Kentik - Network Observability
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Telemetry Now  |  Season 1 - Episode 29  |  December 22, 2023

Looking back and peering ahead

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In this episode, Leon Adato, Nina Bargisen, and Doug Madory join the show to discuss their perspective on some of the biggest events in networking and tech in 2023. We discuss notable outages, security breaches, new submarine cables coming online, major acquisitions, and what the future might hold for networking and technology in 2024.


The other day I was listening to the radio, the actual terrestrial radio was in the car, and a Pearl jam song came on. Nothing weird. At the end of the song, the DJ said something like, Hey, you're listening to the rock of New York, where we play classic rock hits all day every day. And I was like, what? That's weird. Pearl Jam is a pretty new band. That song came out, like, only a few years ago.

And then I did the math. And it was certainly not a few years ago. So that's basically how fast time has been going for me lately, especially with the past year twenty twenty three, and especially in tech. We've had internet outages.

We've had security breaches, huge acquisitions. We've had a non stop buzz around AI. And on the local level, we've seen job changes, companies pivoting to new markets, new technology, and on a personal level. I can say that I've had a reevaluation of my whole role in the networking community is all about.

So with me today is the entire technical marketing evangelism team at Kenton.

My colleagues, Leon Adado, Nina Marcuson, and Doug Madori. And this episode isn't supposed to be just some year in review necessarily, but I do wanna hear from some serious x in the field about their own thoughts and what's been going on this past year and what they expect to see in the coming year. My name is Phil of Javasi, and this is Tomatrina.

Leon Doug and Nina, it is really great to have you all on the podcast today. Honestly, I've had you all on at various times, various topics. So it's pretty cool to me to have all of us together talking.

For the audience's sake, we pretty much talk all the time anyway in Slack.

Sometimes there is an explicit component, sometimes there isn't. Sometimes it's profound in the statements that I hear, especially from Doug and his analysis of what's going on the internet. And, sometimes it's just a disagreement on what the best band is. Right? Because I only listen to the same four bands. Apparently, I'm stuck in the nineties.

But, it's really great to have you on. What I wanna do is do a quick round table or go around the table, the virtual table, Just do a one or two sentence introduction of yourself real quick. So, why don't we go on alphabetical order? Leon will start with you.

I am Leon Adatto.

I did graduate second, in my class, alphabetically, behind Lisa Abrams, I have been in tech for thirty five years remember one of the first things was that windows came for free on twelve five and a quarter inch floppies when you bought a copy of Excel one point o, which no one did because everyone was still converting over from visical to Lotus two three. So that gives you a sense of just how much older than dirt I am. I've been working in monitoring for about twenty five years. Using almost every tool out there. And I am still the newest member of the evangelist team here and possibly one of the newest members of Kentech overall. And it is amazing to be here.

Thanks, Leon. Nina.

I'm Nina Ferguson in twenty five years, I think, is my time in the industry now. Which is a little bit scary. I'm not really sure what happened. I used to be one of the people building the internet.

And I'm pretending that I still do and know something about it. That's why Phil has been kind enough to invite me here.

So I still pay attention to CIDR service providers, optical c cables, what's going on. But since I live in Europe, it's a little bit boring because I think all the fun stuff is actually happening in APAC and Africa right now. And so we got to find a good way of expanding in that direction, I think, because, you know, it's more interesting.

Like here is just, like, consolidation and, oh, let's try split the companies in different centricles.

Alright. Thank you, Nina. And honestly, that actually is pretty interesting. I was that's something I would have thought of or I did think of what's going on in APAC and you know, other parts of the world outside of North America and Europe is more interesting. I wanna hear more about that.

Before we do, though, Doug, last but not least, name is Doug Madore.

I'm the director of internet analysis for Kentech, and I do internet measurement, internet analysis. The main buckets of stuff that I produce are either looking at PGP analysis things involving RPKI, route leaks, hijacks, or big outage autopsies.

And then the last step is the geopolitical geographic submarine cable category that we may touch on today?

You said submarine cable, and I think it goes without saying that we're absolutely gonna be touching on that. That's one of the coolest topics that I don't have anything to do with yet. Wanna talk about all the time.

It is Catnet for network engineers. You mentioned undersea submarine cables and everyone. She's like, I wanna hear more. I wanna know about the sharks.

Yeah. The sharks, which are a myth, we learned this past year. If you remember, Doug, we had Alan on from telegeography, and he talked about how the last incident of marine life any kind of meaningful and serious way, damaging the submarine telecommunications cable was in the mid late eighties. And then since then, of course, the armor and shielding all that has been improved, and there has been no issue with marine life damaging a telecommunications cable since then.

There are videos and pictures of, like, a shark or some other animal trying, you know, grabbing the cable, but we have the protection now on the physical infrastructure under the water to prevent any kind of serious damage. That was a really cool podcast, Doug. I remember that. We've been talking about submarine cables and other contacts.

Of course, today, we're gonna talk about some outages as a result of cable cuts. And some, you know, new parts of the world that are turned up. So that'll that'll be interesting.

One of the first things I was, thinking of as you all introduced yourself And I've been in the tech industry for a little lesson, you all just because I changed my career in my mid late twenties. So I've been in tech for about fifteen years. You know, as we're going around talking about it, I'm thinking You know, when I first got my CCNA and I was working on a help desk at the time. Right?

I get my CC and A. I walk into the office after I pass. I had to take it, like, four times, something like that. And I felt like I was king of the world, and I walked in and I'm like, hello, peasants.

I know all things networking.

And now as I get older and in a technical sense, right? I get older as far as years in the industry, my goodness is that that that's becoming inverse.

And so, like, Nina, you're like, I don't know what's going on now, and that's the older I get in this business and Doug and Leon echo the same thing. Isn't that weird? It's like the more you learn and the more you know, and I know you all personally. You have very deep and broad knowledge of tech, the industry of networking, so much so that I lean on you for a lot of content that I produce, yet here we are where, like, the opposite happens over time. Where we become more aware of what we don't know and how things are so volatile and changing. Maybe there's a little element of being jaded by the whole industry seeing so many changes. I don't know.

I think part of it is, yeah, knowledge acquisition, that is a normal thing regardless of the domain of knowledge is that, you know, you start off thinking, alright, I can figure this out in the weekend. You know, maybe you have a little bit of success with it. It's that XKCD cartoon of that one weekend. You screwed around with Pearl, you know, and then you learn a little bit more and you realize that there's this this vast body of knowledge and and you sort of dive into it.

But also, I think that there is a difference in the pace of change. I think that the switched from completely on premises installations where the cadence of updates, it was quarterly if not yearly. Because pushing out a new update meant pushing out some sort of media. And now with mostly cloud based apps, you've got this continuous deployment concept And so the technology itself and the capabilities itself change far more rapidly than any of the four of us we're used to back in the day.

But do you really think that's true? Alright. So I agree with you that the the industry has been changing fast. Fine.

Quickly at a at a rapid rate. But has it really always been if we think about it? Like, going from, like, the mid nineties to two thousand? I mean, remember when everybody started doing, like, PTVs, and that was, like, groundbreaking technology.

That happened really quick. And then in, like, two years, we went from a completely physical infrastructure to a lot of VMs everywhere. You know, the advent of showing from regular routing to SD WAN. That took about three years.

I well, maybe three years is a long time that I think about it.

We're back to Pearl Jam.

Yeah. We're back to Pearl Jam. You know?

