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Web 2.0 & Death of the Network Engineer

I was recently meeting with a Web 2.0 company discussing their network infrastructure plans. As I started asking questions about their racks of servers, their storage area network (SAN), their plans for routing, load-balancing and network security, the CTO of the company stopped me and made a bold statement.

He said, “The Internet is like electricity. We plug into it and all of the things that you mention are already there for us. We don’t spend any time at all on network or server infrastructure plans.”

To this CTO, knowing the details of his network and server infrastructure was like knowing the details of the local utility electricity grid – not required. Is this a bad thing, or proof that networking technologies have succeeded?

I guess I am old school, but I recall in the not-so-distant past that every startup needed a plan for their network and server infrastructure and even knew the details of their service providers network – are they using OSPF and BGP? What is the latency across the local peering point? Who are their upstream network peers? How are their firewalls and load-balancers configured? What blocks of IP addresses have I been assigned and how are they routed?

Some companies, like InterNAP and Level 3, have businesses that emphasize their network optimization and network architectures. I don’t know of any electricity optimization companies and I don’t have any idea of the architectures they have built.

My roots are in network engineering and I have spent a good part of my career building network devices and global IP-based networks and services. I’ve spent years studying routing protocols, quality of service algorithms, security mechanisms to prevent DDoS attacks and have every field of the IPv4 packet header memorized.

When the CTO of a Web 2.0 company does not know how a router or switch works (or even what layer of the OSI model they even operate on), I tend to cringe a bit.

I guess I’m reluctant to admit that my technical depth in networking has been abstracted to not being relevant in the Web 2.0 world of social networking, mash-ups, RSS and AJAX. I know that a well-architected network can have a dramatic affect on application performance – but maybe on today’s high-speed Internet it does not matter. It might be that network engineers are not relevant for today’s Internet in the same way that software optimization engineers are seemingly not relevant for Microsoft applications.

On the other hand, I see the current state of the Internet as the ultimate success of these networking technologies. You can deploy a wildly successful Web 2.0 application that serves millions of users and never know how a router, switch or load-balancer works. Even network security and firewalls that were making headline news not more than a few years ago are considered perfunctory. The success of these networking devices and technologies has enabled them to become part of the technology landscape that exists for all to use as they see fit, similar to the microprocessor or electricity.

In your opinion, has the Internet reached a level of abstraction similar to electricity? Do you use the infrastructure that is given to you by your local Internet service provider or a specialized hosting facility like Amazon without questioning how it is architected and designed?

In my role as a venture capitalist, the answers to these questions will help me determine if startups that are building optimized networking devices, improving network security, virtualizing storage, and so forth are required in today’s market.

Allan Leinwand is a venture partner with Panorama Capital and founder of Vyatta. He was also the CTO of Digital Island.

courtesy of : http://gigaom.com/2007/04/10/web-20-death-of-the-network-engineer/


I knew I can !

CLI Announces Awards for Panduit Scholarship Program

CLI and Panduit have announced 40 scholarship awards for the Panduit Excellence Scholarship Program. Awards were based on demonstrated commitment to networking education leading to the CCNA certification. More than 500 applications were submitted and reviewed. Each application provided information about education, experience, community service, and an essay on careers goals in the networking industry. Each award winner will receive USD $1,000 towards tuition in CCNA courses for the 2008-2009 academic year.


Alhamdulillah ...

" Zaid Z.Amin Present in Panduit Scholarship Recipients 2008-2009 "

I must confess this sholarship is the first International scholarship that I've got, more than 500 aplications around the world were submitted and reviewed. Honestly I'm very grateful to Allah SWT for this award, I not suspect for this great achievement can came to me when I just a newbie in this field, alhamdulillah ... this moment would more inspired me to consist and making me more self confidence to the right choose for my life and my great ... that is ...

" Network engineering ".

What is network engineering ?

Network Engineering

What is network engineering? The definition of network engineering describes existing non-converged systems. The future is a converged digital network with network engineering including all aspects of the design, implementation and support.

In telecommunication, the term network engineering has the following meanings:

  1. In telephony, the discipline concerned with (a) determining internetworking service requirements for switched networks, and (b) developing and implementing hardware and software to meet them.
  2. In computer science, the discipline of hardware and software engineering to accomplish the design goals of a computer network.
  3. In radio communications, the discipline concerned with developing network topologies.
Source US Federal Standard 1037C

Network Engineer

What is a network engineer? The definition for network engineer is a person who has significant responsibility in the design, implementation and support for the converged digital network.

A network engineer is responsible for the planning, design, and implementation of Local and Wide Area Networks (LANs and WANs). Network engineers usually design and implement large heterogeneous networks, and are required to have significant expertise in designing and administering network hardware and software from vendors like Juniper, Nortel Networks, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and CheckPoint. It is not uncommon for network engineers to hold certifications such as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert, or Certified NetWare Engineer or Juniper Networks Certified Internet Expert.

courtesy of :



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