Gartner IOCS was a great event. Not only did the Men&Mice team connect with decision-makers and business leaders, but we’ve also got to teach them a few things about IP infrastructure management and why it’s critically important. To further emphasize that thought, Men&Mice CEO Magnús Björnsson gave a talk on compound network management.
The talk was very well received, and the conference as a whole validated what we’ve been working on and representing. It’s evident that the best way for businesses to gain back control of their priorities and opportunities is to de-couple management from ecosystems in their IT.
Business priorities define technology; not the other way around
It’s clear, from both our experience in working with some of the largest companies in the world and talking to people at Gartner IOCS, that business leaders are hamstrung by technology.
The reason for this predicament is that IT, and network management in particular, has been centered around ecosystems. IT was designed for static and homogeneous environments. As a result, the management tools are bound to the philosophies of their backend. But in the business world, and in today's IT landscape, resources are highly dynamic and heterogeneous.
For network management to start making business sense again, it has to switch that mindset to focus on objectives instead — starting at the IP infrastructure level.
IP infrastructure: the nerve center of the business
Networks are akin to the nervous system in the human body. They link and transport information between source and destination. Connect data and decision.
IP infrastructure (consisting of DNS, DHCP, and IP address management) is the component that ensures orchestration between networks. Without parts of your networks, you can still function by routing around problems. But if the IP infrastructure goes down, there’s nothing to route with.
And that’s just about all that we think business leaders should be expected to understand about network management.
The “Route 52” problem
It’s called Route 53 and is the DNS service for Amazon Web Services. But you needn’t know that.
Maybe your company is moving from on-premise infrastructure to take advantage of cloud platforms. Or just completed a merger, and now have to integrate the new assets into your existing infrastructure. And you’re left with systems that are incompatible, networks that are overlapping, and every IT manager arguing for their respective networks, citing mutually exclusive benefits.
In short: you’re expected to be the arbiter of a problem not within your domain.
Yes, it is an asset to know the technology. But it shouldn’t be an obstacle not to. Business leaders need to make decisions that make business sense.
Compound network management
What makes business sense is to make decisions and move resources at will and based on how they can be utilized the best. What doesn’t make business sense is to make decisions and move resources only when allowed and based on factors you do not understand fully. (And nor should you be expected to.)
The reality of today’s corporate networks is that they are no longer confined to "local". Whether "local" means a geographic point or a single cloud platform, boundaries of a local infrastructure no longer exist for networks. It doesn’t make sense to manage them like they still did.
Compound network management de-couples the control plane from the underlying hardware and software. It enables business priorities to drive decisions. Unshackle them from limitations of the hardware and software ecosystems.
Lessons from Gartner IOCS
The lesson from Gartner IOCS is that unlocking the potential in compound network management is one of the most, if not the most, urgent issues facing enterprise networks. And it’s been a pleasure to see both our theory and practice in resolving it resonating with people.
Men&Mice is in the business of creating solutions for compound network management. We design natively heterogeneous management tools for heterogeneous network environments.
We’ve seen companies struggle with cloud adoption because their systems were incompatible. We’ve been sought out to create order in an overgrowth of home-grown workarounds that kept together disparate network environments haphazardly. We’ve worked on unlocking the full value of the Internet-of-Things by removing the overhead throwing off efficiency.
Whether you caught us at Gartner IOCS or just found us online, we can help you on your way as well.