Fill your attention on is something that's universal. And that, like, when they look at the scientists study, how young people read, they get caught up on a lot of details, maybe miss the big themes. And as you're a you're older and you read a book, you forego the little details that turn out to be inconsequential, and you're better at grasping major themes and stuff you know, you see this in a tech space, like software development, where a software engineer will move on to being either management, product management, those kind of things where now you're you're kinda getting away from the particular details and now understanding the broad themes and how the bigger picture works. Mhmm. That's where we are, I think, maybe we're less, implementing the latest tuck, and then we're looking at the the themes and the how the big picture works.

Yeah. Do you miss implementing the tech? This is not exactly where I wanted to go. In this podcast being in the field, turning a physical and virtual wrench from time to time. I mean, I know. I know I do.

I do. I miss holding stuff.


I had a friend once asked me, a little while ago when I was trying to explain what I'm doing, and he's like, but but when do you do real work?

I was shocked not because he said it, but because I kind of agreed. At least when you come from many, many years of up building things and making things happen, it's interesting to be in a completely different role. And then, yeah, you miss the details because you don't need the details anymore.

Is another thing. I mean, why? Why?

I I'm gonna say though that there's also it's not not that what Doug and know, we're talking about, but it's also that as you become more sophisticated a reader, we'll go back to that analogy.

You also begin to understand a lot of the nuance of what you're reading. When you were learning to read in those first couple of books, you were just trying to grind out the words themselves and, you know, reading a book meant getting through, you know, ten pages or whatever it was and you completed it. But now, you know, you read a book and you're sort of your lovingly savoring the nuances and the moments and the layers and the relationship of these words to other words that you've written. These ideas other ideas that you've written. So I think that along with not getting bogged down by details that you realize later don't matter, There's also the fact that you can appreciate so much more richness and depth to what you're doing and I think the same is true professionally that when you're just again, getting your CCNA. It's like, I just wanna be able to configure EigrP.

I just wanna be able to get the routing to work. Like, that's it. And now you're thinking about, you know, redundancy and you're thinking about there's so much more nuance to a packet capture. You know, have I set this up so that it is scalable and maintainable.

What have I done with it? And Nina, to your point, that's the work that I think sometimes can feel the most rewarding. Like, when you really set up an architecture well and you have minimal, I won't say no. Minimal, reduce, and minimal mistakes that you have to fix later on, that feels like an accomplishment, and I think sometimes our work is missing that if we don't work really hard to find ways to put that back in.

And when you say our work, I think If you're talking about the context of what we do on this team, our work is more subjective and qualitative in nature. And I miss, like Nina said, is building and fixing stuff. There is, for me, an intrinsic satisfaction that comes from something being broken, and then it not being broken anymore because I fixed it. For example, I had my hot water heater go over the summer, and I don't fix things much anymore. I mean, I do at home, but you know what I mean? As far as my day job. And, I got my daughter to help me because I wanted her to learn how to do these things for her adult life.

And we replaced the water here. It took forty five minutes. It wasn't a big deal, but I just remember thinking to myself, I fixed that. It's working now.

We have hot water in the house, and I had that feeling and experience when I was building the even designing networks because I had to be eyeball deep in the technology in order to design it properly and and interface with customers about it, and I missed that. But I think I agree with what all of you were saying, though, like taking a step back and now being able to understand because we've been in the weeds, being able to understand the macro perspective in a way that we weren't able to before. Maybe that's why looking back over twenty twenty three and make prediction about twenty twenty four is maybe as kind of tried as that is.

Right? Everybody's doing at this time of year. Maybe that does make sense for folks that have been in the business for a couple decades. Right?

I know when I was first in tech, I wouldn't have been able to do that. I would have just been like, I know what the administrative distance is of OSPF. I can tell you all about LSA's and BGP communities. Yeah.

I know. I would be able to rattle off stuff. And now I realize, like, who cares? I can look that up.

But how does this all work together? And and why is the internet doing what it's doing right now and how can we make that that that kind of thing? Which is really more, in my opinion, Doug and Nina's realm, because I'm still stuck in enterprise land with campus and and wireless and people complaining about connecting things.

So I like the role of storyteller now.

I like to put together interesting stories and telling those stories. And I feel like that's our our role, these days. And it's an important role, it's kinda fun.

There's a quote I remember from, a rabbi that science takes things apart to tell you how they work and religion puts things together to to tell you what they mean.

And I think that as, you wanna say, developer relations, tech, you know, evangelists, you know, thoughts, media, whatever, storytellers, Doug, is is a great thing because I think what we do is we take the technical experience of taking things apart to see how they work and then putting them back together to make them work. And then now we we put ideas together to help people understand what those technologies mean and what they can do.

I never really looked at it that way, and I'm glad, especially Doug, that you brought it up because that helps me a lot. This has been kind of like a counseling session for me thus far. That's one thing that I've learned, you know, I'm in my mid forties. So I'm, you know, for the audience, I'm not super young or super old.

I feel like I'm right in the middle. But I can say, as I get older, not just in tech, but just in general as a human being, I am more comfortable reserving the right to change my mind. And to say, let's do this now. This is better and not worrying about it because you know how folks will say, like, well, I don't have any regrets in life because the regrets make you.

I have a list of regrets as long as my arm, or I'm like, I wish I never said that. That was objectively, I'm subject subjectively stupid. I regret it. But, you know, in these kind of things where it's, like, I, like, I teach that to my kids.

My oldest is almost seventeen, and she's been thinking about school, college, what she wants to do. She has a lot of different ideas, several of which she's very passionate about. You know, I'm like sweetheart, you could start and change your major. You can change your career, eight years down the road, five years that you're allowed to change your mind, and it's okay.

Don't worry about it. Just whatever you're doing that's in front of you, do it at a hundred percent. Like, if it's school, get straight a's, whatever your major is, get straight a's. And then you could change your major.

By the way, just to throw it out there, I introduced her, you know, how you could take all the classes for free online at Harvard and MIT and Stanford and stuff. So she's taking, Harvard's CS fifty, which you may be familiar with. It's very, very famous class. It's all available at both on YouTube and on Harvard website.

I introduced her to that because I've been just sort of gently nudging her toward the tech field without pushing her. And, yeah, she was reluctant. And then when she started to take that class, it was just a recommendation. It said checking out, you know, you some time here during Christmas and New Year's, you know, you had time off from school.

She fell in love with it. She keeps coming downstairs to show me, like, her program that she made for the class, then she submitted it and got an eight out of eight or a ten out of ten. She's really, really into it. And, as a as her dad, it's making me really happy.


So they are not talking about AI in that class. They are talking about object oriented programming and four loops and things like that. But AI was definitely one of the big things in twenty twenty three, I think. And I know chat, GPT technically came out as far as when it came out publicly, the very end of twenty twenty two, whatever, twenty twenty three was certainly the year where we were talking about it, like, constantly, whether it be chat GPT or AI or LLMs or anything in that realm.

Certainly, we were at the peak of the hype cycle at some point. Where do you think we are in that right now and where we're headed?

I think you're right. We're we're in the hype cycle, but we're also in a place where, I mean, we've been using AI or some sort of machine learning's been used in our industry for a long time already. But then the large language model is kind of what is in the height right now. And that's basically just that we can talk. I mean, we can talk to something and then shit comes out where before you used to be more savvy, but basically we just got an easier interface. Right? Into something that maybe already existed.

And then one thing that really, really just blows me away in the bad way is how at least here, I hear journalists and other folks sort of, like, they wanna run on the on the IA hive, and they make radio programs. And they start using chat activity and the lights as search machines, and they start believing things that come out and sort of like, let's have an discussion about checkability, set this and this and this is gonna happen. It's making and completely ignoring where those predictions come from. Right? Informing people, which I think is one of the most important things to be informed about when you wanna use chat activity is that you cannot trust what the fuck is coming out of there. If you don't know what you're asking it about, asking it to write about or or or draw a route, you might be making a complete fucking fool of yourself because things that come out might be wrong because it's it's writing based on what is learning and on probability and not on facts.

