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back to article Unified networking: Reality or a marketing myth?

We all know that the IT Infrastructure has a life of its own. In the vast majority of organisations the infrastructure evolves over time rather than being designed as a whole. This applie s to all of the underlying components: the servers, the storage and -an area very easy to overlook - the network or networks that tie …

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OK, I'll bite ...

"Should they be combined internally into a single function encompassing the physical network management, application and service monitoring and management"

Yes. I've been doing it this way for decades. It works. If you have IT management with a clue, and traditional management which understands IT management.

"perhaps coupled with some form of variable service charging?"

No. People who need high-end kit are provided it. It's all overhead, from the bog-roll in the loos to free access to the mainframe. Anyone suggesting otherwise is playing political games instead of managing corporate resources.

"Are things best managed internally?"

Absolutely. It's not rocket science, and the risk of allowing an outside provider to manage internal data far outweigh the cost of managing it internally.

"Should some elements be passed onto managed service suppliers or moved to an outsourced network supplier?"

Absolutely not. Daft idea. I'd instantly fire anyone seriously suggesting it, because they are (in my mind, and in their contract) completely clueless about such matters.

"Or is the best approach to leave everything alone until a catastrophic service event forces a rethink?"

If your company is capable of having a "catastrophic service event", I respectfully submit that your IT management+staff are either underfunded, or in need of replacement.

Not that I know anything, mind ...

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Boffin

ah, the good old days.

Back in the '94-95 time frame, to know what was on your network was a real chore. A week or so with a sniffer, and liberal use of nbtstat, telnet, etc. would give you about 95% of a large (2000 device) network. With SecureFast and NT domains, things got easier, because every device on the network showed up in the directory, and if it was on the domain, I could connect to it and see what/whos it was. If it wasnt a member of the domain, bang, jail vlan, phone call to helpdesk, problem solved.

It really boils down to ability and desire. If you hire a network admin who doesnt care about the network, you'll never be certain what's on it, but if you hire an inquisitive zealot, s/he'll be able to answer any question you have about your network.

Speaking as the inqusitve zealot, one downside is that after upsetting too many stupid lusers, I got laid off by one of the aforementioned lusers. The moral of the story is: Don't put a manager's laptop in the Jail VLAN because he refuses to join the domain, he'll just get rid of you.

AC because while he's an idiot, he still knows who I am.

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