Prompted by a question from an industry colleague, I started a blog post to describe what I would like a network to be: essentially, network connectivity as a service; and while thinking about it, an analogy came to mind. I think it is quite valid and here it is, as a scene set-up for the follow-up blog post.
Many of today’s networks are like babies – they need constant attention, monitoring, feeding and grooming. We set them up and then poll constantly – have they pooped themselves? are they hungry? tummy cramps? stumbled and fell? poked themselves in the eye with a toy?
What we can not do, is to have a working relationship with our network as if it was a grown-up, where it would offer us a menu of connectivity services, with corresponding service levels attached, via a standardised interface (programmatic, yes), and then set about delivering on these service levels. Naturally, it would monitor itself against the promises made to us, and request necessary external actions, as necessary – add link/CPU/memory capacity, rectify link faults, etc..
And this, coincidentally, is how I would ideally like to have it.
More details in the next post.