Enterprise Networking PVT

This week, I am attending Cisco’s EMEAR Enterprise Networking PVT in Amsterdam and I wanted to highlight some key takeaways.

Cisco is really doubling down on getting its software strategy in place. Everything, and I mean everything gets a mention in regards to what sort of software is enabling it (DNA Center/SD-Access/SD-WAN etc.).

First, ofcourse is the SD-WAN strategy. Cisco confirmed that most of the development of code is for the XE based vEdges to get them up and running. There are alot of gotchas on which features are supported on different platforms, especially in regards to running everything like IPS, AMP etc. on smaller memory models. It was recommended just going with the max memory models to avoid any pitfalls going forward.

Also, at least the TME’s wanted to emphasize that vManage is the place where everything will be implemented. Cisco wants to do as little manual configuration on devices as possible, which i really like. They also wanted to bring out the message that alot of work is being put into not screwing up yet another GUI manage platform. Fingers crossed!

Second is the switching portfolio. With the release of Catalyst 9600 as a replacement for the venerable Catalyst 6500, the lineup is complete, going from the access-layer, to the distribution to the core. Its amazing to see the math that a 6 RU Catalyst 9600 has more capacity Gbps/pps than a 13 RU Catalyst 6500. This is ofcourse due to the 10/25/40/100 Gbps linecards/ports available now a days.

It is also fairly interesting to learn how other guys/girls design networks. There were some comments about the Catalyst 9600 only supported about 212000 routes, whereas the higher end Catalyst 6500 supported 1 Million routes. I would turn the question around and ask why a network that needed so many routes in the core of the campus was not designed in a different fashion? I think its one of those areas where some just dont take the time and design the network properly, but instead focus on putting as many features as possible into as few devices as possible without thinking about the consequences. I hope there’s at least one good reason behind doing it.

So in continuation from my post from Cisco Live in Barcelona, Software is really the message of the day. We all have to get with the program!

Now back to the sessions!