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     Zero Administration Network (II)

To build a zero administration network, there must be a stable operating environment. This crucial point is always neglected in the development of many related products. For example, the common desktop computer usually hangs and need to be rebooted after running for a certain period of time. Thus, it is impossible to build a zero administration network if it is based on desktop computer. No matter how easy to manage the salesperson has claimed, you will be frustrated when the computer hangs.

There can be two implications for zero administration network if the stability problem has to be solved. The first is that the manufacturer has done many jobs so that the user does not have to administer at all. In fact, many products aim at zero administration. But it seems a dream instead of reality. Supplier may simplify the network or make the administration part more user-friendly by using more icons or making the administration part semi-automatic. However, it turns out that the user cannot escape from the basic problem of administration. If user really thinks that it is zero administration, he or she will be greatly disappointed!

Let's take an example. The main function of traditional local area network (LAN) is to act as a file server. That is, to let the staff share files and disseminate information. However, once there is file server, there is administration. The writer taught network administration course before. Half of the time, which is a large portion, of a 4-day network administration course is related to file server like security setting, disk space allocation and directory design, etc. Today, graphical user interface has made the administration work a bit easier. But the basic knowledge of the task is on the understanding of the network system. Graphical user interface not only cannot help but also make the user estimate the difficulty of the task incorrectly. Maybe after a series of "clicking", thinking that the set up is completed, there are actually many errors. This creates problem when the system goes live and causes headache to the enterprise!

Usual guys who know network would challenge me: "Is it still a network without the file server?" I am not saying not to use the network server. What I am talking about is to change the mode of traditional network service, using other appropriate technology o replace certain functions. The real zero administration is the adjustment of the enterprise workflow and to create a zero administration network system along with the enhanced productivity. This is rethink and re-do in BPR of Michael Hammer. The trouble of network server comes from the complicated design, i.e. who can read certain areas and who can write certain areas. What if we simplify this into private and common areas only? The situation is much better! All the troubles gone if we have a better set up at the beginning.

But how to exchange files? Exchanging files can actually be done by email. Once there is a stable email service set up in the server, files can be transmitted speedily. Files can be transmitted to one or a group of people by sending email!

The writer has been in the field for ten more years and witnessed the generations of computer. Little administration or zero administration system has long been the gimmick of manufacturers and the dream of user. I would not talk about the computers tomorrow. Today, there are many technology problems remain unsolved if manufacturers have to produce an all-powerful and zero administration system.

I would rather focus on the second implication of zero administration. This is the matching of computer experience and ability, administration and workflow changes. To do important things better and simplify the unnecessary procedure. This is actually an application of the well-known 80,20 principle.

Above is just one simple example. If you really want to increase the productivity of your company, you should find a capable and experienced supplier to seriously think and build a network solution suitable to you!

 

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