Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Third world networkers view on simplicity

Greetings bloglings!

Simplicity in design is often overlooked. We have done some really impressive networks over the last couple of years. The data center networks have evolved. VPN's are now IAAS and Im pretty sure marketing guys will keep churning buzzwords to confuse (and unlock customer wallets).

RFC 3439 states in part:

'The Simplicity Principle, which was perhaps first articulated by Mike
O'Dell, former Chief Architect at UUNET, states that complexity is
the primary mechanism which impedes efficient scaling, and as a
result is the primary driver of increases in both capital
expenditures (CAPEX) and operational expenditures (OPEX). The
implication for carrier IP networks then, is that to be successful we
must drive our architectures and designs toward the simplest possible

there Ive saved you money.

Every once in a while after a design team is done and implemetation happens. Things start going wrong. a link here, a backdoor over there. statements like Oh I dont understand IS-IS can I use OSPF for this segment? are heard!

recently/actually currently Im on leave for a month and it just so happens that a friend wanted me to help them re-design their network. Its a hospital (large hospital) big budget for gear, sadly not enough for 'people' to run/support the network.

Anyway. thinking about it, I dont see for instance why hospitals in Kenya cant come together like banks and do a common core. It would save them al lots of money. If a service provider like Safaricom were to be bold enough, nothing stops them from selling their core to the same hospitals. It would save everyone money and some serious future support issues (considering they dont want to hire people).

the task of building a large scale packet network is not easy it can be done, but its not as easy as these guys tend to think. ok back to the drawings....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Third world networkers view on relaxing

its a rare month. I somehow had excess vacation/leave days and managed to take more than half the number in one go. How long - All of Otober andpart of November:-). My plans are simple:

1: Reverse ccie laziness - As I type this, my sitting room is a mess of bike parts freshly imported to give it a fresh feel. I fully intend to add a minimum 500Km within the month on it.So if you see a nerd on a bike at 'kapchorua' please wave him on.
2: Farmken finally has a product, customer development is at advanced stages. Not a single negative feedback so far. But we have issues: packaging for retail consumers needs a rework. A kilo of fruits is around 15-20 fruits (don't get conned). sell by the dozen, use egg trays, wrap them up with a nice clear cling type paper with our logo - this also preserves the fruit? we'll see....
  • The site will feature an online shop from next week - make it easier to cut out the middle men that come to the farm and make it more expensive to buy fruit for retailers.
  • We will work directly with some of the larger 'supermarkets' again in the hopes that our fruits reach the consumer faster and cheaper - need to sort out the packaging issue above. How to do that without charging more is the fun question right now. Im thinking we can swing 170 (Ksh) for 30 fruits which is around 1.5Kg.

3: I was at the IGF and sat in two panels:
  1. 63. SWOT analysis of the impact of Mobile Internet on Internet Governance in Africa
  2. 165. Understanding IPv6 Deployment and Transition  
I had a lot of fun and intend to build up on the two. I also met some incredible people and can probably see a pivot to policy discussions when the tech ta;ks get a bit much.!:-) 

For IPv6, Im working on some new training materials and validating lab output for the said slides. I'll be teaching IPv6 and advanced network related classes. I'll let you know where/when and how that works with my current job - Just FYI, most of the training is internal but hopefully - considering this are free, I'll check to see if we can include outsiders. I think that would be cool.

Im also looking at how we can bring together the network user  group together more often. throw in some comments if you have any idea. I can probably help arrange a meeting venue, maybe some snacks or whatever if we can raise enough quorum to make it worth the time. We can pick on topics to discuss from trends in the local environment, some design issues you have at work, IPv6 whatever....or just catch up. East African Network User Group (EANUG) anyone?

4: Catch up on technology. The data center excites me. So expect stuff around vxlan/nvgre etc etc etc.....

5: I'll relax alot, read - I paid for a full years subscription of Ivan's webinars that I have not really listened to. I expect alot from there....so there..thats my month...oh I'll probably also blog alot....