We recently caught up with Keith Barker, CTO at Flint, after returning from the 2019 Cisco Live event.
The Cisco Live event is an annual trade show run by Cisco in Barcelona for its European partners, distributors, and customers. It allows the business community around Cisco to gain up-to-date knowledge and support, helping to disseminate a full understanding of Cisco’s strategic direction.
Keith said, “The event showed Cisco’s dominance in the enterprise space, but notwithstanding the emphasis placed by Cisco on 5G and 5G security, and the Internet of Things (IOT) shows the significance that Cisco places to this industry.
“As with other industry actors, the importance of cloud and cloud-based architecture was predominant with a big play on ‘Digital Network Architecture’ (DNA), ACI and NFV. All is controlled by centralised management tools such as the DNA centre and NSO (Network Services Orchestrator), providing automation for secure, adaptive networks.
“Where Cisco may be able to make a very significant difference, relative to more mature industry players, is their ‘DevNet’ theme, where Cisco has the user base and skills to truly develop a large community of developers to write tools and apps.
“I had the opportunity to look under the lid of Cisco’s NVFI product, the Ultra Platform, which is based on their UCS servers and Nexus switching products. With Cisco engineers, we discussed the benefits of the Cisco developed VIM, versus those from OpenStack distributors like Red Hat and Canonical.
“The sweet spot for Cisco, is keeping the energy and enthusiasm of an open-source environment yet with tighter quality control and processes to facilitate use and management in an operator.
“Another good innovation is that Cisco’s NSO is able to support a multi-vendor network. This will enable true end-to-end deployment in an operator.
“In summary, I left Cisco Live with the belief that Cisco continues to invest strongly in the mobility space. Furthermore, its solutions have been developed in the knowledge that most operators have wide technology legacies that also need to be managed, in parallel with the new infrastructure, so they are real world solutions.”