Will automation and virtualization lessen the demand of Network Engineers

mgmguy1mgmguy1 PA Member Posts: 485 ■■■■□□□□□□
I recently discovered a Podcast called Packet Pushers and I am been listening to the show Network Break everyday after work for the last few weeks. Network Break Panelists discusses the latest news in the IT world and specifically Data Centers and Enterprise Networks and I am becoming more concerned about how SDN will allow companies reduce their IT staff . While I am still learning about SDN there is great potential for it to solve some problems and give us better visibility into our networks but I am lerry of corporate america using SDN to reduce head count and better their bottom line.

Am I thinking too much on this . I realize that we all have to keep our skills fresh and current but if you think about the pool of people every year who are just coming on-line to networking and for those of us who have been in the IT business at different levels/sections who must learn these new technologies I wonder about head count. If an IT staff has 10 people and SDN allows them to cut 5 people due to automation and virtualization and then these people go try to find another job where the industry is moving to automation and virtualization won't there less headcount over all ?

I'm looking for some feedback on this. Thanks in advance for your thoughts
"A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D., or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don't have a J.O.B."

Fats Domino


  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,297 ■■■■■■■■□□
    To quickly answer your question, no that won't happen, there will always be a need for people at different levels. Automation simplifies things for the end user but makes it more complex for the IT people.

    The same question you brought up here was asked on the CCIE section of this forum, people were worried if it's worth it now to get CCIE because of automation. Look at the section and read the thread.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,503 Mod
    People have different opinions on this, so I'll keep my answer brief.

    Technology and automation improves efficiency so yes you should need less people to run a system (for example, you used to need few system admins to run one or few systems, now you have one person running hundred cloud instances).

    Will our jobs be completely replaced by robots? this is a possibility.

    What can you do about it? keep an eye on the market, and be adaptable and fluid, keep up with the trends, and invest your money wisely so that you have some sort of a backup plan just in case. Oh and don't get into debt.

    that wasn't a short answer now was it..

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • ajs1976ajs1976 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I started full time in IT in January 2000 and I have seen the end of jobs predicted a number of times. Outsourcing, Offshoring, the cloud, and now automation. If you keep up with new technology, are good at what you do, are a good manager / employee / co-worker, and network with people you should be fine.

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • networker050184networker050184 Went to the dark side.... Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    It's the same answer as any other technology throughout the years. Learn the new technology and you won't be left behind. The industry moves forward whether you keep up or not. I'm personally getting all over anything SDN/NFV related I can.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Senior Member Member Posts: 1,277

    Depends on how you look at it. Will it replace us all together? Nah.
    Will it replace people who can only configure switches for a living? Yeah. I can see them going away.

    Technically Meraki is a form of SDN with autoVPN and all that jazz.

    You just keep learning and you will be fine. This is why most people hop jobs if companies dont keep up with current technologies to stay on top of the game.

    The day you become complacent you become replaceable.
  • bigdogzbigdogz Senior Member Member Posts: 881 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Yes, as others have stated it is best to constantly learn or you will put yourself in a situation to lose your job.
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