Heterogeneity Complexity

Heterogeneity complexity defines the degree of uniformity, or lack thereof, of what is to be managed in an integrated fashion. Clearly, if only a single type of router that is deployed across the network needs to be managed, the task is a little simpler than in the case of 10 different equipment types from five different vendors. Accordingly, the heterogeneity complexity of a network can be roughly defined as the product of several factors that are functions of the following:

■ The number of vendors whose equipment is deployed in the network

■ The number of networking technologies that are converged in the same network (for example, DSL, cable, and fixed wireless for a set of access networks, or MPLS and ATM for a backbone network)

■ The average number of different types of devices that are used for each networking technology

■ The average number of different versions of each device type (for example, different software images reflecting different revisions in the equipment's operating system)

Expressed as an equation, this yields the following:

Heterogeneity complexity = f(#vendors) * f(#technologies) * f(#device types) * f(avg # of device versions)

The factors that contribute to heterogeneity complexity are once again multiplied, not added, for reasons analogous to those that were outlined for management integration complexity as a whole.

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