By looking at the sheer amount of Breakouts and technical sessions here at Cisco Live London, it isn’t hard to understand why networks are becoming more and more complex. Networks are converging onto single infrastructures, more and more business processes are becoming more network centric and this translates into more functionality and more dependencies between functions and network layers, and thus more complexity. It becomes very hard for a single human being to understand these dependencies and layer interactions in order to do per-box configuration. Typically this problem is attempted to be ‘solved’ by moving some of these dependencies and layer interactions into a central place, but that just moves the problem. Wouldn’t it be cool to allow networks to become self-aware, such that they can learn from their neighboring nodes ? Read More »
“Boiled frog syndrome” refers to a fable that when you put a frog in hot water, it jumps out. However if you slowly heat up the water the frog is in, the frog will cook.
The number of features and associated CLI for networking equipment has increased gradually over the last 15+ years. Each feature is valuable in its own right, but the weight of all CLIs, all OSs, and all variations of deployment cannot be internalized by any human. The result: the concept of the über-CCIE is cooked.
The question is what displaces the CLI over time? It is argued by “good enough” network vendors that this complexity isn’t necessary. But considering most networking costs are operational costs, this argument can generally be discarded.
More articulate arguments are made by people who want to simplify overall network operations activities versus concentrating upon enhancements to CLI. Businesses don’t want to manage individual boxes; they would love to shed this complexity. Instead they would rather express their operational intents to their network, and let the network itself sort any box specific details.