7

This kind of relates to Server Fault close reason text but in a direct and global way:

What's the difference between these sister websites (1) (2}?

In my opinion, they might not be unique enough for most people to know which one to choose.

  • 1
    Well the help center clearly explains: Network Engineering and Server Fault – HackerKarma Sep 23 '15 at 14:43
  • Those links are already mentioned in my question, and the entire point of this question is that the difference isn't clearly explained, as also mentioned in the answer. – LWC Sep 23 '15 at 14:49
  • 1
    I see your point but sometimes things do overlap... I guess time to update the help-center pages. +1. – HackerKarma Sep 23 '15 at 14:57
4

The "What's on topic here" Help Center pages are well equipped to show the differences, which you linked to (so maybe I've misunderstood your confusion):

Network Engineering On Topic

  • Questions one would encounter while operating, maintaining, purchasing, or managing an enterprise / service provider network. The question should be about the operation of your own network.
  • Questions about tools specific to Network engineering.
  • Network protocol questions, like 'Why does Cisco's bgp process pack update packets in path attribute groups like this?' or ' Why does OSPF use this next hop address for these external LSAs?'

  • Off topic - Application level protocols (example, host / server protocols above the TCP / UDP / ICMP PDUs) are explicitly off topic.

As per highlighted, "network" related things is the single and entire scope for this site.

ServerFault On Topic

Server Fault is for questions about managing information technology systems in a business environment.

  • managing the hardware or software of servers, workstations, storage or networks
  • tools used for administering, monitoring, or automating these
  • deployment to and management of third-party provided information technology platforms

There are various scopes and topics allowed here.


So it seems there is an overlap from "Network" related topics, however it's only a small overlap and the distinction between the two is that ServerFault is about various things, whereas Network Engineering is only networking - it's a specialist site for topics on network.

The overlap can be compared to overlaps from Stack Overflow tags and other Stack sites, such as Wordpress tag and site, and Drupal tag and site, etc.

The best way to see the difference between these two sites (specifically) is to see the tags pages:

Network Engineer Tags
Cisco; Routing; VPN; Firewall; Ipsec; ARP; Cisco-commands; Juniper;

ServerFault Tags
Linux; Apache; Windows; PHP; Debian; MySQL; SSL;

So there is an element of networking on ServerFault, but this is natural. Whereas most of the other topics on ServerFault would not be welcomed on Network Engineering.


With that said, I see a potential for some Help Center updates to make the distinction more clear - even if just on ServerFault to outline what "network" related questions are valid there, and how it coincides with the Network Engineering site.

  • 1
    +1 You really explained it well... Good research – HackerKarma Sep 23 '15 at 15:26
1

server fault:

Server Fault is for questions about managing information technology systems in a business environment.

If your question is about:

  • managing the hardware or software of servers, workstations, storage or networks
  • tools used for administering, monitoring, or automating these
  • deployment to and management of third-party provided information technology platforms

network engineering:

Network Engineering Stack Exchange is for Network Engineers.

(Note: All questions about RESIDENTIAL/HOME networking and CONSUMER-grade equipment, are explicitly OFF-topic.)

On-topic: Enterprise or Service Provider Networks

Questions one would encounter while operating, maintaining, purchasing, or managing an enterprise / service provider network. The question should be about the operation of your own network.

The only overlap would appear to be managing enterprise/business networks

This could be clarified I guess as to which one is more appropriate in what circumstances.

  • 1
    There you go... just thought of answering but posted a comment. – HackerKarma Sep 23 '15 at 14:44
  • But you can see the answer ends with a statement that proves my point. – LWC Sep 23 '15 at 14:50

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