Away Mission

by Howard Dyckoff

Cisco Live 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada,  (July 10 – 14, 2011) is the venue for all things Cisco  this month.  Not that I’d recommend Vegas in July, but Cisco does provide lots of tech sessions and good grub. The infamous Cisco Networker Bash also promises arcane but highly coveted headgear, but that’s another story. For the last several years,  the combined Networker and Cisco Live user event has had a strong virtual presence with keynotes and many detailed sessions for free and an even larger program for a paid virtual conference pass. This year, the virtual component also includes panels and partner ‘supersessions’ and morning press conferences.   In fact, the conference literature says full access to the virtual event is free this year. Go here to find the Virtual Live agenda. At Cisco Live Virtual, you can:

  • • Access over 1,000 live and on-demand technical training sessions, keynotes, and Super Sessions.  About 70 conference video and 200 audio sessions will be on-demand, after the event
  • • Download 2011 session PDFs prior to the conference
  • • Build a virtual “briefcase” to manage and organize the content that interests you
  • • Join the conference conversation in the blog center and social media
  • • Download Cisco booth content and partner information in the exhibitor resource centers
  • • Participate in games and win prizes

I was very happy with Cisco Live 2010, especially as almost all session PDFs were available before the day of the session.   You just can’t get slides in advance at most virtual conferences.     But not all sessions were available to the free attendees last year.   If that limitation is removed, this is an excellent opportunity. Since free registration to Cisco Live Virtual is available only for 6 months, last year’s content is no longer available as a virtual conference.   But some sessions are available. One of the sessions I downloaded in 2010 was entitled “Highly Available Wide Area Network Design” (session BRKCRS-2042) and it weighed in at 102 slides.  So many of these presentations are both detailed and quite good. There may be a lot of Cisco partners at the solution pavilion, but the collateral will be on-line.  However, attending has other incentives: the lab experience – Cisco Live’s four- and eight-hour labs give direct experience installing and troubleshooting network technologies and practicing network operations in a simulated environment moderated by Cisco experts. Many labs also qualify as preparation for specific Cisco Certifications exams.  But you have to go to be there, and the labs cost $600-1000 each over the cost of the conference. Collaboration User Group at Cisco Live 2011 If you are actually attending Cisco Live in Vegas, here are also special opportunities for Cisco Collaboration User Group members to meet with each other and Cisco executives and get other members-only perks at the conference. Collaboration User Group members get extra benefits at Cisco Live:

  • • Access to a welcome reception following the Collaboration Welcome Session
  • • Exclusive NDA product direction sessions
  • • Preferred access to the Walk-in Self Paced Labs
  • • Preferred seating at the Collaboration Town Hall
  • • Collaboration User Group polo shirt and badge ribbon

To learn more about Cisco Collaboration User Group activities at Cisco Live 2011, go to the usergroups web site. Conference Hotels include the Luxor, the MGM and Mandalay Bay, so the event is at the end of the Strip nearest the airport.   That make leaving easier and taxi fares less.  That must be Cisco taking care of us. Of course, this is an expensive event to attend physically.   We are now in the ‘late’ registration period, with costs raised $100 to $2195  for June 4 -July 8, and an extra $100 the week of the conference.  Airfare and hotel and expenses would easily be another $1000-2000.  So do consider that virtual conference option.   Its good value for no money.

August preview:
– LinuxCon North America 2011 in Vancouver, Canada
– The first NoSQL NOW! event in  San Jose, California
– VMworld 2011 at  the Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

About Howard Dyckoff

Howard Dyckoff is a long term IT professional with primary experience at Fortune 100 and 200 firms. Before his IT career, he worked for Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine and before that used to edit SkyCom, a newsletter for astronomers and rocketeers. He hails from the Republic of Brooklyn [and Polytechnic Institute] and now, after several trips to Himalayan mountain tops, resides in the SF Bay Area with a large book collection and several pet rocks. Howard maintains the Technology-Events blog at from which he contributes the Events listing for Linux Gazette. Visit the blog to preview some of the next month's NewsBytes Events.
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