I admit, I do play FarmVille from time to time. Interestingly, the more I play the farm management game, the more I see resemblance to my real-life career as a network administrator. The joy of starting a small network often times into a nightmare and headache if you do not manage your infrastructure for growth.Â To give you an idea of what I mean, read the following FarmVille story and interchange the farming words with networking terms:
farm = network
crops = end users
cow = router
pig = switch
chicken = wireless access point
FarmVille bucks = budget
chicken coop = wireless controller
tractor = firewall
seeder = IPS
harvester = SNMP server
vacation home = Telepresence
gasoline – network engineers
When FarmVille begins, you are responsible for managing a small farm with just a few crops, cows, pigs and handful of chickens. Everything is humming along great and you couldn’t be more happy with your small yet functional farm.
After a while, you start growing more and more crops as well as adding more cows, pigs and chickens. Yes there is more work to be done on your farm but it is still manageable and you are accumulating more and more FarmVille bucks with which to buy tools to help you manage your larger farm. You decide that it is time to purchase a tractor, seeder and harvester to help manage the larger farm. In addition, you finally break down and buy a chicken coop to help control those pesky chickens.
With your newly acquired tools, you are still managing to maintain a fully functional farm. You continue to accumulate FarmVille bucks and decide that you want to buy that really cool vacation home you’ve been eying. You’re not really sure what value the vacation home will provide to your farm other than it looks really cool and other farmers will be envious.
Soon you begin to notice that your tractor, seeder and harvester are using a great deal of gasoline and you’ve almost run out. You can buy more gasoline but this costs FarmVille bucks and you don’t have many left because you spent it all on your sweet vacation home.
Before you know it, your farm has gotten too large to handle. The tractor, seeder and harvester are out of gasoline and in need of a good mechanic. Your chicken coop has become a pain in the rear and you find yourself fixing it daily. And jabbing you in the ribs is that vacation home you just HAD to buyâ€¦still sitting there useless. Boy was that a bad purchase!
Suddenly you find yourself longing for the old-days days when you had a small and efficient farm with a few pigs, chickens and cows.
The moral of this story: If you want to be happy, keep your farm simple!
Article first published as Managing a Network is Like Playing FarmVille on Technorati.