Automation – Franchise Your Network

As some of you may or may not know, I take my presentation slides seriously. I blame my EMC vSpecialist Speak America training (which I highly recommend) to starting this obsession. I try to find a way to make my slides be plain and simple and to make my message clear. I use metaphors. For instance, when I was talking about the integrations that EMC had with VMware, I used a hydrangea to represent visibility. Correlating the fact that the more acid in the soil means the hydrangea color is more vibrant, colorful, bright. The more integrations that EMC had assisted your virtual data center to be more vibrant and noticeable. I mean seriously, when was the last time during a presentation someone asked you “what type of flower is this?” I promise that when I would say it, everyone looked up. People still come up to me remembering this presentation.

2015 started off career wise with me adding automation to my title, becoming “virtualization and automation architect”. I need a new metaphor. My first job in my new role meant traveling to Hong Kong to meet with a customer and discuss automation capabilities with Juniper’s products. mcdonalds2One of the things I noticed was that although I was half way around the world, some of the same things that reminded me of home were there… like Starbucks, McDonalds, and KFC. I realized that the concept of franchising into other states and countries allows me to get the same things no matter where I go. For instance, if I go to a Starbucks in Kansas City, Ireland, or Hong Kong… my americano is going to taste the same and I love that.

The same is true for automation. Automating your network is like a franchised restaurant that requires you to buy their ingredients and use their recipes. They require you to make the product the same way, reducing error. There are standards that they want you to follow… again… no matter where you go. It’s like copy, paste, no typos. When it comes to networks and automating your network, you are ultimately franchising it, resulting in the same configuration and rules and implementation, reducing error.

mcd hk soupSure there are moments when the menu has some changes. For instance in Hong Kong there was an interesting soup on the breakfast menu. i of course had to get it and it was not bad but I digress… Like I said, sometimes there are changes in the franchised menu just like there are changes in the networks… that is what security does but the framework is the same and repeatable.

To be clear though, automation means a lot of things to a lot of people and I hope to continue to show that through various blog posts. It means something different to everyone which I think causes a lot of pain and scariness. But the ease and impact it makes is what technology is all about. Technology is always scary at first but totally worth it in the long run.

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