I I just don't understand.

I sort of now I'm in more of the public grade. Why do people not talk about that so they, like, big warning sign? Do not trust to fax. So this is not fax.

Is it just me being, you know, in my little stupid corner? And this was the reality six months ago, and now it's all fixed?

No. That I am nodding, like, I'm a heavy metal lead guitarist shredding on the guitar. You are absolutely a hundred percent right. They really, you know, this was generated with LLM should be a warning, like, the surgeon general's warning, the information may harm you.

This information is not for pregnant women or not pregnant women or anyone, really. Going back to the prediction part, the buzz about AI is simply not gonna die down. It's still too heavy in the hype cycle and too many people see some sort of angle. They can push their career forward by jumping on this bandwagon.

We're gonna see AI or machine learning or LLM or three of statements in a trench coat, like, whatever you wanna call it because, you know, Nina, to your point, like, it's a thing, a natural language interface has been around for a really long time. For those people who remember there was an old database product called Q and And that was its whole thing was that it hid all the internals of the database behind, and you could ask natural language English queries to it, and it would convert it into some form of sequel. And that was back in nineteen eighty nine, nineteen ninety. So something like this has been around for a really long time.

And we're gonna see this AI interface baked into a metric ass ton that is a technical measurement of products, and some of them have no business having AI integrated into it, but they're all gonna have it because everyone feels like they have to have it. They'll all be rushed to market And what we're gonna see over the next year, I believe, is companies coming to terms with how costly it's gonna be both in terms of money because a lot of people will integrate chat JIPity, and that is how I prefer to pronounce it. Thank you, Corey Quinn, that integrating chat JIPity into it, and they don't realize that there is a charge that they have to pay themselves for every query that their users end up using.

So there's a dollar cost, but there's also a cost in terms of distraction. Integrating it as a non zero prospect for your engineers.

And they're gonna realize it by the end of this year, you know, twenty twenty four we could have built all this other stuff, and we didn't because we jumped on the Jetty or LLM bandwagon.

On the other hand, I think that there's gonna be a few vendors who realize that it's much easier to develop internal LLM, you know, that there are tools now that will let you develop your own self hosted large language model that is domain specific. Oh, I can have my users ask meaningful questions about my stuff in a way that really helps them. And they're gonna build those and integrate and it will become by the end of twenty twenty four. It'll be very, very obvious which a vendor chose to do and which one people prefer to use.

That's my take on AI. We're we're never gonna get rid of the hype cycle, though, this year. It's gonna keep on going, and we're gonna all be sick. Even more sick of it than we are now.

Yeah. The entire idea of natural language processing, if you think about it, really started with the advent of computers.

I mean, in the nineteen forties and fifties, especially the nineteen fifties when we saw the first experiments with translation from English to Russian and and vice versa. And putting in a human input and then getting an output also in in natural language. And the and the input was in natural language. And isn't that how we've always interface with computers, even our code, Some of it's less intuitive and less natural than others, but there was always this endeavor to make it more natural.

And then ultimately, I look at this as our interface with data. So I agree with you, Nina, that LLM is within the realm of, neural networks and deep learning, and there and there's an element of correlation and probability and and probabilistic deterministic causality, all these kind of things and machine learning behind the scenes. However, the LLM is like you said, it's an interface between us and the other activity that's going on, the other AI, the other ML, or just the data you know, whatever kind of very, very mundane activity going on underneath.

And in that sense, the hype cycle totally gonna we're gonna go past that trough of disillusionment and get into, like, alright. What are the real practical applications of being able to interface with data in a much friendlier and faster way? And, you know, I don't know the answer to that. I I do know that, you know, for what we do at work, we ingest so much information and so many different types of data that I see the benefit there.

Right? You know, you can ask questions, and then the platform itself can manage the data for you. How it's gonna be applied across other industries. I don't know.

I don't know. But I I do I do agree with you, Nina. It's it's kind of this thing that's been conflated, like chat, CPT, and other LLMs, that is, like, the Skynet, that is the intelligence. And not not really, not exactly.

It's our interface in between us and and the machines. And the and the computer. I like I like saying machines a lot because that's in the in the literature, especially in the old literature. Yeah.

I'm kinda thinking I'm was wrong, actually, when you agree with me.

Well, how's that? What do you mean?

It's because of my experience or or just Again, I'm I'm thinking about trapped Upt. The fact that you get wrong things out of it, right, it's based on it's trained on data, and, basically, if you ask it to write something, it's just bringing out the text with the highest probability of being around what you're asking it. It's sort of like a very, very high level understanding.

So what you get back can be factual wrong. So that's why the interface to data, to me, that doesn't really ring well because you actually could get wrong data back.

So, again, I actually I'm I'm not even sure I understand what what it is, but it's not going away. That's a fact.

To be fair, when you're on the chat GPT interface, there's a warning on the bottom. It says chat GPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information. Mistakes as we know are mistakes in math, but also the mistakes that, manifest themselves from a limited data set you know, we're looking at what is it? The internet from two thousand one and beyond and newer. I I don't remember if that's the exact data set that it's using to scour to produce an answer for you.

But whatever the answer is Well, I think that's one of the things that keep really tight is exactly what data they're using to train the sort of the big model.

But I guess the thing that Leon was talking about that for your special purposes, you can now build your own model and use six technology. And then the things you would get out of that might, you know, is probably more correct, because you're training it on on specific amounts of data. And but then again, yeah. I don't know.

Right. But that's why I think the future is from that macro level that we started talking about a few minutes ago. Right? The future is, this technology It's not necessarily the specifics of how chat EBT works or how Google's doing their thing, but how is this technology going to be applied in a broader sense and where are people gonna go with it? How can it actually be helpful to IT operations or to, you know, other industries in general? And I have a friend who, She's not my friend. She's my sister-in-law now.

My brother just got married recently, and and so for no. She's my friend, my point is for a long time, you know, they were going out and I didn't call her my sister-in-law. And now she is. So it's, I mean, on the, in the adjustment period.

Anyway, what they're using, some of this technology for in her industry is completely different. I mean, sometimes I wonder if there's, like, a bunch of, like, plumbers or lawyers or choose a trade. Right? And they're having a podcast right now talking about the changes in their industry and how things are changing.

And the the the thought leaders of, like, electricians, just like we do. I do think that this is just the progress moving forward that we've seen, you know, machine learning being around for literally decades college level statistical analysis, that kind of, math that we use even at Kentech to solve very easy and not easy, but basic problems. Right? We apply models and algorithms to produce a result.

The result isn't that good. It's not what we're looking for. We try something else. We try to start with what's simple because it's less taxing on the actual gear that we're running the the algorithms on.

I mean, that's that's what we've always done. I agree with you, Nina. I mean, that we're just going to now as the ability to use more compute as the ability of networking connect to connect GPUs to do more advanced workloads, develops, we could do cooler stuff. Cool.

So it's just kind of a natural progression. I don't see this as, like, this giant. Everything is new and different now. I don't see it like that.

I just see it as a natural progression. But that's AI. That's AI and LLMs.

We've had a lot of other stuff going on this past year. So for example, do you all remember the Azure outage last year. That was a big deal. We've had some outages this year, our cloud service provider, CSPs, that are supposed to be, like, invincible.

And, you know, they don't go down because of the incredible resiliency and redundancy and fault tolerance that they have built in while they went down. While at least one of them went down. Doug, do you remember that one? The Azure one?

