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Category Archives for "Potaroo blog"

DNSOP at IETF117

After the flurry of work in various aspects of DNS privacy, the IETF’s agenda for DNS has shifted towards more maintenance and update. This does not mean that the volume of work has abated in any way, but it has dropped the more focussed stance of previous meetings to a broader diversity of topics in operating DNS infrastructure.

NXDOMAIN

The DNS is a strange and at times surprising environment. One could take a simple perspective and claim that the aim of the DNS is to translate DNS names into IP addresses. And you wouldn’t be wrong, but it's also so much more. Most of the time when we analyse the behaviour of the DNS we look at the way in which names are resolved by the DNS infrasdtructure, but there is also another view of the DNS. What do we see when we look at DNS queries for names that do not exist in the DNS?

Happy 50th Birthday Ethernet!

Some 50 years ago, at the Palo Alto Research Centre of that renowned photocopier company Xerox, a revolutionary approach to local digital networks was born. On the 22nd of May 1973 Bob Metcalf authored a memo that described "X-Wire", a 3Mbps common bus office network system developed at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). There are very few networking technologies from the early 70's that have proved to be so resilient (TCP/IP is the only other major networking technology from that era that I can recall), so it’s worth looking at Ethernet a little closer in order to see why it has enjoyed such an unusual longevity.

RIPE 86 Bites – Encryption and Active Network Management

RIPE held a community meeting in May in Rotterdam. There were a number of presentations that sparked my interest, but rather than write my impressions in a single lengthy note, I thought I would just take a couple of topics and use a shorter, and hopefully more readable bite-sized format. Here’s the third of these bite-sized notes from the RIPE 86 meeting, on the topic of the implications of an encrypted content on active network management.

RIPE 86 Bites – What’s the Time?

RIPE held a community meeting in May in Rotterdam. There were a number of presentations that sparked my interest, but rather than write my impressions in a single lengthy note, I thought I would just take a couple of topics and use a shorter, and hopefully more readable bite-sized format. Here’s the second of these bite-sized notes from the RIPE 86 meeting, on the topic of time.

RIPE 86 Bites – Gigabits for EU

RIPE held a community meeting in May in Rotterdam. There were a number of presentations that sparked my interest, but rather than write my impressions in a single lengthy note, I thought I would just take a couple of topics and use a shorter, and hopefully more readable bite-sized format. Here’s the first of these bite-sized notes from the RIPE 86 meeting , on the topic of the Eu Gigabit Connectivity initiative.

Failed Expectations

In a recent workshop I attended, reflecting on the evolution of the Internet over the past 40 years, one of the takeaways for me is how we've managed to surprise ourselves in both the unanticipated successes we've encountered and in the instances of failure when technology has stubbornly resisted to be deployed despite our confident expectations to the contrary! What have we learned from these lessons of our inability to predict technology outcomes?

The Internet as a Public Utility

The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw the rise of public utilities, operating in areas of public transit, postal services, water reticulation, electricity generation and transmission, and telephony services. In the past fifty or so years the position of public sector utilities has been eroded, with progressive waves of deregulation and liberalisation of these public utility services. The internet could be see as one outcome of the deregulation of the telephony sector. But how's this going? Should we rethink how we operate public utility functions and the Internet in particular?

The Internet Twenty-Five Years Later

In 1998 any lingering doubts about the ultimate success of the Internet as a global communications medium had been thoroughly dispelled. The Internet was no longer just a research experiment, or an intermediate way stop on the road to adoption of the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) framework. There was nothing else left standing in the data communications landscape that could serve our emerging needs for data communications. IP was now the communications technology for the day, if not for the coming century. No longer could the traditional telecommunications enterprises view the Internet with some polite amusement or even overt derision. The Internet had arrived.

Notes from IETF116

The IETF had its 116th meeting in Yokohama, Japan in the last week of March. Here’s some notes I made from some of the working group sessions I attended that I found to be of interest.

Hiding Behind MASQUEs

Privacy was a difficult topic for Internet protocols at the outset of the Internet. Things took a very different turn some 10 years ago following the disclosures of mass surveillence programs in the US, when the IETF declared that pervasive monitoring of users consititued at attack and Internet protocols needed to take measures to contain the way in which data was accessed in the network. The latest offerings in the area of improved privacy include Oblivious HTTP and MASQUE. Lets look at these approaches and the way that they attempt to contain the potential leakage of data.

Submarine Cable Resilience

How do you protect a submarine cable from interference? Do you use more amour plating? Or laying the cable in a sea floor trench? Or simply lay more cables? Or do you head off into radio-based systems?

An Economic Perspective on Internet Centrality

What sustains a digital monopoly in today's world? It's not the amassing of a huge workforce, or even having access to large pool of capital. It's not even the use of proprietary technologies that are not accessible to others. So why isn't the Internet fulfilling its vision of profound and intense competitive pressure in every part of the digital supply chain? Whjat is sustaining the domination of the digital world by a select group of behemoths? And, can we change this picture?

OARC 40

OARC held a 2-day meeting in February, with a set of presentations on various DNS topics. Here’s some observations that I picked up from the presentations in that meeting.

To DNSSEC or Not?

OARC held a 2-day meeting in February, with a set of presentations on various DNS topics. Here’s some observations that I picked up from the presentations in that meeting.

The Root Zone of the DNS Revisited

The DNS is a remarkably simple system. You send it queries and you get back answers. However, the DNS is simple in the same way that Chess or Go are simple. They are all constrained environments governed by a small set of rigid rules, but they all possess astonishing complexity.

IP Addresses through 2022

Time for another annual roundup from the world of IP addresses. Let's see what has changed in the past 12 months in addressing the Internet and look at how IP address allocation information can inform us of the changing nature of the network itself.

IP Addresses through 2022

Time for another annual roundup from the world of IP addresses. Let's see what has changed in the past 12 months in addressing the Internet and look at how IP address allocation information can inform us of the changing nature of the network itself.