The difference between Network and Server Engineers – pictorial

I have been planning cloud computing systems recently, and had many long discussions with different teams. I have prepared the following diagram to show the perceptual difference between how each team perceives the data centre.

Networking Team

The Networking Team tends to see the network as a large collection of discrete, separate functional elements that each have a function that contributes to the operational whole. They tend to see the network elements as powerful, vital equipment that requires careful design and careful planning. A standard diagram for a medium sized data centre might look something like this:


Server Team

The Server Team is focussed on the Operating Systems and the platforms that run on them. Each system is discrete, and getting two server admins to agree on the same approach can be an arduous task. The see the servers a key to success, and a standard diagram fro the data centre might look something like this:


Further Work

This exposition of the business perception is not complete, and further consultation should be carried out to determine the view of other business units. I am preparing a suitable proposal for a Gap Analysis to assist in offering a view on this work.

Postscript – Hi-Res Images

This post has been very popular and a number of people have asked for higher resolution images – please click on the thumbnails below for larger and better resolution images.

I have some ideas on some followups, come back and check real soon.


The Difference Between Network and Server Managers

Other Posts in A Series On The Same Topic

  1. The difference between Network Managers and Server Managers - pictorial (3rd October 2008)
  2. The difference between Network and Server Engineers - pictorial (18th September 2008)
About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

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