Network ZEN: The Same Problem can Seem Different

The Mendicant was pondering the flow, and considering his options. In fact, there was more than one way to modify the network and thus improve the flow. Indeed, he struggled mightily to select the correct path and meditated deeply.

At last, with a resigned sigh, he approached the Master and said: “Master, I have given much time to considering the answer to my problem, but it seems that no answer is correct”.

The Master asked some questions and probed the Mendicant about his thinking.

The Master said: “I’m minded to tell you a story”:

Once upon a time, the Network Manager, Network Architect, and Network Engineer were travelling through the hills when they saw a black goat in the distance. tweet

“Aha,” says the Network Manager, “I see that goats are black.” tweet

“Hmm,” says the Network Architect, “You mean that at least some goats are black and that there are some goats here that are black.” tweet

“No,” says the Network Operations Engineer, “What we know is that there is one goat, and that at least one side is black” tweet

“You see” said the Master, “Sometimes the problem depends on your perspective, and so does the solution.”

And the Mendicant was enlightened.

Other Posts in A Series On The Same Topic

  1. Network ZEN: Do Not Tell Me About Yesterday, Tell Me About Tomorrow (9th June 2013)
  2. Network ZEN: The Same Problem can Seem Different (25th July 2011)
  3. Network ZEN - Frames or Packet (11th February 2011)
  4. Network Zen - The Flow may only be seen when it is not present. (7th February 2011)
  5. Network Zen - Standardisation and Failure (18th November 2010)
  6. Network Zen - Standardisation (17th November 2010)
  7. Network ZEN - Storage traffic isn't so Important (20th October 2010)
  8. Network ZEN: A Switch (20th April 2010)
  9. Network ZEN: OSPF or EIGRP (25th March 2010)
  10. Network ZEN: Management or Monitoring (20th January 2010)
  11. Network ZEN: Stackable or Chassis Switches (3rd August 2009)
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.

  • Rick

    and the developer hard coded the black goat into the application so it will only work with black goats in the future.

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