Cisco Live is always an extraordinary event for the network automation community and those passionate about Cisco DevNet. Attendees had the chance to delve into the latest advancements in Cisco's platforms, a significant learning experience for all levels. CLUS offered an array of sessions covering everything from fundamental programming skill building to advanced GitOps strategies and product solutions.  

Highlights and statistics

There was a flurry of activity around the DevNet area. DevNet hosted sessions across two classrooms and two workshop areas, continuously running 45-minute sessions over the course of the four days.  Furthermore, there was a dedicated center stage for Red Hat training on the Ansible Automation Platform, showcasing everything from Ansible basics to advanced event-driven automation, all around the synergy of Cisco's products and Red Hat's Ansible solution portfolios. Also, it likely demonstrates Cisco's commitment to supporting Ansible long-term.

A few key stats about the DevNet session:

  • 40% - dedicated to basic programming / GitOps
  • 15% - focused on security
  • 10% - centered on observability

DevNet had quite an emphasis on programmability basics as well as some strategies on how to get started with network automation.  Seems that Cisco is working hard on engineer enablement and assisting engineers in ways to get started on their automation journey.  And, as you would likely expect, there was a good spread of AI in the sessions – about 30% of the DevNet sessions covered this in some form or another. About 50% of the breakout sessions incorporated some use of Ansible and Terraform, likely reflecting their critical role in today's network automation landscape.

One of the standout sessions that I attended was hosted by Cisco U. For something as basic as a source of truth, the room was packed with network engineers eager to learn about automating their Netbox platform.  There were actually five DevNet sessions covering Netbox and its capabilities to enable network automation.  It probably goes to show that Cisco has aligned well with its audience in focusing on the fundamentals. The journey starts with knowing what you own!  Inventory, inventory, inventory! 

Notable DevNet announcements

Here are some of the key announcements that should capture some attention:

  1. Updated Ansible Collection for VXLAN EVPN Fabrics: Cisco introduced a new Ansible collection less than a month ago aimed at streamlining the management of VXLAN EVPN fabrics. This updated collection promises to simplify and enhance the efficiency of network automation tasks and has some vast improvements in the new DCNM v3.5.0 collection release.
    1. New Ansible NDFC modules introduced:
      1. dcnm_image_upgrade - Module for managing image upgrade
      2. dcnm_image_upload - Module for managing image upload
      3. dcnm_image_policy - Module for managing image policy
      4. dcnm_vpc_pair - Module for managing vPC switch pairs
      5. dcnm_fabric - Module for managing fabrics
    2. DEVWKS-3928 showcases some of the NDFC updates
    3. Link to the updated collection:
  2. Cisco Catalyst SDWAN SDK: A major highlight was the launch of the new Cisco Catalyst SDWAN SDK. This toolkit allows users to install, run, and develop Python code to automate the configuration and management of SDWAN fabrics, expanding the horizons of network automation. Some preconfigured workflows are already included to help with tenant migrations. Coming soon will be template migrations UX1.0 to UX2.0 and vEdge to cEdge migrations. These will be a big help, for sure. The official release is targeted for this coming August.
    1. Link:
  3. Cisco Metrics Search Engine (CMSE): Another notable announcement was the introduction of the Cisco Metrics Search Engine (CMSE). This DevNet solution offers a comprehensive resource for accessing telemetry, metrics, and instrumentation across Cisco products.  This should really ease the burden of finding metrics and telemetry details within Cisco products.  It also provides code hints on how to use the identified telemetry in a practical manner.
    1. Link


Definitely an engaging experience for the network automation community, filled with insightful sessions, hands-on workshops, and some new announcements. Looking ahead, there are whispers about Cisco developing a groundbreaking platform to further aid organizations in their automation efforts. While details remain under wraps, it's an exciting development that promises to bring even more innovative solutions to the network automation landscape. Stay tuned for more updates on this front.