There is a status quo in the networking industry that is the enemy of innovation. The major hardware equipment makers collectively benefit by propagating the many layers of equipment and protocols. This \u201cdeep state\u201d that exists within our innovation economy must be defeated to unleash the next wave of innovative networking, which will be software-based and ideally designed to support business applications and services.\nOne leader of the Networking Industrial Complex has a certified army of mercenaries that are compensated by unsuspecting enterprises to architect networks. These mercenaries attend training camps to be reprogrammed on a frequent basis. Examinations are held to ensure compliance. This entire system ensures that networking architectures, techniques and methods will not change. It\u2019s no wonder many executives of companies are handing the keys to IT and networking to third parties.\nWatch \u201dAWS re:Invent 2016: Another Day, Another Billion Packets\u201d on YouTube and you will quickly get a sense of how networking architectures could be. Mercenaries will all understand rapidly how AWS VPCs have transformed networking with software. They will also realize there is no BGP, OSPF, IS-IS, MPLS, ACLs, or multi-cast. In fact, most of the mercenary routing and switching curriculum is simply not relevant.\nOr watch \u201dFacebook, Petr Lapukhov \u2013 Open\/R The Joy of Packet Routing\u201d on YouTube and you will see another approach to networking that is innovative and new. Facebook also has introduced IPv6 ILA as an additional technique for routing packets. Both of these approaches are implemented in software.\nIf you want further evidence that innovation is possible, watch \u201dKeynote: Cloud Native Networking- Amin Vahdat, Fellow & Technical Lead For Networking, Google\u201d on YouTube. You will hear Google talk about how software drives their entire network in innovative ways.\nAll of these great companies have moved away from the tenets and beliefs of the Networking Industrial Complex. They have rejected the prospect that networking can\u2019t change. They have used software systems to augment white box hardware to create efficient, secure, simple networks that cost less and work better. The mercenaries of the deep state have not been able to penetrate or influence these companies who all think differently.\nWhat about the rest of us? Networking, networkers and service providers exist to support a business. They need to be part of the narrative of corporate strategy. To accomplish this, we need to move faster, more securely, with much less cost.\u00a0 We need to become part of the solution, and not the problem. Many businesses are hoping to outsource networking just as they have server infrastructure. They don\u2019t view it as strategic. They don\u2019t understand it. It\u2019s expensive. It hasn\u2019t been identified as part of their competitive advantage.\nService providers can help their customers make their networks drive strategic competitive advantage \u2013 and drive their own revenues \u2013 by completely reimagining the network\u2019s role in the business. When thinking about how you can change your customers\u2019 networking approach, keep in mind these points:\n\nRather than thinking of the network as a lot of cool routing and switching hardware \u2013 as the Networking Industrial Complex mercenaries want \u2013 think of the network as a smart enabler of business.\nToday\u2019s hardware-based networks were built on a hodge-podge of different boxes that follow a routing model first developed in the 1990s. We didn\u2019t have the demand then for bandwidth-hungry business applications that we do today, like video streaming and conferencing, virtual desktop, cloud storage and others.\nTunnel-based overlays like IPsec, MPLS and VxLAN cost networks a \u2018bandwidth tax\u2019 of anywhere between 5 percent and 40 percent of network bandwidth, making it difficult to handle network congestion.\nIn the 1990s, we also didn\u2019t have the complex and shifting cyber threat landscape that we do today, including botnets, DDoS attacks and other malware. In the hardware-centric models of old, security was bolted onto the network like an afterthought, through firewalls and complex access control lists.\nReimagining the network, and making it software-based, means focusing on the router. The traditional \u201cpacket and flow\u201d router needs lots of overhead because it needs to route each packet as \u201cnew.\u201d By making routing session-oriented \u2013 making the network understand the language of sessions \u2013 we can provide intelligent, native load balancing, security that\u2019s baked into the network, network control and analytics in a more dynamic manner to further support business growth.\n\nBold change is never easy, but we\u2019re seeing a wave of companies bringing innovations that make the network simpler, more user-centric, and simply better at supporting business applications. Service providers would do well to understand how these new approaches are disrupting traditional networking and how they can adjust their capabilities to support it.\nThe first wave of SDN companies has come, and will soon fade. These companies converted known standard hardware and mercenary friendly functions to software used IETF standards to chain them together, and devops techniques for management. The deep state thinks these products will never outperform their hardware-based solutions.\nDespite this resistance, smart service providers can buck the status quo and work with their customers to change their network architectures in a way that drives their business forward and makes the Networking Industrial Complex obsolete.