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It is hard to believe but in just a few months it will be time for the annual geek-camp (term credit goes to Fish) called Cisco Live!  Once again we are heading back to Las Vegas at the beautiful Mandalay Bay Convention Center.  While Vegas may not be my first choice of locations (I prefer Orlando – something to do with a Mouse), it does provide one of the best venues for Cisco Live and the attendees.  There are plenty of places to stay, eat, and things to do before and after the conference. Where else can you go from Egypt (Luxor), to the Middle Ages (Excalibur), to the streets of New York (NYNY), to Paris (Paris), to Italy (Venetian), to the the President’s Party Place (Trump Hotel) in a single night?  No place but Vegas!

So the big question is usually “Why do I want to go?” or “Why should I go?”, well let me tell you – Education, People, Vendors, People, the Customer Appreciation Event (CAE), and People. As you can see, I mentioned people over and over again.  Out of all the things that Cisco Live brings together, its the people that really make it the event what it is.   The picture below is two strange fellows being egged on by Denise, I blame her for this embarrassing picture.  Just glad I am not one of those guys – oh wait.

Now don’t get me wrong – the education opportunities of the sessions are amazing, you can find classes from basic to way over expert levels there.  You want to learn about VXLAN – last year they had at least 5 sessions last year that covered VXLAN:

  • BRKDCT-3378 – Building DataCenter Networks with VXLAN BGP-EVPN
  • BRKDCN-2200 – VXLAN – Bringing Hypervisor & Nexus Together
  • BRKDCN-3040 – Troubleshooting VxLAN BGP EVPN
  • BRKDCT-2404 – VXLAN Deployment Models – A practical perspective
  • BRKDCN-2020 – Real world EVPN-VXLAN deployment and migration – Lessons from the trenches

This is just a start – they have detail like this on just about everything you could think of – OSPF, EIGRP, Nexus, Catalyst, IOS-XR, IOS-XE, Nexus, ACI, etc.  If you want to know more about it, there is an excellent change you will have the opportunity to. And best of all, you will probably here about it from one of the best experts in the industry.  Cisco Live speakers are amazing!

Do you want to find out about new offerings from vendors, or perhaps even meet up with one that you do business with? World of Solutions is the place for you.  WoS is where all the vendors are more than happy to scan your badge, share information with you, and give you some goodies to take back home with you.  You can find vendors from Cisco themselves, to training vendors like Boson, to value-added resellers like Dimension Data (I work for DD, plug).  You can ask vendors just about anything you want, and WoS affords you the opportunity to see new offerings and get new ideas on how to handle current real-world problems.  I have seen some really need things there that lead to new ideas at my old place of employment.
Then there are the gatherings, or parties as they more commonly called. There are plenty of parties during Cisco Live, but the big one is the CAE.  This is the party to end all parties here, it is the one where Cisco goes all out and makes sure that all the customer have a great time.  The current CAE bands have not been announced yet, but be sure I will post more when I find out!

There is another reason to want to go to CLUS, and that is a free test (for full pass purchases).  Pearson Vue offers one free test to all registrants of CLUS – you can find out more at this link : http://fryguy.me/2mDt14b and register for the test here: http://fryguy.me/2mDymIX

So if you have not registered, it is time to do so! If you register for a full conference pass by March 20, you can save $500 off the normal price of $2795 by clicking here – REGISTER NOW  After that, the price increases gradually until the event is here.
This is my first in a a series of Cisco Live posts, there will be more of these in the coming weeks leading up to the event.
Hope to see you there!  Oh, and don’t forget to sign up on Tom’s Twitter list by clicking HERE.  Knowing who is going to be there makes Tom’s Corner all that much more fun!