When Metaphors Fail

21 January 2019 | 0 Comments

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 | 0 Comments

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…

Optimal Route Reflection: Next Hop Self

10 December 2018 | 3 Comments

Recently, I posted a video short take I did on BGP optimal route reflection. A reader wrote in the comments to that post: …why can’t Router set next hop self to updates to router E and avoid this suboptimal path? To answer this question, it is best to return to the scene of the suboptimality—…

Research: BGP Routers and Parrots

5 December 2018 | Comments Off on Research: BGP Routers and Parrots

The BGP specification suggests implementations should have three tables: the adj-rib-in, the loc-rib, and the adj-rib-out. The first of these three tables should contain the routes (NLRIs and attributes) transmitted by each of the speaker’s peers. The second table should contain the calculated best paths; these are the routes that will be (or are) installed…

Lessons from Andromeda

26 November 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons from Andromeda

A common complaint I hear among network engineers is that the lessons and techniques used by truly huge scale networks simply are not applicable to more “standard scale” networks. The key point, however, is balance—to look for the ideas and concepts that are interesting and at least somewhat novel, and then see how they might…

CAA Records and Site Security

19 November 2018 | Comments Off on CAA Records and Site Security

The little green lock—now being deprecated by some browsers—provides some level of comfort for many users when entering personal information on a web site. You probably know the little green lock means the traffic between the host and the site is encrypted, but you might not stop to ask the fundamental question of all cryptography:…