Yeah. So I wrote up, in January this year. An analysis of that outage. And so it was a networking problem with Azure that seemed to focus mostly in the, Asia Pacific area.

I can't think we maintain kind of full mesh of, tasks between every cloud region and every other cloud region of every cloud. So there's, like, ten thousand combinations there, of continuous measurements from that wide net, then you could kinda draw around circle of, you know, one of the links that went down there. In the end, Azure did Microsoft put out, it postmortem blaming a, misconfigured router command. It's it's sounded very similar to the Facebook outage where in October twenty twenty one, where you had a, a simulating oculus, just a routine test that ended up leading to the, arguably, the largest internet service outage in the history of the internet, in that case.

And the Facebook case, this obviously was not as impactful. But, you know, in twenty twenty one, we had a series of these of cloud outages, condiment riders going down. It seemed like the following year we didn't see so many. I think twenty twenty one was a banner year for that kind of thing.

I think, there were some lessons learned that came out of those that hopefully, maybe people tightened up and understand if you gained a healthy respect for the complexity that's involved and understanding there need to be a higher degree testing of some of these, change modifications because the consequences can be catastrophic. But in that case, yeah, the Azure outage, it's ancient history now. Month to go. But at the time, it was a big deal.

We wrote something up about that. Another another another little angle too, I feel like on any of these outages, I I feel obliged to point out, especially as a BGP analyst, is, people who are in the space of internet monitoring. You know, BGP is one of those things that's, a data type that's fairly easily accessible, and a lot of people can have got ways to go look at this. There's public tools you can look at.

And so when there's some evidence of the outage in the BGP data, then sometimes people jump to the conclusion that BGP was the cause of the outage, as opposed to the opposite. So this was another case where we can see that by virtue of the net flow that we have, I can see routes that went down, obviously, are no longer passing traffic, but then routes that stayed up also no longer passing traffic. So that means that it's not a question of reachability.

That was a conclusion of the Rogers Outage last year, but it was true again for Azure.

So, ultimately, your prediction for twenty twenty four and beyond is that the network still matters.

Yeah. That's super tricky. I mean, like, Azure, you know, on the grand scheme of things. This is a outfit like AWS was twenty twenty one or Facebook because these are organizations with relatively infinite resources. That's not the missing ingredient. It is just, these are such huge operations.

And the complexity is your enemy. Sometimes, you thought you understood what's gonna happen, and then ends up, you're down for hours.

Yeah. And certainly, we could talk about how AI in the future can be a part of the whole operational aspect.

That would be interesting. I would they could come in and solve that problem. I I don't know that we're here and there yet, but maybe that's a possibility the time we're all retiring.

I got a couple decades, my friend. I got a couple decades.

I just wanna pull out that it is emblematic to me the Azure outage of twenty three was less impactful than the Facebook outage of twenty one. That the Facebook outage was measurably more impactful. Like, that was an internet outage, whereas as you're going out, was not. Now I could take that as a throwing shade at Azure.

Like, I don't really matter. But I also think that again, I mean, back to the network matters, it does. But at the end of the day, when you think about what impacts end users, what impacts people, it is the loss of the ability to get work done. And I recognize the same worked on in Facebook are is an oxymoron, but the if Facebook represents the application that people are actually using, and Azure represents the foundational infrastructure that it runs on, a lot of times, a lot of not always, but a lot of times, it's the lack of ability to get to that tool that matters.

And I think it's worth remembering as people who love the network and have come up through the ranks and the network side that it's still very much the network matters, but it's still about the application?

Yeah. We clarify also that the Azure outage was a partial outage. It was more regional than a total thing. And then with Facebook, when they authoritative DNS, that meant everything.

There's nothing anywhere would work. So if Azure were to experience a total global outage lasting, whatever, seven or eight hours, we it'll be up there. Maybe not quite at the Facebook outage level. It might be never, too, if that if it were that same scale.

That's partly because, I mean, Facebook have billions in the American billions, understanding of users. Right? And a lot of it is entertainment, and and people actually do care a lot about their entertainment. I don't know if you guys are aware of that, but in certain areas of the world, Facebook is actually selling services to businesses, for, like, authentication and all that kind of stuff.

So the Facebook Out is actually did mean that some companies could not get their work done. A lot of people selling stuff on Facebook, couldn't sell their stuff. So a lot of businesses were affected by that outreach. It wasn't just entertainment being down or for some people, the internet being down.

I just wanna point out. I appreciate Nina your clarification of which billion you're using. You think numbers are the same, and math is the same in real world. It is it is not the word billion has a different meaning in Europe than it does in the United States. And in Europe, it is a million million, which is be our trillion. A couple years ago, I I learned this, and I just it continues to blow my mind that the word billion has different meetings, depending on where we are.

Yeah. And somehow you guys missed out how to come.

Well, there was another major outage the continent of Africa, and I don't remember specifically which nations suffered a a a pretty severe internet outage, so connectivity, not just Facebook.

Due to a pair of submarine cable breaks.

Doug, can you tell us a little bit about that?

This one's kinda fascinating. I know I I chew them a per who's fascinated by submarine cables, but this is also brings in some geological stuff as well. So the Congo River is a major river of the continent of Africa, and it comes out in the South Atlantic. And it's been flowing for, I don't know, millions of years.

And in that time, it's carved out this canyon that goes underneath the seabed, and this is the largest, the world's largest undersea canyon. And it is a geographic feature that submarine cables have to navigate as they go down. This is the west coast of Africa. And so one, the consequence of this, geographic feature in the river is that there are regularly land slides, and we're talking just massive, massive events happening under the sea.

These landslides triggered by the river So every couple of years, there's a a landslide that's big enough that it catches a couple of submarine cables and breaks them and so that's what happens in August. We had another major industry land slide. It took out, I see sat three in wax, two of the major submarine cables. Going down the, East Coast, the, the latest one is Google's Aquiano cable, and that, I guess, was laid in a way.

They were able to avoid this undersea Canyon. Anyway, so I I wrote up a post on this and went back and looked at some other previous events of undersea seismic activity there was a big event in two thousand and eight around Taiwan where there was a lot of cables that were taken out due to a, an earthquake, the major earthquake that hit Japan and March, twenty eleven, triggering landslides. And I remember going to a, a submarine cable conference a couple of years later where they had a panel folks from Japan talking about the experiences of reconnecting those cables, and it was fascinating.

Everybody was just completely in wrapped attention listening to this. And, one of the details that I stood out. I put it in the blog post was, how you normally, in these cases, where there's multiple cables, there's a negotiated agreement what's the priority list, and different cables will pay, you know, a little premium to get bumped up on the priority list to get fixed before another cable based on which, you know, companies are gonna come, sail a cable repair ship over to fix them. That priority listing just went out the window because there was this cloud of radiation coming from Fukashima that they needed to navigate around.

The priority list was where can they sail where they're not, you know, in a cloud of radiation? That's what gets fixed first, but one of these cables, when they went to try to find it, had been dragged kilometers under the sea floor again. That's something. I don't I don't have a lot of, you know, first hand experience on the ocean seafloor, but to have a landslide that drags the submarine cable kilometers.

That system, amazing to think about what takes place down there. It can be a dangerous place for severing cables, the the seabed.

Sure. Yeah. The two Africa cable is largely lit Right? I know that they made, the first landing in in in Europe. I think in in Italy was where it starts, and then it and it goes around the entire continent of Africa. That's currently the longest submarine telecom cable in the world.

I don't know if many of the spurs are lit because they were gonna use that It looks like it's, I'm just looking up now.

