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Feedback: How Networks Really Work

In early April 2020 I ran another live session in my How Networks Really Work webinar. It was supposed to be an easy one, explaining the concepts of packet forwarding and routing protocols… but of course I decided to cover most solutions we’ve encountered in the last 50 years, ranging from Virtual Circuits and Source Route Bridging to Segment Routing (which, when you think about it, is just slightly better SRB over IPv6), so I never got to routing protocols.

That webinar was supposed to be an introductory one, but of course I got pulled down all sorts of rabbit trails, and even as I was explaining interesting stuff I realized a beginner would have a really hard time following along… but then I silently gave up. Obviously I’m not meant to create introduction-to-something material.

Looks like I made the right choice: after the webinar I got a really nice email from one of the attendees saying (among other things)…


  • The name looked to be simplistic and very basic for entry level engineers, when you started explaining the concepts I realized even for people who’ve been in the industry forever provides some good clues and insights on how these things work.
  • Your slide explaining your terminology when referring to “switching”, “layer 3 switching'', “bridging” etc. was brilliant because you make a realistic distinction in these terms.
  • Your comments about how vendors have influenced the terminology is right on target and helps you to debunk some myths that we have learned from the “marketing pitches” of the big manufacturers of network devices.
  • I have to admit the multilayer switching slide although I was yawning a little there was very informative and helps to complete an accurate webinar covering all the bases.

Give the webinar a try, and let me know what you think - is it too basic, too complex, useless…? You don’t need a paid subscription to get started; parts of the webinar are included in free subscription, and I’m making another video from the webinar public every other week.

You might also want to join us for the next live session on May 28th when we’ll finally get to the basics of routing protocols.

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