Category: Tags

netlab

The netlab tool will help you be more proficient once you decide to drop GUI-based network simulators and build your labs using CLI and infrastructure-as-code principles.

You can also use netlab (potentially together with GitHub Codespaces) to build online, easy-to-consume, hands-on training solutions. I used that approach to build the BGP labs.

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AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are the next big hype in networking following Software-Defined Everything and Intent-Based Everything. Like with the previous hype bubbles it’s worth figuring out

  • How much of the hype is real (TL&DR: not much)?
  • Whether the technology is ready to be used in production networks (TL&DR: some of it)
  • How you could use the technology to make your life easier

How Real Is It?

Like with the previous hype tsunamis I’ll do my best to help you figure out the answers to the above questions with a hefty dose of skepticism and snark1, starting with:

I also decided to “kick the tires” and document my (often less-than-stellar) experience with the most-overhyped products:

AI/ML in Networking: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Javier Antich created a wonderful AI/ML in Networking in 2021. If you know nothing about AI/ML and wonder whether you should care about it, you MUST watch these videos from his webinar:

In 2023, Javier published a book covering the same set of topics in way more details. I would highly recommend you read it if you want to know more.

What Others Are Saying

I keep collecting interesting articles talking about AI in general and (lately) ChatGPT. I found these interesting enough to mention them in worth reading blog posts:

These are not bad either:

Finally, a few real-life uses of large language models:

Blog Posts I Forgot to Categorize


  1. Please don’t blame me for pointing out the ever-lasting validity of Sturgeon’s law. Contrary to what some people think, I’m not trying hard to pick up dismal examples of AI failures, I’m just good at looking in the wrong places. Also, I’m too old to be wearing rosy glasses and drinking Kool-Aid. ↩︎

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EVPN

EVPN, or Ethernet Virtual Private Network, is like a smart system that helps computers and devices in a network talk to each other better. It’s like having a super organized mail system where each computer has its own address, and EVPN makes sure messages get to the right place quickly and safely. So, it’s kind of like a traffic manager for information on a computer network, making everything run smoothly and securely.

ChatGPT trying (and failing) to explain EVPN

What Is EVPN?

Before going into the technical details, let’s start with the basics: What is EVPN, how does it work, and where can you use it?

EVPN Designs

EVPN was designed to be used in an IBGP environment on top of an IGP. With the eruption of EBGP as better IGP hype, many vendors tried to adapt EVPN to an environment running EBGP instead of OSPF. We covered typical EVPN designs in these blog posts:

EVPN Implementation Details

There are tons of tiny little things that can go wrong when you try to deploy EVPN. I documented them as I stumbled upon them:

Beyond VXLAN

While EVPN is often used with VXLAN today, it was designed to work with the MPLS data plane, resulting in a few quirks:

EVPN Rants

Some vendors’ marketing engineers (or Senior Directors) can’t stand anyone telling them their implementation might be suboptimal, going to great lengths to prove to themselves they’re right, and generating beautiful fodder for rants.

Videos

You can watch numerous videos from the EVPN Technical Deep Dive webinar without an ipSpace.net account:

What Others Wrote About EVPN

Other EVPN Blog Posts

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