Network ZEN: The Most Important Technology in the Infrastructure

The Network Zen Master was meditating over his network, at oneness with the Flow when the Student came to with an unhappy look on his face. The Master waited patiently for the Student to speak what was on his mind.

The Student mustered his courage and said ìMaster, the other Students are mocking the Network and boasting that theirís is the most important technologyî.

The Network Zen Master waited for the question.

The Student asked ìWhich is the most important piece of the IT Infrastructure ?î

ìAhhhî said the Network Zen Master, ìonce againî. He took a deep breath and told this parable to the Student:

ìOnce upon a time, the Masters gathered to review The IT Strategy. During the Budgeting Process all of the Masters cried that their technology was most the most important and needed all the Budget to continue their work. The Development Master cried that without his developers there would be no new applications. The Server Master declared that the Server Farm urgently needed upgrades and that Applications would not happen without new Servers. The Desktop Master clamoured for new tools to keep his Users safe. The Storage Master expostulated that more and faster storage was needed to host all the new data and that much Budget was needed to upgrade to new systems.

And so it went on. Each Master in turn exclaiming that their specialty was the most important needed the most budget.

Until the Network Master spoke and requested the necessary funding to meet the new requirements.

All the other Masters laughed and disparaged the Network Master. The Network was fine they said, and needed nothing. For did it not work well enough now ? And was it not a simple thing, with little impact on the IT Infrastructure.î

The Student was horrified and spoke ìMaster, this is terrible. How can they not know the vital importance of the network ?î

The Master said, ìIndeed. My Master returned to his network and did his best with what he had. But the upgrades to the servers, and the new applications and the new tools all put new demands on the network. And the flow was damaged and finally stopped. There was an Outage.

In the Root Cause Analysis service the Masters gathered to determine the fault and Network Master spoke first. He said:

ìI told you so.î

The Masters were chastened and agreed that the Network is the most important and fundamental part of the Strategy. For without the Network there are no applications, the servers have no purpose, desktops have nothing to do, and storage has nothing to store.

And the Student was enlightened.

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.

  • Ivan Pepelnjak

    The first part is so very true … the conclusion a wishful thinking …

    Sadly … we forgot to say NO WAY too many times.

  • Randy


  • cron2

    Made my day :-)

  • Ethan Banks

    The network doesn’t matter until it isn’t there and productivity ceases to be.

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