Simplify and Standardize Mantra Encounters Actuality « ipSpace.web weblog


I’m normally telling networking engineers significantly contemplating whether or not to automate their networks to cleanup their design and simplify the community companies first.

The one affordable means ahead is to simplify your processes – eliminate all nook circumstances, all particular offers which can be most likely costing you greater than you earned on them, all one-off kludges to help badly-designed purposes – and when you get that carried out, you would possibly understand you don’t want a magic platform anymore, as a result of you may run your less complicated community utilizing conventional instruments.

Whereas seasoned automation practitioners agree with me, lots of enterprise engineers face a distinct actuality. Straight from a supply that wished to stay nameless…


I’ve discovered that standardization efforts ebb and circulation over time.

Chances are you’ll, for instance, get your community infrastructure setup and dealing simply the way in which you need it, however then have to enhance it due to some oddball requirement or inevitable evolution over time. We constructed a big information middle years in the past with Cisco Nexus 7ks VDCs working Fabricpath. The preliminary design and implementations had been very clear, normal and customarily straightforward to construct, help (aside from the code bugs – sigh) and automate. However over time, we needed to improve supervisors and line playing cards to help greater bandwidth and TCAM calls for, place material extenders in uncommon areas, offload backup visitors from database clusters, start supporting IP storage and fasten vendor supplied switches that come pre-installed of their OEM racks.

Additionally, ever-present finances constraints compelled our group into sub-optimal technical options. For instance, we didn’t have finances to improve our complete fleet of F2 line playing cards to F3s, so we needed to section the upgrades over 2 or 3 finances years. So the preliminary design that was extremely standardized with constant structured cable plant grew to become much less so over time, making buildouts, code upgrades and automation efforts more difficult.

Ruthless standardization introduces efficiencies and limitations. In case your normal answer can’t account for one-offs, you (or your prospects) find yourself constructing a parallel infrastructure (or shadow IT) to cope with them or lacking out on enterprise alternatives.

Successfully, there aren’t any free lunches. What we do is advanced. The applied sciences change constantly. Oversimplifying it simply supplies non-technical of us even much less appreciation for what we do.

Sorry if this appears like whining. It’s not my intent. I completely love designing, constructing, working and troubleshooting networks. I nonetheless discover there isn’t a substitute for a sturdy monitoring regime, deep technical experience, sturdy IT administration processes and resilient design.


Fortuitously, there’s a means ahead even when confronted with grim actuality; I described some concepts within the Automate the Exceptions weblog publish years in the past, and I keep in mind David Barroso having real-life examples in one in all his webinars, however I can’t discover them 🙁



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