It looks like it's it's scheduled as RFS already for service twenty twenty four. So they're not not even claiming that it's, Yeah. Usually, usually what ends up happening with these things, and I this is something I learned, you know, over a decade ago, studying these is that there's a date when the cable is RFS ready for service. And then subsequent to that, maybe months later, it's actually carrying traffic. And that's not to say that someone's lying. There's sometimes there's another process of a negotiation between the telecoms that are gonna use the cable sends that time. There'll be, usually, when the cable's built, there's a big press release and photos of guys cutting, you know, ribbons on a beach somewhere.

Saying the cable's ready for service, but that usually doesn't mean that it's carrying traffic just yet because they've still got, some other contractual agreements that often. I don't know. Yeah. It's a they wanna see that thing finished, and then they'll sit down and start negotiation. I don't know. But there's it's quite common month take place before actually a single packet goes down that ready for service cable.

Yeah. And and that particular cable, the two Africa cable is mean, that's important going into twenty twenty four. We are talking about a incredible amount of bandwidth being available. Obviously, there are already are cables servicing the continent of Africa with other continents, of course. But this is bringing it to another level. This spurs are very numerous creating connectivity where they're otherwise wouldn't have been, or it was just the mediocre connection quality.

That's amazing that that's happening. And maybe that speaks back to what you said, Nina, that there are interesting things happening in other parts of the world outside of my zone of immediate perspective and influence in the United States and North America. But, also, there was a a new turn up with, Saint Helena Island. Correct? Staying on the topic of submarine cabled.

Yeah. I'll tell this one last story here. Yeah. So this was one I've been following for a while.

And I've kinda made it a practice for, I don't know, over a decade now of trying to spot the activation of submarine cables, like, when it's actually carrying traffic. We've got Internet measurement data confirmed that traffic's getting passed. And that goes back to maybe the Alba one, sovereign cable in Cuba. Now, you know, next month, it'll be eleven years ago for the I spotted that one.

I knew about the situation. I'm close friends with the German telecom expert that's been advocating for this for many, many years. And so that here's the situation. So Saint Helena is a very small extremely remote British overseas territory in the South Atlantic.

And this is the place. If you've ever heard of it, maybe you've heard of it because it is the final place of exile of Napoleon. This is where he was finally placed to live out his last couple of years of life. Presently, there's about five thousand, or more British citizens that live on this, British overseas territory.

But because it is a British overseas territory, it is ineligible for the other types of funding that would sources like the African Development Bank or something that would be in that region that would potentially pay for a submarine cable connection. Is what's actually happening in the Pacific to a lot of Island nations. It's a humanitarian or development gift to, connect an island because it really can't have a modern economy without, a modern internet connection. And so San Atlanta was kinda caught there where they couldn't get a help.

And then the UK government, it just wasn't a priority for them to shorten the story. My friend founded this NGO to advocate, he went to the UK government and they're not getting anywhere. Ultimately, they got the EU to pay to build a spur to the Google's equiano cable interesting is that that took place in twenty eighteen. So this is two years after Brexit, the EU is paying for the UK's, spur, which is, might be one of the last direct benefits the EU gave to the UK before they left.

It's interesting what's possible here. So they had to build the that spur at, like, twenty million euro landed in San Helena, run it to the east towards the coast of Africa, and then just drop it off, unterminated at the bottom of the sea floor because the corona cable was not yet area. And so when they finally were coming down the coast and laying that cable, they were able to snag this off the bottom of the seafloor, then reconnect it And that actually occurred maybe in May of this year that they actually connected those things. But again, back to the comment a minute ago that the RFS is always when the traffic gets passed.

So that occurred in May, it wasn't actually passing traffic until the first of October this year. So, again, a few months there, even though the physical connection is all already go. It took a couple months before it was carrying traffic. And it is a new day for people in Saint Atlanta because they, all of a sudden, have a submarine cable to split among five thousand people, which, the amount of bandwidth per capita now in that small remote place went from almost zero to nearly infinite.

I know we posted a graphic showing the spike in the amount of traffic we could see coming in and out of, Helana, a cloudflare posted something that was similar. It's like a hundred x.

I mean, just the volume of traffic because the capacity is just day and night Yeah.

Yeah. So it's important to remember for the audience's sake that there's a very big difference between satellite connectivity and then a hard wire under the water. Satellite connectivity provides maybe a percent of global internet connectivity largely for remote connectivity know, specialized use cases. Obviously, if you're in Saint Hill Island prior to the submarine cable, that's what you use, because that's what you got. But ultimately, there was a there was a study from the World Bank two thousand thirteen, two thousand fourteen, or fifteen, something like that. I'm not quoting it exactly word for word, but a ten percent increase in in connectivity, the internet, Broadband penetration, I think, is the word that they use the term. It, results in about a one point three, one point four percent increase in GDP.

For most, I guess, lower middle income countries. That's a big deal. And so I think into twenty twenty four with the two African cable with other subsequent cables, we're already about a million and a half kilometers of cable under the water for telecom specifically. We're not talking about power cable.

As that continues to increase, we're gonna see a direct impact on the global economy, like you mentioned, Doug, and I think that's a big deal. Yeah, you know, some of the stuff that's happening with communication satellites, starlink, and others, is really neat and interesting, but I think we need to pay attention to what's going on under the waves. From a technical perspective, because it's fascinating to me and how that works, you know, you're just talking about spurs, how does a spur work? You know, the different types of submarine cables that connect into this octopus looking thing and how that gets dredged up in the clouds that they use, to re submerge it under a meter or two meters of mud, really interesting stuff, but directly impactful to people's to human beings' lives from an economic perspective, from a access to information perspective, really, really cool.

We could do podcasts on submarine cables all day long as you know. Interesting topic, but I do wanna talk about some acquisitions, mergers, things like that. Now I saw in the show notes a bunch, Leon, you put a whole bunch in there. Gotta admit from a networking person's perspective, there were two that stood out.

One being Cisco inquiring Splunk, probably also because that's related to what we do at KentIC. Right? So we were very aware. And also the VMware acquisition.

Because that was a big deal. And everybody's like, oh, so VMware is going away. Interesting. I wonder what's gonna be done with them.

Well, and and the announcement that the CEO has made subsequent, it validates that suspicion. Things are not going to be stable or calm or static at VMware.

Stable or static. Okay. Those are both negative connotation words.

Well, when people are told that if you live less than sixty miles away from the office, you better learn to walk on water or get in there when they ask about ERGs, you know, employee resource groups, and that the CEO says, that's a foreign concept to me. That doesn't sound particularly warm or comforting. As an employee.

When they had their hay day, obviously, Hyper V wasn't as successful as they wanted their virtualization as far as, like, fee center be for all that. That was the de facto virtualization technology for a decade or something like that. And it could be that they are, going off into the sunset, but there was a time when they were they were they were just printing money. So it is interesting to see such a large mainstay of technology going this direction or the acquisition just showing how that's playing out now. Why do you think Broadcom was so interested in purchasing them, though, a chip manufacturer?

I don't know. I mean, VMware has been part of a series of acquisitions over the last. Let's, we'll broadly say a decade. There's EMC VMware Dell all sort of acquiring and unacquiring and trying to absorb and then that didn't work and stuff like that. So Broadcom just continued the weirdness.

Of that whole space. And I think it speaks to, first of all, the volatility of that space, and some of it was the we're, you know, printing money. But also some of it is we don't know what this is all supposed to be or do now. And and I will say also, especially in the age of cloud.

