Category Archives for "Russ White"

The Odd Hours Solution

For many years, when I worked out in the center of the triangle of runways and taxiways, I would get up at around 4, swim a mile in the indoor poor (36 laps), shower, grab breakfast, run by base weather just to check the bigger pieces of equipment out (mostly the RADAR system), and then I’d head out to the shop. We could mostly only get downtime on the airfield equipment (particularly the VOR, TACAN, and glideslopes) in the early morning hours — unless, of course, there was a war on. Then we couldn’t get downtime at all. By 2:30 I was done with my work day, and I headed home to get whatever else done.

When I left the USAF, after being trapped in some 9–5 jobs, I joined the cisco TAC. Our shift started at 8 or 8:30, when we took over the 1–800 number from Brussels, and our shift lasted until around 2 in the afternoon (it varied over time, as the caseloads and TACs were moved around). Freed from 9–5, I started getting to work at around 5:30 again. I could spend the first two or three hours following up on cases (did you know that Continue reading

QOTW: Obsession with Knowledge

Like Gollum’s self-destructive obsession with the ring in Tolkien’s novels, when we see knowledge as something to possess, not only do we miss out on the fulfillment of seeing that knowledge positively influence the lives of those around us, but we miss out on the rich personal growth that results from participation in a free give and take of truth.
Philip Dow, Virtuous Minds


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IT/IT: Distributed OpenFlow

According to ECI, it’s a naïve view to have a single controller control large-scale networks in a reactive mode. Such a global view doesn’t scale, ECI claims. It means the first frame of each new flow is sent to the controller, where an SDN app decides on the desired behavior, derives the required network configurations and then uses the SDN controller to configure all the relevant switches. via sdxcentral

If I were a bit more snarky, I’d be tempted to say something like, “well, if you add a small hello protocol to each of the applets to monitor neighbor reachability, and a small protocol that can exchange local reachability information, and then perhaps a local algorithm to determine which path is the shortest, you can reinvent IS-IS.” But I’m not that snarky, of course…

I have come to believe that at least half of what we invent in the networking world is simply a product of not spending the time nor effort to study what’s already been invented, or the perception that what’s already been invented is “too complex,” and hence not stuff anyone wants to spend time learning nor understanding. A full three quarters of what remains is Continue reading

Multitasking, Microtasking, and Macrotasking

One of the most frustrating things in my daily life is reaching lunch and not having a single thing I can point to as “done” for the day. I’m certain this is something every engineer faces from time to time — or even all the time (like me), because even Dilbert has something to say about it.


This is all the more frustrating for me because I actually don’t have clones (contrary to rumor #1), and I actually do sleep (contrary to rumor #2). I even spend time with my wife and kids from time to time, as well as volunteer at a local church and seminary (teaching philosophy/ethics/logic/theology/worldview/apologetics to a high school class, and being a web master/all around IT resource, guest lecturer, etc., in the other). My life’s motto seems to be waste not a moment, from reading to writing to research to, well just about everything that doesn’t involve other people (I try to never be in a hurry when dealing with people, though this it’s honestly hard to do).

So, without clones, and with sleep, how can we all learn to be more productive? I’m no master of time (honestly), but my first rule is: Continue reading

QOTW: Knowledge

Knowledge depends on the direction given to our passions and on our moral habits. To calm our passions is to awaken in ourselves the sense of the universal; to correct ourselves is to bring out the sense of the true.
Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life


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Defining SDN Down

If a WAN product that uses software to control the flow of traffic is an SD-WAN, and a data center than uses software to build a virtual topology is an SD-DC, and a storage product that uses software to emulate traditional hardware storage products is SD storage, and a network where the control plane has been pulled into some sort of controller an SDN, aren’t my profile on LinkedIn, and my twitter username @rtggeek software defined people (SDP)? A related question — if there are already IoT vendors, and the IoT already has a market, can we declare the hype cycle dead and move on with our lives? Or is hype too useful to marketing folks to let it go that easily? One thing we do poorly in the networking world is define things. We’re rather sloppy about the language we use — and it shows.

Back on topic, but still to the point — maybe it’s time to rethink the way we use the phrase software defined. Does SD mean one thing emulating another? Does SD mean centralized control? Does SD mean software controlled? Does SD mean separating the control plane from the data plane? Does SD mean OpenFlow?

Continue reading

Worth Reading: Thoughts on the Open Internet

I’m sure we’ve all heard about “the Open Internet.” The expression builds upon a rich pedigree of term “open” in various contexts. For example, “open government” is the governing doctrine which holds that citizens have the right to access the documents and proceedings of the government to allow for effective public oversight, a concept that appears to be able to trace its antecedents back to the age of enlightenment in 17th century Europe.

I would normally place worth reading items in the right column, Geoff has written a six part series about the open Internet that’s worth reading. I’ve put links to each piece here.

Thoughts on the Open Internet – Part 1: What Is “Open Internet”
Thoughts on the Open Internet – Part 2: The Where and How of “Internet Fragmentation”
Thoughts on the Open Internet – Part 3: Local Filtering and Blocking
Thoughts on the Open Internet – Part 4: Locality and Interdependence
Thoughts on the Open Internet – Part 5: Security
Thoughts on the Open Internet – Part 6: Final Thoughts


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