Building network automation solutions

9 module online course

Start now!

Category: worth reading

Worth Reading: Free Software Is a Gift

I’m positive that this pointer to The Gift of It’s Your Problem Now by Avery Pennarun will generate similar comments to the blockchain one: “he’s an idiot, and you’re an idiot for wasting my time posting this”.

That might be true, but in that case he’s my kind of idiot, and you shouldn’t complain about a gift anyway – there are tons of high-quality lolcats videos waiting for you instead.

see 1 comments

Git as a Source of Truth for Network Automation

In Git as a source of truth for network automation, Vincent Bernat explained why they decided to use Git-managed YAML files as the source of truth in their network automation project instead of relying on a database-backed GUI/API product like NetBox.

Their decision process was pretty close to what I explained in Data Stores and Source of Truth parts of Network Automation Concepts webinar: you need change logging, auditing, reviews, and all-or-nothing transactions, and most IPAM/CMDB products have none of those.

On a more positive side, NetBox (and its fork, Nautobot) has change logging (HT: Leo Kirchner) and things are getting much better with Nautobot Version Control plugin. Stay tuned ;)

see 1 comments

Interesting: What's Wrong with Bitcoin

I read tons of articles debunking the blockchain hype, and the stupidity of waisting CPU cycles and electricity on calculating meaningless hashes; here’s a totally different take on the subject by Avery Pennarun (an update written ten years later).

TL&DR: Bitcoin is a return to gold standard, and people who know more about economy than GPUs and hash functions have figured out that’s a bad idea long time ago.

read more see 5 comments

Soap Opera: SRv6 Is Insecure

I heard about SRv6 when it was still on the drawing board, and my initial reaction was “Another attempt to implement source routing. We know how that ends.” The then-counter-argument by one of the proponents went along the lines of “but we’ll use signed headers to prevent abuse” and I thought “yeah, that will work really well in silicon implementations”.

Years later, Andrew Alston decided to document the state of the emperor’s wardrobe (TL&DR: of course SRv6 is insecure and can be easily abused) and the counter-argument this time was “but that applies to any tunnel technology”. Thank you, we knew that all along, and that’s not what was promised.

You might want to browse the rest of that email thread; it’s fun reading unless you built your next-generation network design on SRv6 running across third-party networks… which was another PowerPoint case study used by SRv6 proponents.

add comment

Worth Reading: Operators and the IETF

Long long time ago (seven years to be precise), ISOC naively tried to bridge the gap between network operators and Internet Vendor Engineering Task Force1. They started with a widespread survey asking operators why they’re hesitant to participate in IETF mailing lists and meetings.

The result: Operators and the IETF draft that never moved beyond -00 version. A quick glimpse into the Potential Challenges will tell you why IETF preferred to kill the messenger (and why I published this blog post on Halloween).

read more see 1 comments

Worth Reading: Network Validation Evolution at Hostinger

Network validation is becoming another overhyped buzzword with many opinionated pundits talking about it and few environments using it in practice (why am I not surprised?)

As always, there are exceptions. They don’t have to be members of the FAANG club, and some of them get the job done with open-source tools regardless of what vendor marketers would like you to believe. For example, Donatas Abraitis described how the Hostinger networking team gradually implemented network validation using Cumulus VX, Vagrant, SuzieQ, PyTest and Test Kitchen. Enjoy!

add comment

Worth Reading: The Software Industry IS STILL the Problem

Every other blue moon someone writes (yet another) article along the lines of professional liability would solve so many broken things in the IT industry. This time it’s Poul-Henning Kamp of the FreeBSD and Varnish fame with The Software Industry IS STILL the Problem. Unfortunately it’s just another stab at the windmills considering how much money that industry pours into lobbying.

see 3 comments

Worth Reading: Do We Need Segment Routing?

Etienne-Victor Depasquale sent me a pointer to an interesting NANOG discussion: why would we need Segment Routing. It’s well worth reading the whole thread (until it devolves into “that is not how MPLS works” arguments), which happens to be somewhat aligned with my thinking:

  • SR-MPLS makes perfect sense (excluding the migration-from-LDP fun)
  • SRv6 (in whatever incantation) is mostly a vendor ploy to sell new chipsets.


add comment