Like, once cloud came on the scene and became firmly entrenched, VMware, EMC, how much on prem's virtualization do we really need or want? And and I'm not implying it's zero. It is a non zero percentage, but I don't know how much they need. And I think that the companies themselves aren't sure what they need to do?

Yeah. There was some disruption in that entire industry, especially with the advent of containerized microservices, Kubernetes, that sort of thing, which you know, some enterprises are not really embracing, and so they're still in in VMware land. It was also over sixty billion dollar So, obviously, there's there's gonna be some kind of investment and pivoting. And so whether that's going into, like, let's focus on how we can enable enterprise cloud and kinda focusing on that realm and less on more P2Vs. I don't know, but, that was a big one. Another one was Cisco acquiring Splunk.

That meant a lot, of course, to us at Kentech, being a visibility company.

That was also a very expensive acquisition. And we know how Cisco operates. You know, they're very good at growing and developing their portfolio through acquisition. And sometimes those acquisitions are they buy a company, and then it gets put on the shelf.

Sometimes the acquisition, like, you know, I'm thinking Cisco when they purchased Viptela, that was an amazing acquisition. They slowly and and and surely turned it into Cisco S UN for a time. It was Sysco Patel. Right?

That was one, but I can remember many acquisitions where they purchased some company, and it was you know, set out to pasture.

Yeah. So everyone's wondering whether this is gonna be another thousand eyes, which was not twenty twenty three. Just to clarify, it was a while back. But it doesn't seem like a lot has has come of that.

Obviously, time will tell. Splunk seems to be too big an asset to simply ignore or bury. I think for twenty twenty four, since we're looking at twenty twenty four, the Splunk acquisition will mean nothing to the people splunk and nothing to the people using Splunk. It's just going to remain Splunk, Cisco company, and that's it.

It's just gonna be a cash generator for them. Whether or not that capability gets integrated into other tools, I think is an interesting thing. The running joke, I have to say it because it was so good. Was that Cisco really just wanted to buy a license of Splunk, but buying the company was cheaper.

Like, there we go. But twenty twenty four, I don't think is gonna see any change. And to be honest, again, using thousand eyes as a model, that first year after Cisco acquired thousand eyes, thousand eyes remain thousand eyes. It's just Nobody has seen a Cisco branded Cisco leveraged observability or monitoring tool arise out of that.

It just is.

And that's the part that confuses people about a lot of Cisco's acquisitions.

Well, it depends on where they wanna put them in the portfolio. If it's gonna be a security first kind of a tool, or they're gonna incorporate it like you said into their platforms, like they do with thousand eyes where it's just on boxes. The same thing happened with Meraki. Meraki was very much its own thing for some time for, actually, some years. It wasn't a short time. And now we're seeing how it's integrated and now it very much is part of Cisco and things are being rebranded all over the place.

Obviously, catalyst, the the whole phone thing with unified communications again decades ago, when Celsius was purchased, that was integrated over some time. I think there are some examples of of really successful integrations where it does take some time to see where this is gonna fit into the portfolio, what problems it can solve, And then we have those examples where nobody knows what to do with it, and, and it just slowly dies and goes away.

The technology. And maybe that's also a business decision, you know, as far as we need to get these guys out of the market. I don't know. So those are a couple of major acquisitions. I don't know if you wanna bring any other ones up, but the as far as networking, those are the most top of mind for me.

Right. I the only thing I wanna highlight, because I did throw a bunch into the show notes, but I think I wanna highlight just the sheer volume of companies that acquire something that had that AI component back to AI. Back to, you know, it's the hype cycle AMD acquired node dot ai for undisclosed amount. Kennio acquired, UNIFY.

That's UNIFAI.

I don't know if there's any sort of legal implication to be getting the pronunciation wrong, but here we go. Service now acquired g two k, which makes, parsifal, which is a data platform. Databricks acquired Mosaic ML, Snowflake acquired Niva, McKinsey acquired iguazio Hewlett Packard. I will still call them that, not HPE. Hewlett Packard acquired Packaderm. Which is again a data platform. So AI is on everyone's mind, but once again, I am skeptical about whether any of this turns into something meaningful or useful for the actual users.

The only other one I wanted to talk about in terms of things that I would have said look at until yesterday was Adobe buying Figma that created a lot of conversation, especially among my friends who were in UI UX, and now it's not. Because the, the merger was, not permitted, and so it's dead.

With the downturn of the tech, you know, industry in the last couple of years, and the increase of interest rates, you know, there's been, I think, a slowing of the rate of acquisitions that we've seen in the last couple of years. You know, these exceptions, that we've talked about noted, if the interest rates start coming down next year, maybe I'm stealing five hundred for people's prediction for next year, but there could be some pent up demand if capitals were easily attained and there's some targets on the horizon, but maybe we'll see, more active space in the M and A sector next year?

Could be. Yeah. As money gets cheaper for sure, and people are more comfortable with investing.

Certainly, the trend in the cost of labor, in the cost of, just the entire service chain, the cost of doing business has I don't see that slowing down. So I don't know how much that's gonna offset the cheapness of money as interest rates come down, like you said. Now I know that the Fed is we're still looking at increasing rates But that's more on the in the context of the housing market, I think. I do see what you're saying, and it's not something I thought of, Doug, that's interesting. So as money cheaper get into twenty twenty four. If it does, will that spur some more mergers and acquisition?

Will it better because, it's already been priced in of the market at this point. So the the recent, you know, announcement by the drill pile, they'll be kind of implying there'll be cuts next year marketers already reacted to that. We're already seeing the benefit.

So if it doesn't then Yeah.

And I wonder if that's gonna be more on the, smaller and medium sized tech companies too. Not necessarily on the very largest tech companies that seem to be flush with cash. I mean, just because that's the kind of business that they do. So and I think some of those are the more interesting acquisitions too when you have two medium companies that go through some sort of a merger and come out as this new thing as opposed to, Juniper or Cisco on the noncommercial side, like Apple, things like that, buying a smaller company, you know, like a huge company buying a little company.

Those are less interesting to me. But, yeah, we'll see. That's an interesting prediction I hadn't thought of, Doug. So, yeah, we'll see in the next coming year. What what about from a technical Obviously, we we've been talking about AI quite a bit. What do you foresee twenty twenty four in that context?

Okay. I'm gonna get I'm gonna get all the ones that we have to say. Like, everyone's obligated. I'm gonna get them all out of the way.

Twenty twenty four is gonna be the year of VDI. It's gonna be the year of Linux on the desktop. It's gonna be the year of flying cars. It's gonna be the year that IP version six finally takes over.

That one's for you, Doug. And finally, this one's mine and only mine. This is the year that the Cleveland Browns go all the way.

That's okay. These are all the predictions we make every year, and none of them come true.

The VDI one, I'm gonna make I'm gonna make a point, though, Every year, there is, like, an attempt to make it the year of VDI. But, like, every year, it's like, now we have thin clients. So now we have, you know, these things in the cloud, and I'm just logging into my machine in AWS. It's like, he's sort of every year is like this, like, sort of flirting with the idea that maybe it really is the Euro VDI and then it's not.

A lot of people are still storing their data on their laptops. Which to me is like, wow, really? I stopped doing that fifteen years ago.

Yeah. I store a little bit, you know, certain files, a lot of the time, it's stuff that I forget to upload because I don't have an automatic synchronization going on.

It's all screenshots for me.

Oh my goodness. You're right.

I have some spicy predictions if we want them.

Go ahead. That's what we're here for.

Okay. The first one is possibly the spiciest. Twenty twenty four is when Twitter the platform called X by no one except Elon Musk will die completely, and nothing will rise from the ashes because the ground on which it stood has already been salted. You know, I as much as as it hurts me to say it, because I think that we are poorer for having lost the platform that it was before April twenty twenty two.

