Thursday was the second day of ITEXPO and our second survey question, “What causes the most chaos in your network?” The second part of the question was: "Is the problem addressed inside or outsourced to a trusted advisor?" Sometimes the discussion never got to the second part of the question, but we had some energetic discussions since everyone has a story! At an independent business IT conference such as ITEXPO, the audience mix is always very interesting as the views of each individual are so unique.
The most surprising response came from a consultant who is looking for new gigs (i.e. customers) who felt that the answer to the question is “customers, because they don’t know what they are talking about and are clueless with regards to new technology!” How ironic! In his case, customers who contract with him do so to outsource the problem resolution because they don’t have the skills or experience to fix the chaos! Sounds like the right thing to do and a good business decision.
Overall, survey respondants viewed networking chaos from the following angles:
- Understanding of new and emerging technology
- Implementation of human led, manual networking solutions:
- Configuration (or should I say misconfiguration)
- Cable/fiber termination (difficult to do)
- Installation (always a challenge)
- Data network and data center management
- Disparate network management platforms
- Integration of software applications
- Lack of visibility to network outages and connection problems
- Bandwidth challenges
- Engineered and operational networks
- CTOs and engineers using the network as a sandbox that affects performance and operations
- One of our booth visitors managed the NFL video streams which was quite interesting given that our New England Patriots (Fiber Mountain is located in Connecticut) just set so many records in Super Bowl LI. He discussed bandwidth growth and network stress
- Moving target that is a constant challenge to maintain up-to-date versions of software
- Manage against DDOS attacks which seems to be escalating
In discussions, our visitors are looking for simpler networks, easier to use tools, network automation and the ability to see more details of all network nodes and connections. There is no doubt that there are many more sources of network chaos, but this was a nice cross-section.
We thank everyone who took the time to participate in our survey. We asked a new question today, and I will write a post next week to share what we learned and to announce the winner of the Amazon gift card, which will be randomly selected from all survey participants.