Cisco Live! begins in just a few days. In fact, even as you read this, my colleague, Cara Prystowski, is winging her way northwest from Austin to begin the process of setting up our brand new booth. (While I can't share pictures with you yet, trust me, it is a thing of wonder and beauty and I can't wait to see people's faces when they lay eyes on it for the first time.) Following close behind her is Head Geek™ Patrick Hubbard (, to make sure that the 16 demo systems are all up and running so that we can show the latest and greatest that SolarWinds has to offer.


But Cisco Live (or #CLUS, as it's known on social media) is about more than a bunch of vendors hawking their wares on the trade show floor. Here's what I'll be looking forward to:


First and foremost, YOU!! If you are coming to #CLUS, please stop by booth 1419 and say hello. We'll all be there, and the best part of each day is meeting people who share our passion for all things monitoring (regardless of which tools you use.).


For me, personally, that also means connecting with my fellow Ohio-based networking nerds. We even have our own hashtag: #CLUSOH, and I expect to tirelessly track them down like the Pink Panther detective namesake.


#CLUS also is the first time we can introduce a familiar face with a new role. Destiny Bertucci ( is a veteran at SolarWinds (she's employee #13), a veteran of our convention circuit, and our newest Head Geek!! Destiny is uniquely and eminently qualified to be part of the Head Geek team, and all of SolarWinds is excited to see what comes from this next chapter in her career.


So with 3 Head Geeks, not to mention the rest of our amazing staff in-booth (all technical, not a salesperson in sight!!) I am excited to tell our story, and share all the amazing new features in NPM 12, not to mention NCM, NTA, SRM, and the rest of the lineup.


As mentioned earlier, our new booth is amazing. It features multiple demo stations, two video walls, and a vivid LED-infused design that underscores the SolarWinds style and focus. For those of us in the booth, it's functional and comfortable. For folks visiting us, it's eye-catching and distinctive.


Along with the new design comes new buttons, stickers, and convention swag. This includes SolarWinds branded socks. YES, SOCKS!! There is an underground #SocksOfCLUS conversation on Twitter, and I am proud to say we will be representing with the best of them. Meanwhile, the buttons and stickers that have become a sought-after collectible at these shows feature all new messages.


Any convention would be a waste of time if one didn't hit at least a few talks, seminars, and keynotes. While much of my time is committed to being in the booth, I'm looking forward to attending "Architecture of Network Management Tools,” and "Enterprise IPv6 Deployment,” among other sessions.


Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the SolarWinds session! Patrick and I will be presenting "Hybrid IT: The Technology Nobody Asked For" on Tuesday at 4:30pm in the Think Tank. The response so far has been fantastic, but there is still room available. We hope you will join us if you are in the neighborhood.


Despite our heavy commitment to the booth and our personal growth, all three of the Head Geeks will be carving out time to stop by Lauren Friedman's section of the Cisco© area to film some segments for Engineers Unplugged. Because whiteboards and unicorns!


Finally, and I almost hate to mentio this because it's already sold out, so it's kind of a tease (but I will anyway): we're hosting our first convention-based (mini) SolarWInds User Group (SWUG) down at the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef. As always, SWUGS are a great way for us to meet our most passionate customers, but more than that, it's a way for customers within a particular area to meet each other and share ideas, brainstorm problems, and build community beyond the electronic boundaries of THWACK.


Obviously, there will be more, including social media scavenger hunts and Kilted Monday. But this should give you a sense of the range and scale of the Cisco Live experience. If you can't make it this year, I suggest you start saving and/or pestering your managers to help you make it out next time.


You know that we'll be there waiting to see you!