Perfect as it was, I think that it is dead in all but name only and twenty twenty four is when it becomes dead in name as well. That's my first spiciest prediction. The next one is that unless my daughter gets married and moves the bakery that she runs in my basement out of my house, I will never lose the ten pounds. That I've been trying to lose for a long time.

So I'm just putting that one out there. And the last one, this is so I I live in Ohio. Which for those people who aren't in the US or and many people who aren't in the US, it's on the northern part of the country sort of near the middle by the great lakes. And Ohio has a bill to lock in at daylight savings time to not keep changing times with the seasons.

As someone who maintains, application that is very, very time sensitive, it has me terrified. Because I don't know how the people who maintain libraries are gonna update when states start willy nilly changing how they handle their time zones and how they handle their, you know, deal and savings time and things like that. So, twenty two four, maybe the year that the US completely screws up the entire concept of time zones by making it a state by state thing.

Maybe UTC will will all just go to UTC.

Please, you know, I'll I'll take swatch time. I'm like, I'll take anything. You know, as long as it's consistent, but, you know, oh my gosh. Yeah.

So those are some of the spicier Agree.

I wanna lose ten pounds as well. The second one though about Twitter, I am gonna disagree. I don't think Twitter is going to die. I do think that there was an exodus of a lot of people and the dynamic changed very much.

But I still get a tremendous amount of activity. I haven't had any negative issues in my usage of Twitter, and I see other people really upset about it. You know, going around saying, oh, everything is toxic constantly. I don't see any of it.

I don't see and now it obviously, I don't see it because I curate my feed. So I don't have things in my feed that I don't wanna see. So there's that. That's an that's an easy one.

But as far as it dying, I still see a lot of activity. I don't see the activity from a certain group of people that I interacted with a year ago. That is true. Honestly, I don't see them anywhere.

That's the other thing. I'm like, okay. Let me go hang out with them on Blue Sky. They're not active on Blue Sky.

They're there with accounts, and they barely use it. That remember the mastodon blip for about a minute and a half almost no engagement and that sort of died. I think Blue Sky is probably gonna be the main alternative for a lot of folks. A lot of people went into private Slack groups, not public, some public, but a lot of private Slack groups, discord groups, which changed the entire nature, I think, of our community, you know, and, like, people interacting and, like, just throwing stuff out there.

Like, hey, I'm working on this config. I remember those days. I hate to say this, but, like, Reddit and LinkedIn seemed to be pretty good lately. Red is like a war zone.

Sometimes you have no like, that that could be dangerous, but there is actual engagement. So I I will say that. And then LinkedIn, which was a surprise because platform that I hate to love and love to hate, I'll put something out there and I'll get a ton of engagement, you know, whether it's a question or a silly meme. So I don't know if Twitter is gonna outright die.

The business of Twitter X is at risk for sure, but it still has a value and there isn't a replacement. So, I mean, I'm mostly just doing kind of the BGP internet community, discussion, which I just haven't seen that replicated anywhere else. Definitely, we may see something like, a bankruptcy or something, but as we all know, like, you can have a bankruptcy, and the the thing still has a lot of value. And so it'll continue on in some form even if, the owner is running the advertising business into the ground.


I have a spicy prediction. We're gonna have some major security breaches And as usual, nobody's gonna care about security.

No. Yeah.

We're gonna have a couple big ones, right, whatever, maybe more. And I I do believe that they're gonna be all over the place, but the ones that are gonna really hit the news and that we're gonna care about a lot just because their top of mind are gonna be with cloud service providers. So the big the big CSPs, we're gonna see because that's that's the hot attack vector moving forward right now. Whether it's from a networking perspective or or some other perspective resources in the cloud.

That's a big attack vector moving forward. You know, it always has been, but I think we're gonna see more of that And at least on the enterprise IT side, nobody's gonna care about security. Still, that's been a thing for me that people, like, say, oh, yeah. We care about security with, like, a little wink.

Right? And then, like, nobody puts that much money into it. We hire to see so. I get it.

We have a network security team, but it's minimally staffed. And, like, no, stop it. We need full access. Every packet goes everywhere, whatever, whatever it is.

And then you have a security breach. You pay some lip services security. You increase your budget. You buy tool, security onion for everybody, and then it goes away, and and people stop caring.

I I think, and I this is my curmudge in opinion based on my years and enterprise IT, people don't really, really care about security. You might disagree, but I think that's what's gonna happen. We're gonna have a couple big outages of or rather, well, be outages, but we're gonna have a couple big breaches and people are still not gonna care.

I will only disagree in the quantity. I I think we're gonna have one to two a month.


Big breach a lot. Big big news catching breaches. And, yeah, nothing will change for the individual companies, the industry as a whole, it pains me to say it, but you're right. People ultimately don't care. I think companies have learned that they can insurance their way out of security breaches. They can just pay whether it is, you know, malware or ransomware insurance.

And they can, you know, okay. So they pay a little bit of a penalty. A few million dollars, you know, million dollars here, a million dollars there. Eventually, it adds up to real money, you know, but they don't care. Ultimately, they just keep on moving along.

Yeah. I mean, that was some talk some years ago about whether it's with the United States or in a consortium countries or however it was gonna be done where there's legislation so that there are consequences to not doing security best practices and then that result ultimately in a breach. So that there's harm being done to customers, to people. Right?

And so the company is gonna be held accountable. And we do see companies having to deal with fines today So there is a little bit of that element, but I think it was Greg Ferrow. We were at networking field a eleven or thirteen. So this was, I don't know, ten years ago, eight years ago.

We were talking about, I think it was Target. Target got hacked. Right? Credit card issue.

And, there was a certain cost to that. They just, you know, had insurance. And the insurance, the premium, and the cost of getting everything back online and everything was cheaper than how much they would have had to spend on a yearly security budget. So, like, from a business perspective, they were like, it's just cheaper for us to, like, deal with the issue.

We have backups. Backups are our security measure And, and then everybody, you know, I remember everybody at the round table was like, yeah, but their reputation, their reputation, and Greg was like, hold on. Let me look it up. He's like, yeah, their stock dipped for about one point seven seconds, and then it went right back to normal.

And and the same thing happened with the Bank of America, Facebook, you know, yeah, there's a little bit of a blip there. And then it goes right back to normal. People short memories and intentions made.

The target breach is emblematic because that was the one if you remember it. Yeah. It's because the way that they got in, it was a they had the point of sale system, the POS, which is point of sale, not the other POS. But the way they got in was that they had actually just compromised a HVAC heating and ventilation HVAC technicians password to the HVAC system, which was all the same network.

It was all one network. It was on the same network as a store point of sale systems. So they hacked the HVAC system and just moved laterally into the point of sale and stuff like that. So this was a network breach.

This was, I mean, this was our space, the four of us. And still, was like, yep, whatever, it happens going on.

Yeah. Talk about best practices because we both know. We all know the four of us that it was number one. They were all on VLAN one.

And there was no access list or or inline access list. And the password to that HVAC system was admin admin or admin no password. Almost certainly. And it was on the one nine two network.

So all all are, like, perfect storm. I guarantee, I don't know if that's true or not, but that's that's my guess. About from a connectivity perspective? What do you see as the the the future of connectivity in twenty twenty four?

I already made my comment that we're gonna see more activity with the submarine cables. But what about, like, let's say with satellite connectivity. I mean, that's been a hot thing for the past few years, especially with starling. What do you think?

You may be able to see more constellations, come active Amazon's got the project Kiper, there's Chinese constellations out there for in the low e low earth orbit, space.

