that it dawned on me that Wireless was more than just a fun technology; it was something that I wanted to do. Like any good Cisco-ite, I ran to the bookstore looking for the latest CCNP Wireless books. Sadly, they had none. Not to be discouraged, I went to the internet where I found a wealth of information: websites, blogs, podcasts, and Twitter. I have been fortunate enough to join a community of people with a love for Wireless. This year’s Cisco Live will be the first major conference that I have been able to attend since being apart the Wireless community.  This conference feels more focused and purposeful. My breakout sessions are focused purely on Wireless. For the first time, I will be meeting with Engineers and Reps from the Wireless industry. What I am most excited about is getting the chance to meet some of the members of our great Wireless community in person, people who I have been talking with and learning from over the last year. So even though this is my third year, I am coming into it with a fresh perspective and a new-found excitement for the possibilities of what Cisco Live can bring.

Below is a copy of my schedule. Hope to see you there!

  • Monday July 11
    • Design and Deployment of Wireless LANs for real time Applications [BRKEWN-2000]
      Jerome Henry, Technical Leader – Mobility, Cisco
      ScheduledMonday, Jul 11, 8:00 a.m. | South Seas F, Level 3
    • Opening Keynote – Accelerating Digital Transformation, Chuck Robbins, CEO, Cisco Systems, Inc [GENKEY-1002D]
      ScheduledMonday, Jul 11, 10:30 a.m. | Event Center or Bayside A
    • Stop Hunger Now [HUNGER]
      ScheduledMonday, Jul 11, 12:35 p.m. | WoS, Booth #3421
    • Cisco Catalyst 3850 and 3650 Series Switching Architecture [BRKARC-3438]
      Muhammad Imam, Manager Technical Marketing, Cisco
      ScheduledMonday, Jul 11, 1:30 p.m. | South Seas E, Level 3
    • 7 Ways to Fail as a Wireless Expert [BRKEWN-2019]
      Steven Heinsius, Product Manager, Enterprise Networking Group, Cisco
      ScheduledMonday, Jul 11, 4:00 p.m. | Mandalay Bay E, Level 2
  • Tuesday July 12
    • Understanding RF Fundamentals and the Radio Design for 11ac Wireless Networks [BRKEWN-2017]
      Frederick Niehaus, TME – WNG, Cisco
      ScheduledTuesday, Jul 12, 8:00 a.m. | South Seas E, Level 3
    • WiFI Considerations for the Open Workspace [PSOEWN-2000]
      Brian Robertson, Product Marketing Manager, Cisco
      George Stefanick, Wireless Architect, Houston Methodist Hospital
      ScheduledTuesday, Jul 12, 11:30 a.m. | South Seas E, Level 3
    • Best practices to deploy high-availability in Wireless LAN Architectures [BRKEWN-3014]
      Patrick Croak, Consulting Systems Engineer, Cisco
      ScheduledTuesday, Jul 12, 1:30 p.m. | South Seas F, Level 3
  • Wednesday July 13
    • Analyzing and fixing WiFi issues – Cisco WLC tools and packet capture analysis techniques [BRKEWN-3000]
      Jerome Henry, Technical Leader – Mobility, Cisco
      ScheduledWednesday, Jul 13, 8:00 a.m. | Mandalay Bay H, Level 2
    • Industry Keynote: Digitization in a Cloud-Native World [GENKEY-1001]
      Val Bercovici, CTO, SolidFire, NetApp, NetApp
      Trey Layton, SVP, Chief Technology Officer, EMC
      Sandra Rivera, VP, GM, Network Platforms Group, Intel
      Zorawar Biri Singh, CTO/SVP, Cloud Services & Platforms, Cisco
      ScheduledWednesday, Jul 13, 10:30 a.m. | Mandalay Bay Events Center, Level 1
    • CCNA Wireless, master the 802.11 protocols! [BRKCRT-1100]
      Jerome Henry, Technical Leader – Mobility, Cisco
      George Koukis, Exam Program Manager, Cisco
      ScheduledWednesday, Jul 13, 1:30 p.m. | Oceanside C, Level 2
    • Clean the World [CLEAN]
      ScheduledWednesday, Jul 13, 3:30 p.m. | WoS, Booth #3421
  • Thursday July 14
    • Improve enterprise WLAN spectrum quality with Cisco’s advanced RF capacities (RRM, CleanAir, ClientLink, etc) [BRKEWN-3010]
      Jim Florwick, WNG TME, Cisco
      ScheduledThursday, Jul 14, 8:00 a.m. | Mandalay Bay L, Level 2
    • Advanced Enterprise Campus Design: Converged Access [BRKCRS-2888]
      Kedar Karmarkar, Technical Leader, Enterprise Networking Group, Cisco
      ScheduledThursday, Jul 14, 1:00 p.m. | Mandalay Bay E, Level 2
    • Kevin Spacey: Storytelling in the Age of Disruption [GENKEY-1004]
      Kevin Spacey
      ScheduledThursday, Jul 14, 3:00 p.m. | Mandalay Bay Events Center, Level 1





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Robert Boardman

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