Cisco DevNet Create Taught You What?

I arrived at Cisco DevNet Create Tuesday morning ready for a few days of using Cisco APIs to talk to Cisco devices.  What I found wasn't only that, but much more. 

In the keynote Suzie Wee talked about the infrastructure as part of an application.  It was the next layer below the Data, not as an afterthought, but part of the application stack.  Then Casey Bleeker shared a demo with us that caused a subwoofer to pulse SOS so sight impaired people are notified of a gas leak in the building.  A gas senor and a propane torch on stage makes for some good humor and a great demo.  That wasn’t just a demo, but a IOT application and the Cisco router was directing traffic in real-time to the proper destination. 

When the Keynote was done we were exposed to the room of workshops.  Engineers from a half dozen companies + Cisco were teaching a variety of topics.  From Jenkins and Kubernetes to Puppet and Meraki.  I learned a few things over the two days and I’d like to share them with you.  

1.     Cisco is moving into new areas of the business.  They have done such a great job with the DevNet Create event as a developer conference about infrastructure programmability that I met several people that were surprised that DevNet was hosted by Cisco.  They came to the event to learn about the topics and not because the Cisco mothership asked them.  I think this is the next wave of Cisco evangelist that is using the Cisco APIs and other integrated technologies to provide amazing solutions to their client and business.

At IGNW we built our business on APIs, micro services, and the cohesiveness of strong partnerships between Cisco, Hashicorp, Docker, Puppet and traditional Cisco VARs.  If you’re looking for help navigating this new world, please contact us.  We’ll be happy to work with you to develop joint solutions to your client.

2.     Do the workshops but learn the details at home.  The time fames are tight, so you are not going to learn much of the tech in depth while you are in the workshops.  They will give you the basics and information on how to move forward in your education.  Eric Thiel did a great job of presenting Ansible for Cisco.  The information from his class covers FAR more than we were able to see in the session he did.  The information he gave with us to take home will be useful for learning and doing for months.

Learning at home is great, but sometimes you need that in-person feel to get the juices flowing.  IGNW partners with companies like Docker and Cisco to help organizations learn new technologies and get them implemented and running in their infrastructure.  This includes training on complementary technologies in a workshop setting, and migration of legacy applications into Docker containers.  We just finished a week long class in Seattle that will accelerate the adoption of Cisco UCS, increase the VAR revenue, and provide a foundation for automation at the client.

3.     Programmability and Automation for infrastructure are here.  Cisco has always been the master of coming to the market as the momentum really kicks off.  I saw more than one presentation that were teaching technologies that are complementary rather than strictly Cisco focused.  Puppet, Jenkins, and Ansible help enable operations and developers by including Cisco into new development and deployment methodologies. Hank Prestons session on CI/CD for infrastructure is a MUST see.  With infrastructure at the bottom of the application stack and fully automated, I think Cisco is "jumping to the the next curve” (Guy Kawasaki) in the road.  

When IGNW started we created a team that combined Network and Software Engineering.  This gives us the knowledge of the full stack and enables IGNW to develop solutions that take the experts on both sides of the traditional wall between these groups.  We are currently working with a Cisco VAR to bring provide a Cisco ACI as Code solution with full CI/CD software methodology to a large electrical provider in the Northwest.

According to Guy Kawasaki, we need to get a lot of ideas on the wall and see what sticks.  Thanks to Cisco, there are more than 800 people at DevNet Create that are far more prepared than they were before they got here.  After my time here, I’ll be working with our engineers to make a concerted effort to automate almost all the Cisco products we interact with.  We will find new ways to add value to our clients using the large amounts of information available from the Cisco APIs and complementary technologies that enable automation and DevOps awesomeness.

Read more about Devnet Create here and I’ll see you in the ether.

IGNW is a professional services provider that focuses on micro-services, IaC, NaC, and Public and On-Prem Cloud which we call Hybrid-IT.  We work with VARs from around the country and are happy to wear your shirts to engagements when we partner.  We call it Practice as a Service.  Start your new practice today by giving us a call or checking us out at