Viva Las Vegas! NetBox Labs at Cisco Live US 2024

The NetBox Labs team headed to sunny Las Vegas for the latest Cisco Live event held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from June 2 through June 6. As usual this event did not disappoint and the whole team had a blast. Read on to find out what we got up to….

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

NetBox Labs team members travelled in from all over the US, and I was lucky enough to fly in on the inaugural Virgin Atlantic flight direct from Manchester, UK. This was our team for the event:

Down at the Booth

Our booth, located in the World of Solutions was our base, and throughout the week we had a constant flow of visitors looking to talk all things NetBox with us! It was truly a fantastic experience being able to talk to so many folks running all kinds of networks that rely on NetBox as their Network Source of Truth (NSoT).

One of the hottest topics at the booth was the newly launched NetBox Cloud Free Plan. We’ve now eliminated the barriers to Network Automation with production grade NetBox Cloud for free that includes generous features and usage, meaning that getting started with NetBox is now even easier than ever.

Other topics of huge interest for the audience of folks running big, mission critical networks were NetBox Enterprise, which is self-managed NetBox with expert support and enterprise features, and the new Service Now CMDB and Workflow integrations for NetBox.

Of the NetBox Labs swag on offer, the ‘NetBox Hero’ T-Shirts proved to be incredibly popular, with our entire stock getting snapped up in very short order. If you visited the booth we hope you managed to secure yours!

Big Announcements – Better Together

We made a couple of major announcements during the week too, both of which were related to partnerships. The first one centered around NetBox and Ansible, and the fact that NetBox Labs and Red Hat are collaborating to support and certify the hugely popular NetBox Ansible Content Collection, which represents a significant addition to our rapidly expanding array of technology alliances.

I had the pleasure of presenting jointly with Dafné Mendoza – Principal Product Manager, Network Automation at Red Hat, firstly at the the Red Hat booth mini theater on the Monday and then Nate Patwardhan did another joint session on our booth on Wednesday. We talked about the newly certified collection and demonstrated its power and simplicity in action. We will be hosting a webinar on the collection on August 13 for those interested in learning more.

The other major announcement that we made during the week was the launch of Project Bundles for Partners. Available for all NetBox Cloud and NetBox Enterprise plans, these bundles make it easy for expert partners to deploy and manage NetBox on a project basis, get access to advanced features to accelerate projects, and leverage the expertise and support of NetBox Labs to maximize success. You can read more here.

NetBox Everywhere!

One thing you quickly realize when you visit Cisco Live is how popular NetBox is – it was literally everywhere, and featured prominently in some of the most popular sessions throughout the week. Let’s take a look at some in a little detail…

The inimitable Palmer Sample (Developer Advocate, Cisco Training Bootcamps) kicked things of at the start of the week (literally 8AM on the Monday!) with a fantastic session entitled Hands-free automation! 4 steps to build an event-driven automation workflow – BRKDEV-2197. This was an awesome session that showed how to leverage NetBox as part of your change management workflows for your network infrastructure. As usual Palmer had the packed room on the edge of their seats for the entire session!

Next up on the Monday afternoon, we had Automate Network Operations in NetBox with Python – CISCOU-1034 presented by Akhila Pamukuntla (Software Engineer, Cisco). This Cisco U. Theater session gave a superb overview of how to automate network management tasks in NetBox by integrating NetBox’s API with Python scripts to make your network tasks faster, smarter, and more reliable. The code examples were super clear and well written, and this was one my personal favourite sessions!

On Tuesday I was due to give a talk in the Cisco U. Theater called Integrating NetBox and Ansible with Catalyst Center and Meraki as part of a modern Network Automation Architecture – CISCOU-2039, but I was unexpectedly called away, and the amazing Palmer Sample stepped in at the last minute to deliver the talk and demo for me – what can I say other than Palmer is a true NetBox Hero! Daf Mendoza from Red Hat also joined Palmer to talk about the newly certified NetBox Collection for Ansible, so it was truly a team effort.

You can view a recording of the live session on the Cisco U. YouTube channel here.

Tuesday had breakout session by Utkarsh Maher (Solutions Architect, Cisco) titled NetBox as a Source of Truth in Your SD-Access and SD-WAN Journey – BRKXAR-2025. Utkarsh took us on a deep dive into NetBox’s robust automation capabilities and focused on features such as custom scripts, REST APIs, and webhooks. He explored how to use NetBox as part of a simple yet effective CI/CD pipeline, orchestrating the planning and staging of expansive network sites. This session was a real hit and triggered a lot of discussion afterwards.

Wednesday featured no less than three sessions in which Netbox was the star of the show. Steven Carter (Principal Architect, Cisco) led another great session called Model-Driven DevOps – The Enterprise Automation Framework You’ve Been Looking For! – DEVNET-2273 in which Netbox was utilized as the Network Source of Truth in an enterprise automation framework that applied the DevOps model to network infrastructure.

Next up, Steven Carter was joined by Jason King (Systems Architect, Cisco) in a session titled Unleash the Power of DevOps in Networking: A Hands-On Exploration – LTROPS-3518. This was an in-depth lab session that guided you through the intricacies of the model-driven DevOps framework, showcasing practical applications of Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO), Cisco Modeling Labs (CML), NetBox, and Ansible.

Then before CLUS attendees rocked the night away with Elton John at the event closing party, Jason Davis (Distinguished Engineer, Cisco) wrapped things up with a DevNet session called Using NetBox to Manage a Cisco Network Inventory – DEVNET-2141. This session provided practical tips on network discovery, extracting/transforming/exporting data from management tools and controllers into NetBox, as well as integrating NetBox and Cisco APIs.

If you weren’t able to visit Cisco Live in person then be sure to check out the Cisco Live On-Demand Library where you can find sessions featuring NetBox from Las Vegas and as well as from previous events.

Wrapping Up

Wow! What a week. The team at NetBox Labs had an awesome time, and it was such a pleasure for us all to engage with so many prospects, customers and partners during the event. It was also great to be able to announce new products and partnerships, as well as team up with some true NetBox Hero’s along the way. We are already looking forward to the next Cisco Live, and we hope to see you there.

Missed the chance to meet up with our team? Reach out any time.

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