Ethan Banks On productivity.

Cisco Live US 2013 – Looking Back


The question I’ve been asked more than any other about CLUS 2013 is, “Did you have fun?” Indeed, CLUS was a fun event. At the same time, I was there to work for the podcast. I didn’t go just for the parties and get togethers. So there’s a balance there. I couldn’t go crazy staying up all night, as something was usually scheduled for me at 8am the following morning. I had to be all grown-up and stuff. ;-)

A few more random thoughts about the event, now that I’ve had a little time to reflect.

  1. CLUS is quite organized. Cisco knows what they are doing with this event. The opportunities for Cisco to connect with customers, customers to connect to each other, and Cisco frenemies to show off their wares demonstrates the execution of a well-oiled machine.
  2. The sessions were, by all accounts, excellent. Due to being double-booked for almost the entire week, I was only able to get to one session myself (on advanced LISP + use cases), but it was stellar. My favorite question to ask folks when I met them was, “Did you attend any good sessions?” Every single person went immediately into details of something from the sessions that stuck with them. That’s an endorsement.
  3. Orlando is hot & humid in mid-summer. That made for nasty sweating getting to and from the convention center. That’s not really a knock on CLUS – the venue is what it is – but it’s something to be aware of. If you sweat a lot, bring more clothes than you think you’ll need.
  4. There were only two logistical fails I know about. One was buses to and from event. Horrible fail here. Took a very long time to get ferried to the CCIE party event, as well as to the customer appreciation event. No one likes queueing for hours in the heat. It wasn’t hawt. It was just hot…and sweaty. And sorta smelled like a locker room as the week wore on. Eww. The other fail was something to do with DHCPv6 I think, which was resolved quite early on. I didn’t catch the details, but there were some snarky tweets about it, IIRC.
  5. The podcast as well as I under my own brand recorded a ton of content at CLUS. The podcasts will be coming out over the next two weeks or so. Stay tuned to @packetpushers or RSS via for that info. Under my own brand, I did a video recording with the Cisco Learning Network that was roughly, “How being Cisco certified has changed my life.” I think that’s how they’re going to package it, anyway. That was a fun recording, caught on Thursday morning. I know CLN recorded with a bunch of other folks – rumor from the guy coordinating the shoots was that some sort of TV commercial might come out of all the different recordings. They had everyone look into the camera at the end and say, “I am Ethan Banks (whatever their name was), and I’m Cisco certified.” Interested to see what all comes out of it. I asked him, “You mean like…TV, TV?” He confirmed. We’ll see about that – Cisco certification ads on national TV? Seems like an interesting move if that happens. I just don’t see it. Too niche-y for prime time!
  6. I brought too much extra recording stuff. I’d packed a number of extra cables and microphones, but didn’t use any of it. While it’s important to have a backup in case of technical failure, there was no point in several of the items I brought. They just added weight and bulk I could have lived without. I’ll do better next time.
  7. I love USB3. I bought a 2TB USB3 external drive for my rMBP 13″ to have at CLUS. The speed is exceptional. I haven’t done exact timings, but I know that 6-channel multitrack GarageBand recording that were 1.5GB in size took seconds to copy over to the external drive. Absolutely awesome. Made sharing content between Greg and me much easier.
  8. In person, it turns out that Amy Lewis does not smell like bacon. I can’t begin to express my disappointment. OTOH, she loves musk sticks.
  9. Speaking of fellow unicorn riders, Cisco did a *great* job with the social media hub, especially when compared to last year. 2013 did not suck for the socially-engaged. Well done, Cisco with the centralized area, plush carpet, stack of tweet monitors, plentiful chairs, couches, and tables.

    Photo by @chriswahl
    Photo by @chriswahl
    Photo by @chriswahl.
    Photo by @chriswahl.


  10. There’s comedy around every corner when you deal with marketing folks. Love, love, love the #gamechanger campaign, because (1) IT ain’t a game and (2) nothing’s changed. ;-) But we’ll let it go. Mostly.
  11. Journey (the band). Dead or alive? Turns out alive. Who knew? I guess the CLUS organizers did, because Journey played their aging hearts out at the customer appreciation event. The iPhone doesn’t take great pictures in that sort of lighting (sorry), but you get the idea. Stage. Screens. Lights. Noise.

Enough reminiscing for now. I’ll be cranking up the audio editing engine soon to get some podcasts produced. Ferro is way ahead of me.


By Ethan Banks
Ethan Banks On productivity.

You probably know Ethan Banks because he writes & podcasts about IT. For example, he co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

This site is Ethan on productivity--not tech so much.

Find out more on his about page.