My week at Cisco Live! 2020 - Aaron Binnersley

by Niall Cafferkey

Held in Barcelona, last month’s Cisco Live! was another huge success in the Cisco Calendar, with over 20,000 delegates made up of Cisco partners, clients and business professionals in attendance.

The event is designed to help partners and clients of Cisco understand the full scope of opportunities available to them, show off the latest technologies to make that happen and discuss Cisco’s key focus point for the coming year.

As a Cisco Premier Partner, Forfusion was represented at the event by Network Engineer Aaron Binnersley and Cisco Technical Consultant Craig Hagger. Below is Aaron’s recap of their four days there, including travel, sightseeing, itinerary and the most interesting topics that emerged.


Monday – Travelling, Touring and Tapas!

I flew out to Barcelona on the Monday, arriving around late afternoon to gorgeous sunshine, quite a world away from the gloomy January weather back home.

Once there, it was a case of trying the city’s metro system to get to Fira, which is where the event was held, to collect my event pass and meet Craig. Our hotel was lovely, right next to the swanky Las Ramblas, and we decided to eat there. As the old saying goes, when in Rome (or Barcelona in this case!), we had to sample some of the local tapas.

Then it was an early night in preparation for Cisco Live! to officially begin the next morning.


Tuesday – Coffee, Keynotes and a World of Solutions.

The day started with breakfast at our hotel then a quick trip over to the venue. First stop were the Keynote sessions. The area for this was incredible, a giant hall with huge screens everywhere and space for at least 1,000 people. There were drummers on stage warming the crowd up before the session began. That was really cool.

David Goeckeler (General Manager of Cisco’s Networking and Security Business) presented the first keynote, highlighting the new innovations Cisco were delivering around the world, such as the new multi domain architecture.

Once this had finished, we then headed over to the ‘World of Solutions’. I’d heard quite a bit about this place and was intrigued by what we would find. It didn’t disappoint.

Not only were there over 100 exhibitors displaying their products and solutions, but the area itself was something else, it even had a walk-in rain fall with images and sound projected onto umbrellas. I also turned my hand at ‘Capture the Flag’, where you had the chance to design and implement the Software Defined Campus, WAN Networks and Cisco Meraki. Very cool stuff!


Wednesday– DevNet and DNA Centre

This day was dominated by a lot of break out sessions, where you could join in and listen to something of interest. I focused on the sessions that would particularly help me in my day-today role at Forfusion, especially those involving Cisco DNA Centre.

In one session, experienced Cisco System Engineers showed us how to effectively use Cisco DNA centre in rapidly deploying SD Access and Migrating Legacy architecture to SD Access.

There was also a zone called the ‘DevNet Zone’, where we heard all about Cisco’s new DevNet certifications that are launching this month. These certifications allow engineers to learn new skills such as programming, application development, DevOps and automation.


Thursday 30th January – Exploring and partying!

Our final day was mainly spent exploring beautiful Barcelona and the Marina, I think we ended up walking about 6 miles! It was then time to get back to the hotel to put our dancing shoes on for the final night party. Those early flights the next day might not have been the best idea!

Overall, I had a wonderful week and learnt loads of new things and I think the Cisco DNA Centre developments will help us bring on new clients with legacy networks. Automation is the way ahead!

From a personal perspective, I’ve now been with Forfusion for six months and I love working with the technical service and project delivery for our new and existing clients. My future aspirations include a plan to pursue the new CCNP track, one of the new Certifications released by Cisco. I hope this will hold me in good stead to one day become a Senior Engineer at Forfusion!


To discover more about our Cisco partnership and projects, visit our Partner page.




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