Even as the network evolves, the first fundamental truth of networking still holds true


Trends like BYOD and unified communications are putting more pressure on the network, but in the end, the network administrator's job remains much the same. And like Ross Callon, then of Bay Networks, noted in a memo back in 1996, the first fundamental truth of networking is it simply has to work.

Even as more technologies come online and IT professionals are bombarded with new and upcoming technologies that will impact their systems, the network is still the foundation of IT, said Leon Adato, the network management head geek at SolarWinds, in an interview with FierceEnterpriseCommunications.

Adato is a big fan of Callon's memo.

"All of your fancy technology, all your exciting tricks and workarounds and routing statements, that's nice, but if your network doesn't work, you're hosed," he said.

There are several technologies being discussed – and even deployed – that will have an impact on the enterprise network for years to come. Many of them, like software-defined networking, simply aren't "baked" yet. They may have an impact in time, but not today – and not next week, Adato said.

"We're talking about some really high falutin' stuff, like Internet of Things, SDN or IPv6 or hyperconvergence, and it's not technology for technology's stake. But it's overstated in telling people that you can't do technology for technology's stake. But I think we get caught up in confusing complexity with elegance," Adato said.

In the end, the reality of the IT world is what is better is what works. The network administrator's job remains the same. Keep the network up and running so others can do their jobs.

Callon's memo, "The Twelve Networking Truths," still holds true after 20 years.

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