Hands On: What can Cisco do for and against network neutrality?

Get ready, because it's going to hit us like a freight train.

Network neutrality has been very much in the news lately, all the sides both for and against loudly stating their positions vis-a-vis the appellate court decision, and whether it reinforces their position or their opponents. (Should anyone care, I am firmly in the 'information should flow freely' camp. Less to admin!) However the debate shakes out, it if going to fall to us to implement it locally, and then deal with the upstream ISPs moves to implement their interpretation of whatever legislative or regulatory steps are taken.

Bandwidth management is nothing new to any networking professional, and perhaps our single biggest responsibility. Cisco's array of tools, ranging from CiscoWorks to ACLs and QOS configuration in IOS are well developed and capable of rendering your devices reporting into something manageable and even useful. Aftermarket vendors like Plixer can bring more order to the chaos that ensues daily. Taking advantage of automation in network management and keeping your configs managed will become even more of a challenge, I have no doubt.

Our jobs are never easy. We may have a rare day when we aren't pulled in ten different directions by twenty different people. Policies and procedures can change on a whim, and often do so. I'm of the opinion that we need to add our voices as the people who are going to be in the trenches, implementing what management decides. Those should be informed decisions, right? Informed by our knowledge of what networks can and cannot do, what the equipment and software that runs them can and cannot accomplish. Congress and the courts may decide what should be done, but we know what can be done. What aspect of this has not yet been brought to the fore, in your opinion?


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