Usually people reflect at the end of the year how things went and then they come up with resolutions to do things better the next year. I like to think that the summer break is also a good moment to think about resolutions.
With the fast changes in technology, a lot of people expect that everything will work all the time and that building a new network or upgrading systems ‘is a piece of cake’. It is hard to imagine that just fifteen years ago, when I was working at my first ISP job, people would call with a question about why they didn’t receive e-mails. I would say: “I’m very sorry, but the server is down. We are working on it but we do not know how long it will take.” And people responded: “Well, that can happen. We will try again tomorrow.” Nowadays if Facebook or Instagram have a connection hick-up, the whole world is freaking out how that’s possible. If it takes longer than a minute or two, users get up in arms and demand an immediate solution.
Because technology is so advanced, people expect it to work all the time. As ISPs, it is our job to make that happen. But people seem to forget that the advanced technology also means also more work for us to keep things up and running.
If someone asks us to build a network with a specific set of requirements, and during the build they alter the requirements, they do not seem to realise what kind of extra work that will bring with it. Requesting extra bandwidth during a build, requires a lot of changes and a lot of effort to implement it.
That is why my first after-summer resolution is to literarily show people how a network is being built and what impact it has if they want to change the original specifications of the network. This is why the new Fusix office has four racks of lab equipment, where we can show how a network is built, and also replicate existing networks and show them what needs to be done to if they want to make a change to it.
People expect a lot of their network, and they should. But often they don’t seem to know what work goes in it to make everything work. With our lab, we want people to understand the technology, so that they know why it sometimes might take a bit longer than a couple of seconds or minutes to make changes. Maybe then they will forgive Facebook or Instagram the couple of seconds of downtime.