Blog, Events & Press

2 Nov

Occupy Your Network

Dark and Empty Conference Room

By now, just about everyone has heard about Occupy Wall Street. The movement protests social and economic inequality, often focusing on the vast financial difference between the wealthiest 1% and the rest (the 99%) of the US population.

The “occupy” movement, as it has come to be known, now involves “occupying” other locations, such as London, Barcelona, and Athens (to name a few). It has become an umbrella for protesting just about anything that could be construed to involve an inequality of some kind.

It is about transparency. It is about making the playing field level. It is about the people taking back what is theirs. And remember, you are part of “the people.” We all are.

For example, an Occupy micro-movement has made its way into our office here. We have a number of conference rooms, but only one “Boardroom.” The Boardroom has a special name, has a special refrigerator, has special cabinets, and has a special projector. However, the Boardroom is not scheduled in the same manner as the other conference rooms; it is not automated. Every other conference room can be scheduled by an open mechanism on the company intranet. Everyone can schedule a meeting in any room, except the Boardroom.

There has been a webinar that a bunch of us have been attending over the past few Tuesdays and Thursdays. Our guy knew a guy who could get us the Boardroom, so we've been attending the webinar there. However, today, a mere hour before the webinar, we learned that the Boardroom was scheduled for another group, some of the SevOne C-level officers.

If the schedule for the Boardroom were open, we would not have had this problem. If we, the 99%, had any kind of visibility into the Boardroom, then we could have worked with the system to come to a solution that everyone could accept. However, the 1% just came in and took the room from us. So, we Occupied the room.

The next group to use the room was surprised to see protesters in the room, complete with protest signs, sitting with laptops and notepads, otherwise doing their normal jobs. We joined Occupy to gain transparency for the Boardroom and its schedule. We may not achieve all that we have aimed to do, but we have our demands, and those demands are visibility and transparency.

Visibility and transparency. These two things appear to be universal desires; when achieved, they help create a system that everyone can use and understand. We want them for the Boardroom; Occupy wants them for Wall Street; and we should all want them for our networks.

We should demand visibility and transparency for our networks, as well as our Boardrooms. With visibility and transparency, we gain an understanding of how the network is laid out, how it operates, and how it is used. With visibility and transparency, we can quickly find problems, identify trouble spots, and ultimately correct them. With visibility and transparency, we can take control of our networks.

Here at SevOne, we may not be able to clean up Wall Street, but we can provide the tools to grant complete and immediate visibility into our users' networks. Douglas Manley is a Software Architect at SevOne.

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