Key Takeaways From Cisco Live 2023

By Eric Kratz

Jul 11, 2023 1:00:00 PM

About 4 minutes

Cisco Live 2023 is a wrap, so we want to share some of the event highlights. This year, Cisco Live took place early in June at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The event provided on-demand education, community-building activities, and inspiration to global technology innovators, Cisco customers, and partners.

After attending talks and participating in labs and programs, we have some key takeaways from Cisco Live. We found that Cisco Live emphasized Zero Trust network access (ZTNA), automation, and Meraki Cloud for Catalyst Switches.

Here’s an overview of these points of interest and some advice about how to optimize your experience at Cisco Live when you attend next year.

Zero Trust Network Access

The agenda at Cisco Live reflected how Zero Trust network access (ZTNA) is taking the world by storm. Cisco Live offered many learning sessions related to ZTNA.

Deploying ZTNA keeps the network secure without frustrating users. Cisco offers ZTNA through Duo and Umbrella, which provide protection and controls for users, devices, and networks in multiple environments.

Deploying ZTNA allows users to access specific applications based on controls. A user’s posture is assessed at every access attempt. With ZTNA, users can access different head end devices for applications.

While rumor has it that the virtual private network (VPN) is dead, VPN for site-to-site connectivity is still necessary. With ZTNA, more security can be placed within an IPSEC/SSL tunnel for VPN encryption. Users can gain access to the full network or within the policy of the tunnel and connect to one head end device.

Automation for Cisco ACI Deployment

Automation was another important topic at Cisco Live. Performing repeatable tasks using automation makes sense if companies want to do things quickly and without errors.

Automation can be used for Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) deployment. Red Hat Ansible can be used to create virtual pods (vPods) for ACI. Ansible also enables automation for day-to-day work with Layer 1/2 connections, as well as Cisco ACI Tenant work. Terraform uses automation to create new vPods.

Cisco Meraki Cloud for Catalyst Switches

Cisco Live emphasized how Meraki Cloud can monitor Catalyst switches. Cloud monitoring for Catalyst supports 9200, 9300, and 9500 switches.

Meraki Cloud offers Cloud Monitoring Onboarding software, a tool for uploading devices to the dashboard easily. This application builds a TLS tunnel for security. With Meraki Cloud, you can bring up a full stack of Catalyst switches with one IP for management.

Later in the year, Cisco plans to bring full command-line interface (CLI) functionality to Catalyst within Tools Management. Cisco also announced the release of Catalyst 9200 with full management functionality.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Cisco Live! Experience

Going to Cisco Live is like getting an education in Cisco expertise. Many classes take place at the event that cover all aspects of networking, servers, storage, and all things Cisco Systems related.

Here are 3 tips for getting the most out of the conference:

  • Take a diverse set of classes to stretch your knowledge and gain insights into other technologies.
  • Take one of the 4-hour technical labs. These labs dive deep into the weeds to show how things truly work and give you experience in configuring the devices.
  • Take a few walk-in labs. These labs take about 45 minutes and cover everything within Cisco, not just network-related technology. If you have questions or something doesn’t work, the labs are proctored, so you can get one-to-one help. We participated in a few labs related to ACI, DUO, and Umbrella.

At ProActive Solutions, we are always working to increase our knowledge about leading network solutions, such as those offered by Cisco. We make a point of attending top industry events so we can bring cutting-edge expertise and the latest solution releases back to our clients.

Want to take advantage of the latest solutions from Cisco? Request a consultation with ProActive.

Tags: Cisco, Red Hat Ansible, automation, zero trust network access, ZTNA, Cisco Live 2023, Cisco Meraki Cloud, application centric infrastructure, ACI, Cisco Duo, Cisco Umbrella