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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Networks Are The IT Plumbing

We can best understand how networks (switches and routers) work by comparing them to plumbing. The pipes of plumbing are the links that connect the network infrastructure and equipment like water filters, pipe joints, water heaters, boilers and circulators are the network equipment. End user devices are faucets, showers and toilets.

We can compare users and applications to people that live in houses, which represent enterprise networks. A poorly written application (person), one that is fed bad data (beans and burritos) tries to interface with the network (via the toilet) and literally craps all over it. As applications (people) are planned and added (via births) and haphazardly piloted and allowed to leak into production (sometimes via births and in-laws outstaying their welcome) the network interfaces and pipes become overloaded. You can add a new network interface (toilet) to deal with fault tolerance and high availability; however, unless the pipes are upgraded you may have a problem with your Storage Area Network (SAN), which is represented by your septic system.

Your options here are to move to Network Accessible Storage (NAS) in the form of city sewer for scalability. This of course outsources your and offshores your data (crap) storage requirements.

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