Is BGP Good Enough?

3 September 2018 | Comments Off on Is BGP Good Enough?

In a recent podcast, Ivan and Dinesh ask why there is a lot of interest in running link state protocols on data center fabrics. They begin with this point: if you have less than a few hundred switches, it really doesn’t matter what routing protocol you run on your data center fabric. Beyond this, there…

Reaction: Network software quality

16 August 2018 | Comments Off on Reaction: Network software quality

Over at IT ProPortal, Dr Greg Law has an article up chiding the networking world for the poor software quality. To wit— When networking companies ship equipment out containing critical bugs, providing remediation in response to their discovery can be almost impossible. Their engineers back at base often lack the data they need to reproduce…

Give the Monkey a Smaller Club

15 August 2018 | Comments Off on Give the Monkey a Smaller Club

On the ‘net: Simplifying Network Design

25 July 2018 | Comments Off on On the ‘net: Simplifying Network Design

For various reasons, humans tend to prefer complex resolutions to simple ones. The combined effect of many humans preferring more complex resolutions over time means large-scale systems tend to accrue complexity, until they fall into a complexity wormhole, becoming wholly incomprehensible. @Search Networking

Research: Even Password Complexity is a Tradeoff

23 July 2018 | Comments Off on Research: Even Password Complexity is a Tradeoff

Stronger passwords are always better—at least this is the working theory of most folks in information technology, security or otherwise. Such blanket rules should raise your suspicions, however; the rule11 maxim if you haven’t found the tradeoff, you haven’t looked hard enough should apply to passwords, too. Dinei Florêncio, Cormac Herley, and Paul C. Van…

Complexity Sells

18 July 2018 | Comments Off on Complexity Sells

Networks are complex. But why? There are two fundamental reasons. The first is complexity is required to solve hard problems, specifically in the area of resilience. The second is that complexity sells. In this short take, I look at the second reason in a little more depth.

Complexity Sells

9 July 2018 | Comments Off on Complexity Sells

According to Roman philosophers, simplicity is the hallmark of truth. And yet, networks have become ever more complex over time. Why is this? Because complexity sells. In this short take, I talk about why complexity sells, and some of the mental habits you can use to overcome our natural tendency to prefer the complex.

On the ‘web: Considerations in Network Complexity

26 June 2018 | Comments Off on On the ‘web: Considerations in Network Complexity

One of my articles was published in the most recent Internet Protocol Journal: Computer networks are complex—and getting more complex by the day. At one time, knowing the Internet Protocol (IP) was enough; today there are underlays, overlays, virtualized services, service chains, and a host of other technologies engineers need to plan around and for.…

Research: Robustness in Complex Systems

21 May 2018 | Comments Off on Research: Robustness in Complex Systems

While the network engineering world tends to use the word resilience to describe a system that will support rapid change in the real world, another word often used in computer science is robustness. What makes a system robust or resilient? If you ask a network engineer this question, the most likely answer you will get…

Reaction: DNS Complexity Lessons

16 April 2018 | Comments Off on Reaction: DNS Complexity Lessons

Recently, Bert Hubert wrote of a growing problem in the networking world: the complexity of DNS. We have two systems we all use in the Internet, DNS and BGP. Both of these systems appear to be able to handle anything we can throw at them and “keep on ticking.” this article was crossposted to CircleID…