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Cisco Live 2014: Where Unicorns and the Internet of Everything Come Together

Going strong with over 25,000 attendees, this year's show is shaping up to be a big tent of IT ideas and innovation.

How do you know if you're at an event worth attending? Easy. When you spot a man in the crowd wearing a unicorn mask.

At this year's Cisco Live, which is being held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, IT workers are gathering to discuss the future of enterprise IT and this year, this group of IT pros apparently includes a unicorn. Known to his loyal Twitter followers as the @NetworkingNerd, network engineer Tom Holingsworth delighted and surprised Cisco Live attendees with his out-there head gear.

This year, there's plenty for Cisco Live attendees to buzz about as the future of IT shifts more toward a software-defined one. Software-defined networking (SDN) has been a hot topic in networking circles for the past year and Cisco is investing in the trend with its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).

In a post on the company's blog, Tom Edsall, a Cisco Fellow and CTO of Insieme Networks, elaborates on the need for ACI in enterprise IT. "The modern data center must be able to deploy applications rapidly, using any and all resources (compute, storage, network) available in the data center at any time. It must also be possible to grow, shrink, and move applications as needed," he said.

Cisco CEO John Chambers sounded the ACI drum as well during his keynote at Cisco Live.

Chambers also wasn't afraid to mingle with the crowd as he gamely posed for pictures and selfies.

Oh, and he also did a little dance to Bobby Brown's hit song "My Preorgative" during his keynote speech.

He's not the only tech CEO to cut a rug at a conference either, as outgoing Citrix CEO Mark Templeton also put on his dancing shoes during his keynote at Citrix Synergy.

The Internet of Everything Keeps Growing

Cisco was one of the first to stake its claim on the Internet of Things. But the company has also tried to take this trend a step further by calling it the Internet of Everything. IoE, as it is often abbreviated, goes beyond connecting things to understanding the connectivity between people, processes, data and things.

One of the industries that could see the biggest benefit from the IoE future is retail. By adding sensors throughout the shopping experience, retailers can become smarter about how they serve and market to their customers.

Of course, preparing your business to truly take advantage of the Internet of Everything will require an assessment and potential investment in your IT infrastructure. Especially since the growth of mobile traffic shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Be sure to check out more BizTech coverage of Cisco Live 2014.

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May 21 2014 Spice IT

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