Data Can’t Lie?

20 May 2015 | Comments Off on Data Can’t Lie?

A statistician is someone who can put their head in a hot oven, and their feet in a bucket of ice, and say, “on the average, I feel fine.” Before we move completely into a world where people are counseled, “use the data, Luke,” disregarding their own beliefs and feelings, we need to have a…

Eschew Obfuscation (Communicate Clearly)

18 May 2015 | Comments Off on Eschew Obfuscation (Communicate Clearly)

Many years ago, I worked for a manager who had two signs on his desk. The first was a pencil with the words, “Pencil 2.0” printed above them. The rest of the sign went on to explain how the pencil had undo (the eraser), was renewable (it can be sharpened), etc. The second sign was…

Vendor Neutral

13 May 2015 | Comments Off on Vendor Neutral

And then Bilbo held the router up to the light and wondered aloud… Whatever is, vendor neutral? Vendor neutral certainly receives a lot of play in the world of network engineering. You might have even heard the words come out of my mouth during my case study on the Telepost Greenland network at Interop a…

General Howe’s Dog

11 May 2015 | Comments Off on General Howe’s Dog

The morning after a battle — one of the first won by the American army in its battle for freedom from the British Empire — if you happened to be on the scene, you might see an American soldier, under a white flag of truce, struggling with something small he is carrying between the lines.…

A GUI and a Wizard

7 May 2015 | Comments Off on A GUI and a Wizard

One of the brilliant things about conferences like Interop is the hallways (and if you’re not going to Interop, this is why you should be!). It’s not that I don’t enjoy the sessions, but—like the IETF—I often get much more out of the conversations with folks who know networking, and yet have a completely different…

Own the Problem

4 May 2015 |

In the late 1990’s, I was on the routing protocols TAC team in Raleigh — which means I answered the phone, and said things like, “This is Russ from Cisco TAC, how can I help you?” Generally what followed was a crash, or, well, just about anything. The design on the left is what we…

Observations on Ownership

30 April 2015 |

We are clearly moving to a software focused world — this conclusion is almost as inevitable and natural as taking your next breath (or eating that next Little Bits burger — but don’t get the big one unless you’re really hungry). But, as with all things, there is a flip side to the world going…

In theory…

27 April 2015 | Comments Off on In theory…

I don’t normally peruse the reviews of my books — while I appreciate well thought out criticism, I normally find personal notes from folks who’ve read my books more profitable for mining out where I’m falling down on the job as a writer than reviews posted on book seller or book review sites. But one…

The facts, while interesting, are irrelevant

20 April 2015 | Comments Off on The facts, while interesting, are irrelevant

Maybe my excuse should be that it was somewhere around two in the morning. Or maybe it was just unclear thinking, and that was that. Sgt P. and I were called out to fix the AN/FPS-77 RADAR system just at the end of our day (I normally came into the shop around 6:30AM after swimming…

Freedom to

13 April 2015 |

Pardon me if I go a little bit on the philosophical side of life as a network engineer this week, but we need to have a little talk about freedom. This last week, Ethan wrote a post on his new criteria for network design and architecture. While I agree with the points Ethan makes in…