You’ve Been Doing the Same Thing for the Last 20 Years

When we were discussing my autumn travel plans, my lovely wife asked me “What are you going to talk about in Bern?” She has a technical background, but I didn’t feel like going into the intricacies of SDN, SDDC and NetOps, so I told her the essence of my keynote speech:

I’m trying to tell people that all the technology in the world won’t save them unless they change their mentality and re-architect their broken processes.

She started laughing and said “You’ve been doing the same thing for the last 20 years. Initially it was security, now it seems to be SDN”… and all of a sudden, it all made perfect sense.

The presentation I had in Bern is available with free subscription. Also: check out my public presentations page.


  1. Dear Ivan,

    What kinda broken processes are You talking about? :)
  2. I believe he is referring to the highly contagious process of pushing off your problems down the stack until the network guy implements a low level band-aid fix. This is how network engineers end up being responsible for packet de-duplication, managing SSL transactions, providing security barriers, etc. Essentially serving as everyone's IT daddy. Mr. Pepelnjak explains it well here:
  3. Example broken process: Company X deploys lots of iPads running a custom App for specific use case. Apple then releases a new iOS version and the iPads begin displaying pop-up message to upgrade. Naturally, users start initiating the upgrade. Problem: the custom App has not yet been tested with the new iOS. Instant fire drill, director and C level guys howling. Network guy (moi) ends up applying Cisco NBAR filter at every branch to prevent the iPads from presenting the upgrade option to the user. Now when Company X actually DOES want to upgrade iOS, the network team must get involved to remove the filter, allow the upgrade to occur, then put filter back in place. Kludge.
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