What is a Network? #NYTechDay

I spent a few hours at a trade/tech show yesterday in NYC.  My company sponsored a portion of the show and wanted to show off their shiny new network architect in their booth, so I sat down and prepared myself for the deluge of questions.

I’m not sure what I was expecting.  Maybe a little bit of in depth white-boarding, maybe a little bit of salesmanship, and a little bit of friendly banter about tech trends.  I was ready to explain my view on DDoS and honeypots.  And as it turns out I brought a tank to a boxing match. 🙂

I didn’t really get any of the questions I thought I would…. I got a LOT of questions on what network integration is and why any company would need one of these “networks”.

I was truly floored.  This was a tech show.  These are applications, product, and web developers.  Their products, offices, websites, and apps all traverse a network or 12.  And at the very least, their homepage/e-commerce is connected to a network…. THE network.

So, what is a network?

In the simplest terms, a network is an interconnection of devices. 

These devices can be and typical are just about anything.  Your computer is connected to a “home” network which is connected to the Internet.  Your phone is connected a “provider” network which is connected to the Internet.  You’re able to reach amazon.com from your tablet because both your tablet and Amazon’s servers are connected to networks which are then connected to each other.

Without networks connected to networks, the Internet wouldn’t exist.

Without a network, you wouldn’t be able to share files with coworkers.  You wouldn’t be able to play a photo slideshow from your iPhone to your AppleTV.  And you definitely wouldn’t be able to share those pictures on Facebook.  Our lives wouldn’t be very “connected” without networks.

If you’re an application developer, a web developer, or a “connected product” developer, you don’t have to know how networks work, but you should at least know how your app/site/product uses a network to accomplish it’s goal.


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