The cost of servers keeps going up and up, thanks in large part to memory, flash, and GPU prices rising as too much demand chases too little supply and also due in part to the rising cost of processors. So the server market is booming. And guess who is actually paying for it? Network vendors, who are being ground down like sacks of wheat in the massive granite grist mill of intense competition. —Timothy Prickett Morgan @The Next Platform
One cannot employ the same “laser focus” building techniques in an unknown area as one would on a city lot. While the prospecting may not be obviously applicable to building the house, it’s essential in remote areas. Finding pitfalls and potential issues for a building site can save hundreds of thousands of dollars later. Finding mineral deposits can bring enormous unexpected wealth. @The Math Citadel
Our technology has become so advanced that markets are never hit by glitches, right? Not at all. The London Stock Exchange’s one-hour delay to its open on Thursday is only the latest high-profile malfunction to rile up traders. —Victor Reklaitis @Marketwatch
Migrating to IPv6 will make you ready for the next stage of the Internet. I was the principal network design engineer and member of the project team for deploying native IPv6 for all residential home users at Vodafone New Zealand two years ago. As an outcome of that project, IPv6 has been deployed for about 80% of residential home Internet users now. —Mansour Ganji @APNIC
After being embroiled into controversies over its data sharing practices, it turns out that Facebook had granted inappropriate access to its users’ data to more than 60 device makers, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, and Samsung. —Swati Khandelwal @The Hacker News
Over the past few years, researchers have started to choreograph vulnerability announcements to make a big press splash. Clever names — the e-mail vulnerability is called “Efail” — websites, and cute logos are now common. Key reporters are given advance information about the vulnerabilities. Sometimes advance teasers are released. Vendors are now part of this process, trying to announce their patches at the same time the vulnerabilities are announced. —Bruce Schneier
On May 11, 2017, the President issued Executive Order (EO) 13800, “Strengthening the Cybersecurity ofFederal Networks and Critical Infrastructure,” calling for “resilience against botnets and otherautomated, distributed threats.”1 The President directed the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretaryof Homeland Security to “lead an open and transparent process to identify and promote action byappropriate stakeholders” with the goal of “dramatically reducing threats perpetrated by automatedand distributed attacks (e.g., botnets).”
Information technology design often follows a common sort of process. First you gather the business requirements. While you do your best to gather all the requirements, you know you will miss some, so you assume the project in hand will change over time. As such, you build some “slop” into the schedule and scaling numbers to account for possible changes, based on prior experience. @ECI
Disaggregation, in the form of splitting network hardware from network software, is often touted as a way to save money (as if network engineering were primarily about saving money, rather than adding value—but this is a different soap box). The primary connections between disaggregation and saving money are the ability to deploy white boxes, and the ability to centralize the control plane to simplify the network (think software defined networks here—again, whether or not both of these are true as advertised is a different discussion).
But drivers that focus on cost miss more than half the picture. A better way to drive the value of disaggregation, and the larger value of networks within the larger network technology sphere, is through increased value. What drives value in network engineering? It’s often simplest to return to Tannenbaum’s example of the station wagon full of VHS backup tapes. To bring the example into more modern terms, it is difficult to beat the bandwidth of an overnight box full of USB thumb drives in terms of pure bandwidth.
In this view, networks can primarily be seen as a sop to human impatience. They are a way to get things done more quickly. In the Continue reading
TCP congestion control architecture is notorious for degraded performance in numerous real-world scenarios. In this post, we present the recently proposed online learning approach to congestion control — Performance-oriented Congestion Control (PCC). —Michael Schapira @APNIC
What seems, now, like a few short months ago, I was drawn into a small community known as The Network Collective. This last week, we launched our paid membership service.
The first thing that must come to mind is that there will be training. Of course there will be training. A (minor) theme throughout the community launch among Eyvonne, Jordan, and I, is that the training on tap will be different from anything else out there. We all three have a great deal of respect for the existing training materials, and we all intend to continue to be involved in other training and education efforts. On the other hand, the style, tone, and content will be different at The Network Collective. The first series being launched are math for network engineers, a long conversation on network design, and a long conversation on communication skills. But training is, once again, a minor theme.
The major theme of The Network Collective is community.
Consider the position of the “average” network engineer. You are either the expert, or one of a few experts, on a topic very few people care about in your organization. What you build is largely seen as an opaque Continue reading
“But what’s the harm?” Far too often, this is one of the biggest questions posed in debates about the value of privacy and the costs of violating it in the United States. Just last fall, the Federal Trade Commission conducted a workshop exploring the contours of “informational injury”, in which CDT participated. —Joseph Jerome @CDT
WHOIS is a service that was inherited from the pre-ICANN registries and has never had a formal definition or rationale beyond that’s the way it’s always been. None of the attempts to rationalize WHOIS have gone anywhere, and there was a broad agreement that the processes had been repeatedly derailed by trademark lawyers who want a one-stop source for whom to sue if someone utters their client’s name in vain. —John Levine @CircleID
Email addresses are seemingly simple to eliminate in theory, devilishly difficult in practice, and potentially expensive mistakes under GDPR. Send an unreacted address to the wrong place, and someone in Europe becomes a Euro Millionaire. Whoops. —Neil Schwartzman @CircleID
How long should a blog be? The infinite Internet has done away with strict word counts and in theory, every online article can be as long as the author feels necessary to get their point across. Unfortunately, many bloggers forget the second part of the old joke relating to dresses and speeches: they should also be short enough to be interesting! —Dominic Jeff @Web Designer Depot