These technologies and products are amazing, but likely are not the only pieces to the puzzle. How do we as engineers support growing and contracting the network based upon a company’s widget manufacturing levels? In other words, the network will likely need to be able to respond to external stimuli in order to continue to adapt to business needs. As the widget level grows, perhaps a company will need to provide more compute capacity on demand via a service like AWS — the network now must respond to this by extending these security and load balancing policies to the ‘Cloud.’ Of course, once widget levels return to normal the business doesn’t want to, or need to, be paying for cloud services, and the network along with the compute should contract to standard widget quantity levels. Right now, I’m fairly certain that this type of interaction can only be done through custom means via some external programing that can poke the network to respond one way or another (similar things exist, but not to this extent as far as I’m aware). Certainly, however, this type of flexibility is on the horizon in both open-source and commercial products.
All of this is to say that we have a tool belt as network engineers, and it’s our job to take those tools and implement them in such a way that makes business sense, and provides a positive impact to our customers. Our tool belts *are* expanding. Yes, it’s totally 100% exhausting how much stuff is happening in the industry right now, but it’s also totally freaking awesome.

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