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Self-promotion Disguised as Research Paper

From AI is wrestling with a replication crisis (HT: Drew Conry-Murray)

Last month Nature published a damning response written by 31 scientists to a study from Google Health that had appeared in the journal earlier this year. Google was describing successful trials of an AI that looked for signs of breast cancer in medical images. But according to its critics, the Google team provided so little information about its code and how it was tested that the study amounted to nothing more than a promotion of proprietary tech (emphasis mine).

No surprise there, we’ve seen it before (not to mention the “look how awesome we are, but we can’t tell you the detailsJupiter Rising article).

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Worth Reading: The Shared Irresponsibility Model in the Cloud

A long while ago I wrote a blog post along the lines ofit’s ridiculous to allow developers to deploy directly to a public cloud while burdening them with all sorts of crazy barriers when deploying to an on-premises infrastructure,” effectively arguing for self-service approach to on-premises deployments.

Not surprisingly, the reality is grimmer than I expected (I’m appalled at how optimistic my predictions are even though I always come across as a die-hard grumpy pessimist), as explained in The Shared Irresponsibility Model in the Cloud by Dan Hubbard.

For more technical details, watch cloud-focused ipSpace.net webinars, in particular the Cloud Security one.

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Worth Reading: Iron Chef - Certification Edition

In one of his recent blog posts Tom Hollingsworth described what I semi-consciously felt about the CCIE lab exam for at least 25 years: it’s full of contrived scenarios that look more like Iron Chef than real life.

I understand they had to make the lab harder and harder to stop cheating (because talking with candidates and flunking the incompetents is obviously not an option), and there’s only so much one can do with a limited set of technologies… but forcing networking engineers to find ever-more-devious ways to solve overly-complex problems is nothing else but fuel for rampant MacGyverism.

Anyway, I don’t think this mess will ever be fixed, so the only thing we can do is to enjoy the rant.

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MUST Read: Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing

One of the weekend reads collected by Russ White contained a pointer to a hilarious description of blockchain - a solution in search of a problem. Here are a few quotes to get you started (and I had a really hard time selecting just a few):

I’ve never seen so much bloated bombast fall so flat on closer inspection.

At its core, blockchain is a glorified spreadsheet.

The only thing is that there’s a huge gap between promise and reality. It seems that blockchain sounds best in a PowerPoint slide.

Someone should use that article as a framework and replace blockchain with OpenFlow or SDN ;)

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Worth Reading: The Making of an RFC in today’s IETF

Years ago I was naive enough to participate in writing an IETF document. Three years later we finally managed to turn it into an RFC, and I decided that was enough for one lifetime.

But wait, it gets worse… as Geoff Huston argues in his article, the lengthy review process doesn’t necessarily result in better (or more precise) documents.

Seems like we managed to turn IETF into yet another standard body like IEEE, ISO or ITU/T.

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MUST READ: Lessons from load balancers and multicast

Justin Pietsch published another must-read article, this time dealing with operational complexity of load balancers and IP multicast. Here are just a few choice quotes to get you started:

  • A critical lesson I learned is that running out of capacity is the worst thing you can do in networking
  • You can prevent a lot of problems if you can deep dive into an architecture and understand it’s tradeoffs and limitations
  • Magic infrastructure is often extremely hard to troubleshoot and debug

You might find what he learned useful the next time you’re facing a unicorn-colored slide deck from your favorite software-defined or intent-based vendor ;))

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MUST READ: What I've learned about scaling OSPF in Datacenters

Justin Pietsch published a fantastic recap of his experience running OSPF in AWS infrastructure. You MUST read what he wrote, here’s the TL&DR summary:

  • Contrary to popular myths, OSPF works well on very large leaf-and-spine networks.
  • OSPF nuances are really hard to grasp intuitively, and the only way to know what will happen is to run tests with the same codebase you plan to use in production environment.

Dinesh Dutt made similar claims on one of our podcasts, and I wrote numerous blog posts on the same topic. Not that anyone would care or listen, it’s so much better to watch vendor slide decks full of latest unicorn dust… but in the end, it’s usually not the protocol that’s broken, but the network design.

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