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Networking Challenges in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…

by Andrew Lerner  |  January 11, 2017  |  Submit a Comment

This is a Guest Blog from Sanjit Ganguli

While watching Rogue One over the holidays with my kids, I was left wondering about a glaring oddity in the Star Wars universe. If the human race in the Star Wars universe has accomplished so many amazing technological feats, why are network communications so poor? I’m sure there are Star Wars diehards (and I’m not one myself) that can provide a perfectly valid explanation for this, but their accomplishments are mind-boggling in every facet of science and technology:

–          Advances in jet propulsion physical objects to travel at the speed of light at warp speed

–          Ability to harness the power of Khyber crystals to create a self-contained beam of light or a weapon that can destroy entire planets

–          Material sciences that allow spacecraft to reenter oxygen rich atmosphere without any signs of heating

–          Renewable energy such that massive spacecraft can travel for indefinite periods of time without refueling

–          Human-like drones with extremely advanced artificial intelligence

–          Limitless food supply that seems to keep everyone well-fed without any evidence of farms (blue milk, anyone?)

Given all this, the network communications technology seems woefully inadequate for such an advanced society. Of course, the plot of Rogue One (and subsequent movies) would have been far less interesting if Jyn Erso had merely hacked the Empire computers and uploaded it to the Rebel’s Dropbox account. But shouldn’t some additional R&D spending have been put toward better network comms? I find it hard to fathom that video conferencing (via holograms) is of such poor and inconsistent quality. Or, that network communications from Scarif is reduced to a single point of failure (one satellite dish) whose signal cannot penetrate the Empire force shield. And also, why no long range communications, so when Luke is off to the Dagobah system, he has no way to communicate back to the rebel base.

Mr. Lucas’s vision was eerily prescient of today’s IT operations challenges, with the adoption of network technologies like network automation or modern network management both lagging other sectors of IT. All that is missing from George Lucas’ vision is Han Solo blaming the network team for a poor Millennium Falcon performance, and/or the network team blaming the firewall.


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Category: guest-blog  in-the-news  networking  

Andrew Lerner
Research Vice President
4 years at Gartner
19 years IT Industry

Andrew Lerner is a Vice President in Gartner Research. He covers enterprise networking, including data center, campus and WAN with a focus on emerging technologies (SDN, SD-WAN, and Intent-based networking). Read Full Bio

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