What do Dairy Farms and Networks Have In Common?
When I was 16, my father gave me a copy of Thoreau's Walden. I grew up among dairy farms in bucolic central New Jersey. Some would say it is a heavy read for a teenager, and it is. Thoreau's account of living among nature in a cabin by Walden Pond had a message that did not escape me: simplicity.
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify!”
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden.
Dairy farms are complex. Considerations must be made around herd health, nutrition, waste management, weather, roaming space, equipment, machinery, hygiene, etc.
Networks are complex. Planning and attention must go into users, security, infrastructure, access points, switches, routers, firewalls, integration, vendor selection, configuration, patching, upgrading, service levels, security, availability, etc.
I considered the factors to achieve a productive and efficient dairy farm. Combining this with my early reflections from Thoreau, I began to internalize the concept of simplicity. Simplicity became part of my mission in everything I do both personally and professionally.
Throughout my career, I have brought my philosophy of simplicity to every challenge. In 2004 at Tyco, I took on the challenge of collapsing 140 different networks connecting over 200 data centers and 118,000 personal computers into a single network-- in a year. At AT&T Bell Labs, my role was to design, build, and transform enterprise networks for AT&T’s Signature Clients. These clients included Merrill Lynch, Citicorp, General Motors, and more. Each engagement included thousands of locations to complete a bottoms-up transformation with aggressive timeframes– usually less than 20 months.
What Nile is doing to achieve simplicity in the network is not a new concept to me. It certainly resonated with my life’s philosophy to simplify with passion and chase down simplicity in everything I do. With Nile, the passion for simplicity is throughout every aspect of the network. Everyone we interacted with from Nile's leadership team to the customer success team believes in simplicity, from ordering, to set-up, to life-cycle management.
The result of Nile's simplicity is a network that is easy to understand and trust. My team can focus on our core business rather than worry about availability, troubleshooting, patching, software upgrades, and security weaknesses. I know that Nile will be in the background, supporting our critical business initiatives at SDI.