I've been working in the computer and networking industries for more than 20 years, and in that time I've witnessed people getting frustrated about the same things again and again. I've learned a lot in that time, and the lessons haven't always come easily. My aim in this chapter is to try to help you avoid some of the frustrations that you're likely to encounter in the course of your work, and thereby make your job more enjoyable.
I can't tell you how often I've heard this question: "Why is everything so messed up?" Of course, the language is often more colorful that that, but decorum prohibits me from including examples here. Suffice it to say that the phrase "messed up" is often replaced with something more satisfying when used in moments of frustration and anger.
The situation is a common one. A company has grown to the point where it needs a reliable network. Management decides, for whatever reason, that the in-house staff is not able to get the network where it needs to be, so they call in consultants. That's when I usually arrive and am greeted by the question above. Sometimes it comes from employees at the company, and sometimes it's posed by the junior consultants working with me.
The answer to the question is usually based in a set of simple truths.
Truth #1: Companies that start small and experience intense growth often end up with complicated networks that cannot scale to the new demands placed upon them.