Last week I was in Atlanta with 879 of my friends for NANOG 72; the seventy second meeting of the North American Network Operators Group. NANOG is always a marathon of presentations, conversations, meals, and meetings. This one was no different – a whirlwind of learning, talking, speaking, and yes, even a bit of drinking. Now that we’ve all had a couple of days to recover and reflect, you know what time it is, it’s time for Hawt or Naught, version NANOG 72:
Hawt – Hackathons
For the past several NANOG’s they have hosted a day-long hackathon the Sunday before the meeting starts. They always focus on prototyping innovative tools that can make running a network easier and more efficient. For the NANOG 72 edition, the theme chosen was Configuration Management and Deployment. Check out the video to see Bill Booth set the stage on Ansible, NAPALM, Python, and why all of this is important. Then stick around for the team presentations.
Naught – Leaving the Beach
I missed this hackathon because I was flying back from a surfing trip in Nicaragua on Sunday. Whoa is me.
Hawt – Automation & Programability
NANOG was all about BGP, Bandwidth, and MPLS. These days it’s all about controlling the network with software, scripts, and automation tools. By far the most represented theme at NANOG 72, with over 25% of the speaking slots covering topics directly related to network automation:
- Project Loon: LTE and Mesh Networks in the Stratosphere – this talk was not recorded, but it did cover the idea of “Temporospatial SDN” to deal with both logical and physical orchestration of a network made of balloons (watch for my extended post on this topic, coming soon).
- Data Modeling Driven Management: Latest Industry and Tool Developments – everything you ever wanted to know about YANG.
- Network Operational Simplicity via Zero Touch Deployment (ZTD) – components and scenarios for day-0 automation, including iPXE, ONIE, ZTP, and NETCONF/YANG.
- Network Automation: Do I Need Expensive Tools To Do Meaningful Automation? – a great talk on how to implement automation within your organization, and I’ll definitely be stealing several of the diagrams from these slides.
- OpenDaylight as a Platform for Network Programmability – SDN, Network Programability, YANG/NETCONF/RESTCONF, and how to use OpenDaylight.
- Lightning Talk: Device vs Service models in Network Automation – breaking down functionality and responsibility around YANG models.
- Lightning Talk: The API is the new CLI? – a quick introduction to network device APIs (NETCONF/RESTCONF).
Casting a wider net, we see several other talks pop up under the umbrella of software, programming, overlays, and the like. Not to mention the full day (and two general session announcements) dedicated to the hackathon. This was definitely the HAWT topic of the NOG.
Naught – Manual Configuration
We heard this week that 70% of folks are still doing manual CLI-based network configuration.
That furious typing is slow and error prone. If it’s you – check out some of the talks above, or jump over to my YouTube playlist with a curated collection of talks on Automation & NetDevOps & “SDN” (even more videos coming soon).
Hawt – Scott Bradner
The unofficially official historian of the Internet, who happens to rock the industry’s best beard, gave us an engaging and informative history of the Internet in his Monday morning Keynote:
Naught – That Guy
Seriously, who’s that creepy guy in the background of this photo? At least the cake was moist.
Hawt – Understanding DDoS
While I don’t think anyone likes DDoS attacks, they were certainly on peoples minds:
- Lightning Talk: Inferring BGP Blackholing Activity in the Internet – The first Internet-wide study of the state and adoption of BGP blackholing.
- Lightning Talk: A New Twist In SSDP DDoS Attacks – research into a new type of amplification/reflection SSDP DDoS attack leveraging IOT devices and UPnP.
- Fundamentals of DDoS Mitigation – a 90 minute tutorial covering DDoS mitigation; looks like there is no video, which is a bummer.
Naught – Failing to Understand the IETF
IETF’rs were out in full force, with RFC numbers showing up in many talks, and several presentations dedicated to IETF topics:
- Protocol Evolution and its Impact on Network Operators – all about QUIC and its potential impacts, as well as an update on HTTPS, HTTP/2, and TLS (1.3).
- Bit Index Explicit Replication – A stateless Multicast Architecture – who deosn’t like BIER?
- Operators and the IETF – a panel discussion covering how to get involved in the IETF, and an overview of what they are working on.
Many of you already know that bringing more operator input into the IETF is a passion of mine.
Hawt – Giving a Talk at NANOG
Hey, look at that, they let me get on stage again:
Naught – Rushing Your Talk
I did it again. I blew through the end of my talk and missed the opportunity to really drive home the main point. What I should have said was:
Since APIs are there for software to talk to software, they won’t ever really replace the CLI as a method of human interaction with the network. What they will do, however, is shift that interaction to the shell, to a GUI, to a chat window, or even to a voice interface. So, APIs are not the new CLI, but Slack might be…
Hawt – Being Ready for NANOG 73
Here’s some dates you need to pay attention to, if you’d like to participate in the next NANOG: