Monday, June 30, 2008

Cisco LIVE!

Last week I got exposed to the big, gigantic bowl of Kool Aide known as "Cisco Live!". This is the rebranding of their "Networkers" convention that they've done now 19 times. After feeling like I've been drinking from a firehose, I will say I came away with more of an idea of the vision from Cisco than I think I've ever had from the company. Maybe it's just bad local representation (as in Sales force) or just great representation by their competition down here, but I've had a very jaded view of Cisco for a very long time. Three distinct things caught my attention during the week though -

  • Cross Market Leadership: They aren't just the "best of breed" in one thing - they are competitive in so many different areas that they really interconnect and intersect their IP. That's not saying that the product in the end is the best, and I'm still turned off on the "one stop shop" since the old days of Lucent/Nortel beating folks up. That said, it's still impressive that they have leading market share (top 2/3) in over 20 products.

  • Trying new ideas on themselves first: John Chamber's keynote talked at length about how Cisco has evolved over the last 8 years to bring about a new corporate structure that is based on collaboration instead of hierachy. Granted some of the hierachy still exists, but from the presentation given a lot of the middle management is distributed. Think "Bit Torrent vs FTP" in design structure, and while the metaphor might break down shortly after that, the mental image seems to be similar.

  • IPv6 - they seem to have put a lot of effort into implementing IPv6 today. They show where and why folks will be moving to it, and the concept of the issues that Cable MSO's are having is probably the first place where wide-spread IPv6 will be needed. All the work that's been done on tunneling v6 through v4 is going to be important very soon, too.
That said, I came away with a lot of brain food for the next few months. I need to start trying to blog more, and actually do blogs during events instead of afterwards, to try to get more of my thoughts down to review later.. but that will come with modivation and time.

No comments: