Dave Piscatello: IP and CLNS in the Early Interenet

23 July 2019

Early in the history of the Internet, there were serious discussions about whether IP or CLNS should be adopted. Dave Piscatello joins this episode of the History of Networking to discuss how and why the decision to standardize on IP was made.

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The End of Specialization?

22 July 2019

There is a rule in sports and music about practice—the 10,000 hour rule—which says that if you want to be an expert on something, you need ten thousand hours of intentional practice. The corollary to this rule is: if you want to be really good at something, specialize. In colloquial language, you cannot be both a jack of all trades and a master of one.

Translating this to the network engineering world, we might say something like: it takes 10,000 hours to really know the full range of products from vendor x and how to use them. Or perhaps: only after you have spent 10,000 hours of intentional study and practice in building data center networks will you know how to build these things. We might respond to this challenge by focusing our studies and time in one specific area, gaining one series of certifications, learning one vendor’s gear, or learning one specific kind of work (such as design or troubleshooting).

This line of thinking, however, should immediately raise two questions. First, is it true? Anecdotal evidence seems to abound for this kind of thinking; we have all heard of the child prodigy who spent their entire lives focusing on a single sport. We also all know of people who have “paper skills” instead of “real skills;” the reason we often attribute to this is they have not done enough lab work, or they have not put in hours configuring, troubleshooting, or working on the piece of gear in question. Second, is it healthy for the person or the organization the person works for?

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Weekend Reads 071919


Disaggregation and Business Value


The Hedge Episode 1: Sonia Cuff and Stress in IT


Worth Reading: Traditional quality assurance is dead

Undeniably, traditional quality assurance (QA) must change to accelerate application delivery and become a catalyst, rather than a barrier, to digital transformation. —Wayne Ariola

Worth Reading: The drawbacks of remote triggered black holes

A measure well-known to network operators, RTBH builds upon the BGP communities attribute. —Mattijs Jonker

Worth Reading: Wireless mesh is back

In case you aren’t familiar with the concept of a mesh network, it’s a network comprised of multiple radios, each of which connects to multiple other radios. —Doug Dawson