Combining Networks -- and Data Center Cultures

When combining two enterprise networks joins diverse technologies as well as data center cultures, the challenges are numerous.


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Bringing two networks together is not always a simple matter. There are many ways that can go wrong technically and most of these can be traced back to applications. But there is also the non-technical side where projects can go seriously awry. The cultural side of a network merger, for instance, can play havoc and the user community can quite easily get up in arms about relatively minor matters if not dealt with correctly.

"Merging two networks often comes about from merging two companies, IT teams and network tools," said Stephen Brown, product marketing manager at Network Instruments. "In this case, it's important to think of the bigger picture."

But even it is two departments being integrated, he believes it is still more than bringing together applications and networks. Before you begin to work on the networks, then, it is important to look at the cultures of IT teams, their approaches to network management and other related issues.

"Company cultures can be impacted by everything from management styles to industry and company size," said Brown. "If you're merging two cultures, this can be a large point of friction and a significant obstacle that impedes success."

Cultures can also impact the applications used -- whether open-source or proprietary software. When you merge a predominantly Windows-based network with a Linux network, for instance, you have a lot of interesting cultural decisions ahead.

Read the rest at Enterprise Networking Planet.

Tags: IT management, IT manager, data center, networks, Data Center Manager

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