There was a day when network equipment vendors would sell you a solid product that you could combine with human networking skill to create highly reliable networks. You paid a fair price for those products, your network clients benefited from your skills and the investment in good components, and when the occasional problem popped up things were fairly easily solved.
There was also a day when postage stamps cost five cents and it was OK to smoke out by the dumpster.
Things are changing. It might feel a little weird, but you have to embrace the new spirit of innovation. Rather than building solid networks on good hardware that actually work so well that you don’t need magic to solve problems, why not shake it up a bit? Wouldn’t it be better to deploy occasionally erratic hardware, play Code Roulette frequently, and then pay a shite-ton o’ dough to let AI and machine learning identify the problems that never should have been there to begin with?
It all makes sense provided that you don’t think about it: you can actually replace your engineering staff with programmers. Rather than build high-reliability networks and fix the corporate cultures that let defective products out the door and into production networks, Innovation is stitching together a slew of components that each have their own problems to begin with and then letting mystical, intuitive, highly licensed and expensive data scientific forces show you alerts for problems that could have been avoided to begin with back in the day with a little quality control. It’s a glorious era, but it may be a little hard to wrap your head around.
To help you find your footing in a changing world, I’ve asked my best (meaning least intoxicated) graphic artists to gen up a simple infographic that captures the essence of contemporary innovation in the enterprise network setting. Hopefully this simple analysis flow helps your learning curve as we all go down this road together.