Research: Practical Challenge-Response for DNS

11 March 2019 | 0 Comments

Because the speed of DNS is so important to the performance of any connection on the ‘net, a lot of thought goes into making DNS servers fast, including optimized software that can respond to queries in milliseconds, and connecting DNS servers to the ‘net through high bandwidth links. To set the stage for massive DDoS…

Why not OSPF for the Internet Core?

25 February 2019 | Comments Off on Why not OSPF for the Internet Core?

Every now and again (not often enough, if I’m to be honest), someone will write me with what might seem like an odd question that actually turns out to be really interesting. This one is from Surya Ahuja, a student at NC State, where I occasionally drop by to do a guest lecture. We were…

Research: Service Fabric

18 February 2019 | Comments Off on Research: Service Fabric

Microservices architectures probably will not “take over the world,” in terms of solving every application you can throw at them, but they are becoming more widespread. Microservices and related “staged” design patterns are ideal for edge facing applications, where the edge facing services, in particular, need to scale quickly across broad geographical regions. Supporting microservices…

Research: User Fairness as a Quality of Service Problem

4 February 2019 | 1 Comment

In networks, we tend to think of Quality of Service (QoS) relating primarily to classes of traffic. These classes of traffic, in turn, are grounded in application behavior driven by user expectations. For instance, users expect voice communications to be near real time so conversation can take place “normally,” which means delay must be held…

When Metaphors Fail

21 January 2019 | Comments Off on When Metaphors Fail

We often use metaphors to describe a particular part of a thing or the thing itself. For instance, we might say “I’m as hungry as a horse,” to describe how much we think we could eat (although a more appropriate saying might be “as hungry as a bird,” as it turns out!). Network operators and…

Reaction: Open Source

15 January 2019 | Comments Off on Reaction: Open Source

As long-standing contributor to open standards, and someone trying to become more involved in the open source world (I really need to find an extra ten hours a day!), I am always thinking about these ecosystems, and how the relate to the network engineering world. This article on RedisDB, and in particular this quote, caught…

Research: Legal Barriers to RPKI Deployment

9 January 2019 | Comments Off on Research: Legal Barriers to RPKI Deployment

Much like most other problems in technology, securing the reachability (routing) information in the internet core as much or more of a people problem than it is a technology problem. While BGP security can never be perfect (in an imperfect world, the quest for perfection is often the cause of a good solution’s failure), there…

Whither Network Engineering? (Part 3)

4 January 2019 | 5 Comments

In the previous two parts of this series, I have looked at the reasons I think the networking ecosystem is bound to change and why I think disaggregation is going to play a major role in that change. If I am right about the changes happening, what will become of network engineers? The bifurcation of knowledge,…

Whither Network Engineering? (Part 2)

3 January 2019 | Comments Off on Whither Network Engineering? (Part 2)

In the first post of this series at the turn of 2019, I considered the forces I think will cause network engineering to radically change. What about the timing of these changes? I hear a lot of people say” “this stuff isn’t coming for twenty years or more, so don’t worry about it… there is plenty of…

Whither Network Engineering? (Part 1)

2 January 2019 | 1 Comment

An article on successful writers who end up driving delivery trucks. My current reading in epistemology for an upcoming PhD seminar. An article on the bifurcation of network engineering skills. Several conversations on various slacks I participate in. What do these things have in common? Just this: What is to become of network engineering? While it…