It is that time of year again when Cisco increases output at Minitrue for Cisco Live on home soil. Cisco Live Orlando is around the corner and if you’re not in the USA like myself it is probable you aren’t going. That’s okay though, don’t despair. You can also partake in the hype and the fun online.

Cisco has Ciscolive365 which is a portal and source of a superb amount of information. You can view numerous presentations from many breakouts. PDF and video presentations accompany sessions. You can view from 2011 until 2013. There is a heap of resources and great information to allow any engineer to get the inside scoop on a number of technologies. There are plenty of decks up for this year already. Plenty of great stuff there at the moment. My Devonthink inbox is full with a lot to process around Secure Group tagging, ASA architecture, virtualization, UCS, Nexus and more. The CCIE RS update will be interesting too!

For me Twitter is a superb way of engaging other engineers. A large conversation can become something more and spill into IRC, blogs, or just great discussion. The hashtag #CLUS is the official tag used by Cisco and can be flooded with vendor junk but there is some good stuff in there too. Tom Hollingsworth hosts the CLUS Tweetup he gets together the Twitter verse in real life, shed the mask of the Twitter handle, for some good old face to face. If you are going, get in touch and add your name to the list. I highly recommended this.

What better than to engage peers with what you have discovered on a BRKCRT or streamed session. There is a lot of information exposed to the public at Cisco Live and you need to find what suits you. I have personally planned my focus on Security sessions around ASA, ISE, and Campus designs. After I get through them I will move to Nexus and virtualization. I will produce blogs based around information in these sessions. A free way of learning and giving back. You’re still a part of the action.

Note too that Greg Ferro and Ethan Banks of Packetpushers fame are attending. They are going on behalf of Cisco to record, perform live shows, and get the feel from on the ground. I have had the privilege of metting Greg and all I can say is that he has one cool dude. A fellow Australian and someone who I really look up to, it is people like Greg who help our industry reach new heights. I will meet you one day Ethan, whether you like it or not!

Although I have not been to a Cisco Live (alas), I have managed to garner a truck load of information from the resources posted around and online. Yes, it is hard to see all your networking peers having a great time arguing overlays and SDN, IPV6 and plotting NATs demise but do not despair. You too can join the conversation following #CLUS and online at Cisco Live. Live vicariously like me and get involved.

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