Networks / Featured Blogs

Why Aren't We Fixing Route Leaks?

In case you missed it (you probably didn't), the Internet was hit with the Monday blues this week. As operator-focused lists and blogs identified, "at 17:47:05 UTC yesterday (6 November 2017), Level 3 (AS3356) began globally announcing thousands of BGP routes that had been learned from customers and peers and that were intended to stay internal to Level 3. By doing so, internet traffic to large eyeball networks like Comcast and Bell Canada, as well as major content providers like Netflix, was mistakenly sent through Level 3's misconfigured routers." more

A Glance Back at the Looking Glass: Will IP Really Take Over the World?

In 2003, the world of network engineering was far different than it is today. For instance, EIGRP was still being implemented on the basis of its ability to support multi-protocol routing. SONET, and other optical technologies were just starting to come into their own, and all-optical switching was just beginning to be considered for large-scale deployment. What Hartley says of history holds true when looking back at what seems to be a former age: "The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there." more

Enabling Privacy Is Not Harmful

The argument for end-to-end encryption is apparently heating up with the work moving forward on TLSv1.3 currently in progress in the IETF. The naysayers, however, are also out in force, arguing that end-to-end encryption is a net negative... The idea of end-to-end encryption is recast as a form of extremism, a radical idea that should not be supported by the network engineering community. Is end-to-end encryption really extremist? Is it really a threat to the social order? more

Why 5G Is in Trouble (and How to Fix It)

I have a somewhat unconventional view of 5G. I just happen to believe it is the right one. It is trapped inside a category error about the nature of packet networking, and this means it is in trouble. As context, we are seeing the present broadband Internet access model maturing and begin to reach its peak. 5G eagerly anticipates the next wave of applications. As such, 5G is attempting to both extend and transcend the present "undifferentiated data sludge" model of mobile broadband. more

RIPE 75: Imprssions of the Meeting

RIPE held its 75th meeting in Dubai in mid-October. As usual, there was a diverse set of presentations covering a broad range of activities that are taking place on today's Internet. The topics include issues relating to network operations, regulatory policies, peering and interconnection, communications practices within data centers, IPv6, the DNS, routing and network measurement. If that's not enough, the topic of the Internet of Things has been added as a Working Group in the RIPE pantheon. If you add address policy, database and RIPE services to the mix, you get a pretty packed five days with topics that would appeal to most Internet folks. more

Why Integrating IPAM Matters and How to Achieve It

IPAM solutions are the source of truth for IP resources on the network, but when performing IPAM functions such as assignments, reconciliations, DNS updates, network plans, or Regional Internet Registry (RIR) requests, IPAM is often limited by its integration with an OSS. Operational teams can find it challenging to complete routine tasks without an integrated IPAM solution due to siloed data pools and swivel-chair environments. more

Legal Controls on Extreme End-to-End Encryption (ee2ee)

One of the most profoundly disruptive developments occurring in the cyber security arena today is the headlong rush by a set of parties to ubiquitously implement extreme End-to-End (e2e) encryption for communication networks using essentially unbreakable encryption technology. A notable example is a new version of Transport Layer Security (TLS) known as version 1.3. The activity ensues largely in a single venue... more

Software Has Already Eaten Telecoms (It Just Has Indigestion)

The unconscious and near-universal belief is that packet networks are a telecoms service, and one that constructs an 'additive' resource called 'bandwidth'. This is demonstrably technically false. They deliver distributed computing services, as they calculate how to divide up an underlying telecoms transmission resource. The ubiquitous error is a failure to recognise that the hardware platform has already been devoured by the software industry. more

What Does the Future Hold for the Internet?

This is the fundamental question that the Internet Society is posing through the report just launched today, our 2017 Global Internet Report: Paths to Our Digital Future. The report is a window into the diverse views and perspectives of a global community that cares deeply about how the Internet will evolve and impact humanity over the next 5-7 years. We couldn't know what we would find when we embarked on the journey to map what stakeholders believe could shape the future of the Internet... more

Networks Are Not Cars Nor Cell Phones

The network engineering world has long emphasized the longevity of the hardware we buy; I have sat through many vendor presentations where the salesman says "this feature set makes our product future proof! ... Over at the Networking Nerd, Tom has an article posted supporting this view of networking equipment, entitled Network Longevity: Think Car, not iPhone. It seems, to me, that these concepts of longevity have the entire situation precisely backward. more

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