Cisco Live 2018 Orlando Diaries # 3

I hope you have seen my previous blogs about my experiences with Cisco live. If not, you can find them here blog #1 , blog#2 

Till now I have mostly discussed Cisco strategy discussed in the event, however in this blog I am going to tell you about the booths I have visited and what they have presented.

I have started with my favourite network traffic generator Ixia Booth.

Ixia Booth : I have worked on Ixia and I know what they do majorly. Their Traffic generators are awesome and they give you number of ways to test your network. Majorly I have worked with IxExplorer and IxLoad and I know the power of these tools. But I never knew that Ixia has ventured into a different kind of business than traffic generator. The solution they were presenting was Ixia security fabric. This whole fabric works with two Ixia components iBypass switches and Ixia packet brokers. What ixia security fabric does is to provide an interface between the outside traffic and number of tools like security tools , analytics tools etc inside your network to receive only the traffic which are of their interest. For example if traffic needs to be analysed for operational data then firewall doesn’t need to see it. Or if the traffic requires to be investigated for malware or virus scans then network performance and analytics tools doesn’t need to see them. This solution overall looks something which certainly I would like to try and see what impact it brings in, but not really sure how customers are responding on this.

Ixia Security Fabric
Ixia Security Fabric

 

SevOne Booth: Before visiting this booth I did not know about SevOne tool. Apparently they provide very good tool for network visibility and performance analysis. In their booth they had more focus on SD-WAN monitoring. So in SevOne tool you can build your own dashboard and monitor the performance of different links and it gives you the details like which particular IP is using how much of the overall bandwidth and so on. It has supports for Netflow, APIs etc. They have mechanism to monitor the links and alert when the tool thinks that the utilisation is going to fail your business intent and hence can be very useful for many enterprise customers.

NetBrain Booth: NetBrain is making great market presence with their really cool tools and I really liked their booth. I have learnt about two tools there, not sure about the name but I will tell you briefly what they do. First let me explain a challenge I have been through in early days of my career. I used to work for a company and they had around 50 sites across the globe. For network diagrams they had Visio pages which was not updated for many years so we were given a task to update Visio diagrams. We spent months and since we had to do everything remotely , at the end of it we were not sure if what we have done was 100% accurate.What I saw in netbrain booth is excellent and could have helped us in big time. They have demonstrated ospf network diagram of their demo network. So in this tool you just need to select the ospf process ID and the tool gets into each device in the network and checks configurations and ospf states on those devices and draws the whole ospf topology within a minute. You just need to try this to get a taste of magic it does. This can be really helpful for a lot of companies out there.

The other tool that I have seen is useful in monitoring packet drops in the network. In case you need to know if there has been any packet drops in the network and you do not have time to go through each and every network device and run commands to understand the drop. When used this tool logs into the device and can fetch QOS and interface drops for you and can draw a nice topology with the colourful links indicating the link with packet drops red in colour and you can see the stats just by clicking on the it. Very useful in my perspective, this is something which every network needs. And not only this, they have huge number of options available in netbarain tool.

Netbrain
Netbrain

 

Panduit : Have you heard about this one ?? Well, I just knew the name and did not know what exactly it does. We network engineers most of the time do not bother what is around us, and for us infrastructure means router, switches, cables thats it. If you work in any of the datacenter you would know what infrastructure actually means. It not just involves network and server gear but a lot of it is also those intelligent cabinets in which these networking gears are placed in. Panduit manufactures these really intelligent infrastructure which includes Cabinets, power system , grounding systems, cabling systems, wireless systems and many other things. All of these systems can be monitored and managed online. You should check their website to know the huge impact they have in the infrastructure world.

Legrand:  Legrand was another informative booth I visited. Before explaining what  Legrand provides I would like to share a real life issue. We have a customer who owns a huge 4g network. For this kind of network you need to deploy a lot of devices in the field and by field I literally mean field. And we have seen a great number of replacements due to dust, moisture related hazards. Legrand can actually be very useful in this kind of situations. For example I have seen a cabinet which they had for demo, it can monitor moisture, heat etc and if anything like high moisture is detected you can actually tweak the temperature inside the cabinet to control the moisture. This kind of solutions are really helpful in outdoor implementations.

 

Legrand moisture control Cabinet
Legrand Cabinet

 

I have visited few more great booths like Commvault, Avi networks, Netscout, Google cloud etc and will try to cover them in my next blog. Also I will cover what Cisco had to demonstrate in world of solutions area. So stay tuned and thank you for visiting my blog.

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