2 posts • joined Thursday 28th February 2013 16:58 GMT
"Endangered species" is too strong
I do think that we will see more devops type roles. But I don't know that it spells doom for all network engineers. I think of this shift a lot like the ERP shift. Sure, you have people who architect across silos, but you still require people with specific systems expertise, particularly when things go wrong. The higher-level architectural type tasks will elevate above specialists, but at the end of the day, you still need someone who knows how this stuff works.
If people essentially let go of all of their specialists, they run the risk of not having them when they need them. You don't need someone who knows how your carburetor works... until you do. If you can afford to take your network to the mechanic shop and wait, then that's fine. If not, then you need to have someone who can cover deeply technical issues as needed.
Promise of SDN depends on abstractions
[full disclosure: I work at a startup in the SDN space, and previously drove SDN strategy at Juniper]
The discussion of SDN as more than a means of automating provisioning is spot on. If all we get out of SDN is a better managed system, we have aimed too low as an industry.
That said, I thought it odd to talk about OpenFlow. For any of the really cool application-network interaction to happen, we need to settle first on some of the higher-level abstractions. The underlying protocols are perhaps the least interesting thing to settle on.
I would rather see discussions about how to describe workloads, what properties need to be preserved for those workloads, and how we manipulate work loads. I think that those in the OpenFlow camp might prove to be right in picking an underlying protocol, but they will have failed to deliver anything exceptional because they missed the forest for the tree.
Mike Bushong (@mbushong)
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