You cannot eliminate complexity for the SAME capability & certainty

The common saying in networking “you cannot eliminate complexity, you can only move it around” are words to live by. Providing insight into the combinatorial complexity in engineering tradeoffs. I find it useful to think about the issue in a slightly modified way “You cannot eliminate complexity for the SAME capability (& certainty)”. Information theory points…

We Automate to Grow: The Past and Future of IP Networks

Imagine a world where IP networks did not have dynamic routing protocols. What would be the alternative? Configuring routes via a management system? Would the network with the best management system have a competitive advantage over other networks? How would that network respond to frequent topology changes? Would there be few networks that operated well,…

As Simple as a Static

Dynamic routing changed the networking landscape in ways that can barely be remembered or articulated. Can anyone really imagine a network such as the Internet, with so many different networks (dare I say “internets”), each with their own administrative entity, and administrative policy, with such a rich “mesh” of connectivity/reachability, emerging as it has, with…

Overall Context For Change in Networking

The¬†Network 2025¬†Article made the following assertion which this article expands on: All of IT has been disrupted by hyperscalers and SaaS. Combined, they have both radically changed customer experience(compared to on-prem software models) and operations excellence(compared to traditional IT models). They have also changed business models. It is in the area of operations excellence that the future…

BGP for Service Layer Migration and Perhaps More

The Important Over the next five years (Network 2025), migration will be top of mind for IP Architects and Engineers, as many networks transition to Segment Routing (SR) for MPLS (SR MPLS), Segment Routing for IPv6 (SRv6), IPv6 (without segment routing), and other migration scenarios in between. BGP-based VPNs support numerous forwarding/data planes, enabling the…

Network 2025 and Beyond

Introduction As I continue to iterate on, and flesh out, the Internet Innovation Stack which I will use as a way of organizing my technologies of interest, networking is a natural area for me to dive in, as it is the area of technology I know the best. A typical way of articulating the future of networking,…

IP Traffic Engineering & the Automation Dividend

If we think of traffic engineering (TE) as the real-time to long-term mechanisms for networks achieving performance objectives & customer SLAs, in the presence of network failures & topology changes, then we might assert there are three forms of TE: Throw huge amounts of bandwidth at it Throw less bandwidth at it and have a light-weight approach…

Hot and Hotables: Wha is hot, what could become hot

The Important Many feel their privacy is under attack. There will be technological, entrepreneurial, and public sector responses At a time when the general-purpose CPU had been declared the winner in seemingly all IT domains, specialized silicon is arising: AI/ML, Storage, networking, and more. IT professionals need to learn the principles of the Cloud era…

Blockchain

The Important Blockchain is not a database. Blockchain is a journal. Blockchain is best used to record immutable information Blockchain should not be used for mutable information Blockchain does not provide anonymity1, transaction partners are known Blockchain does provide confidentiality, specifics of records can be hidden Note (1): The traceability of criminal behavior has nuances….

Segment Routing: The Journey Back Home

In December 1995, the IETF published RFC 1883, Internet Protocol Version 6. A reasonably modest size document, clearly articulating a focus on expanded addressing, IPv4 header format simplification, improved support for options, flow labeling, authentication & privacy. As the years went on, a good number of people started to see IPv6 as the basis of…