Obviously, Starlink is the leader in the space. The point I thought I'd, bring up that I just brought up in my keynote at a digital rights conference just recently was when there is, an outage, whether it's a shutdown or, you'll see on Twitter X or other social media people, you know, trying to get Elon Musk to turn the internet on and country X using StarLink.

There's some complications to actually doing that. One is that, you know, these services have to have, spectrum allocation. You have to have local authorization to operate in these countries. Or, I mean, it's not a technical matter.

You know, the satellites are there already. Someone's got a ground terminal, then they just need to activate, not black out the country. But in general, nobody's done this so far, and it's seemed like it was unlikely to ever happen. However, last fall, Darling activated in Iran without authorization from Iran, yeah, to us as following the, internet outages.

There was a lot of protests in Iran last, last year after the death of a woman in police custody. And the starling turned on the service. It's unclear how many people, if any, were actually were able to make use of it, but, Iran took this to the ITU, which is our, you know, the UN's body for, ironing out, international telecom issues mostly around spectrum allocation. And maybe it's two months now ago, the ITU published there findings where they kinda sided with Iran that Sterling had no authorization to operate and that they are directing the US and our way to to have Starlink, deactivate service in the country.

IT has no, enforcement mechanism, so it's unclear, you know, what's actually gonna with that. But, I don't know that we're gonna see more of those. It would be really a game changer if, these satellite services were able to restore service in a country that was experiencing a shutdown, but and it's less of a technical issue. The other issue is, you know, the ground equipment, it's often illegal to bring it into the country.

So a man named Alan Gross spent years in prison than Cuba for bringing satellite equipment. This is long before star Lexus twenty. Or how many years ago this was, and then radiating the equipment, you know, someone were really determined they'd be able to find someone connecting. So you may be imprisoned or worse depending on what country you're in by using the stuff.

That's I don't see that being a solution going forward. As as much as it sounds like, you should be able to just say bring that satellite over and just beam down internet into this country. It's, it gets a lot more complicated than that.

Yeah. Well, in spite of those complications, I do think that we're gonna still see advancements in both the proliferation of the technology among various companies, not just starlink. Right? We're gonna see some more. And then we're just gonna see more activity of a satellite being put in orbit and connect that you'd be becoming more available. Hopefully, that also means cheaper, more ubiquitous, especially in, I guess, you could call the residential market, which is kinda where you see a lot now anyway that are just sticking on their RV or I know with startling, for example, you can just purchase the hardware and then turn up the service as you want it and then turn it down when you don't want it and just pay, like, five bucks a month to keep it going.

There's been a lot of, satellite, internet, internet projects over the years, whether it's Iridium or, things in the past that have been bankrupt. And it's still not clear that this is a business that's gonna make money. I know I was just having lunch a a couple months ago with a good friend of mine who's in this satellite business, and he was like, the fact that Starlink owns their own delivery mechanism. The company also can put its own satellites in space. That could be the thing that makes that one service successful where all the other ones have to use an external service to put the salaries in space that maybe the one defining characteristic that makes it financially viable, the other ones.

We don't know that much about the the Chinese projects.

Those may be stay sponsored. So profitability may not be top concern.

Yeah. Well, that's interesting. But, you know, on a more local level, not outer space necessarily, I think that we're gonna see continued increase in performance from chip manufacturers, especially as we continue to build the spoke data centers for you know, crunching AI workloads and and doing more long term jobs, like, you know, machine learning jobs that take three months to do. The networking that supports that requires a extremely extremely high bandwidth, you know, a four hundred, eight hundred gig connectivity at the endpoint.

And in twenty twenty four, we're gonna see that become more common. And then as you know with bandwidth, it's gonna keep going up, and we're gonna consume it, we're gonna want more because that's how we are in networking, more bandwidth, So I do see that happening and just the quality of connectivity, specifically in the data center. But I always liken it to kinda, like, how the technology in f one racing eventually makes it into my Toyota Camry at least some of it, not all not all of it, but some of it. You know, you see, you have the development in the highest end realms.

So in tech, maybe it's in the web scale or these very specific purpose built corner cases for AI. Right? And then some of the technologies adopted then, and and, you know, kinda changed a little bit to fit. The more everyday networking.

So I think we're gonna see a lot of that happening as those chip manufacturers then can redeploy some of that technology into their everyday router switches, things like that. We're gonna see some increases there, which just makes sense considering the increase of the number of people on the internet, the amount of connectivity to services that are not sitting in the server down the hall, right, but in the cloud, which kinda leads me to my last one, and this I'm gonna put out there as What do you think about enterprises continuing their lift and shift in their adoption, a continued adoption of cloud, and then services in the cloud microservices or this kind of realization that maybe we need to take a more hybrid approach and bring some of these things back on prem.

We're seeing some companies bring most of their stuff back on prem and look at this differently. For a variety of reasons. And that's been sort of a new trend this past year. Like, just lifting and shifting everything I got and sticking it in AWS or Azure, that wasn't necessarily the right thing to do.

That's mostly bulking at pipe the prices. Right? Like, I think people are looking at their bill.

And, like, holy cow, this is a Yeah.

I I've been watching this for the better part of ten years. I I don't remember how far back. There's been various, you know, state of the internet, state of the cloud, you know, type things. And, yes, you know, Doug, to your point, you know, the cost is one reason where people lift and ship.

Also, my phrase for lift and shift is lift and shit. Like, that is not what cloud is for. And you don't do that. Like, if you unless you have a brink's truck full of money, you don't do that.

You rearchitect your environment to Yeah. Right.

You know, I mean, but but if you're gonna leverage it, But come on.

Enterprises like Bob's, like, house of whatever, you know, in in upstate, New York, they're just lifting and shifting, man.

I agree with you. Polo. I mean, like, there's there's other options.

You know, yeah, that's that presupposes that one, people, like, know what they're doing.

And, we're talking about, like, as far as enterprise IT, a lot of the time, it's just, like, I I got seventy four different hats on. Let's just get this stupid server up in AWS, spin it up. DC promo. I don't wield.

We don't DC promo anymore, but you know what I Right.

Send it, yeah, beam it up into the sky. I have seen companies lift and shift and and then shift back. I think some people do it because either security or performance or some other aspect isn't what they thought it was gonna be or they can't make it be what they thought it was gonna be. There's a lot of reasons for the shift back, and that shift back has always been on the order of ten to twenty percent per year.

Twenty percent at the outside at the very beginning when like, let's go to the ground. Oh my gosh. It sucks. And, you know, back.

But, you know, there's always been a movement back on prem for certain things. I don't think on prem is going away. What I do think is that the term multi cloud, there's the stupid multi cloud and the not stupid multi cloud. And the stupid multi cloud is I'm really worried about the stability of this.

So I will put the same things in multiple clouds just in case one fails. My friend, if, you know, US East, fails. There are bigger problems than the pull my finger app not working for, you know, a hundred users or whatever it, you know, I'm obviously being hyperbolic in both on that. But, like, if the cloud fails, nobody is really paying attention to your app or your capability not working.

So putting it into the other cloud is probably not. A good use of your money. That's the stupid multi cloud. However, if you say multi cloud and you mean, I wanna use the best that each cloud has to offer whether it is the process it.

And and I'm not saying this is true. I do not want this is not an endorsement of any kind, and the contact legal department is now happy. But if you're gonna use the processing capabilities of GCP, and you're gonna use the SQL database capabilities of Azure, and then you're gonna use the ephemeral elastic compute a abilities of AWS, let's say. And that's your multi cloud strategy.

And you've architected in a way that the movement of data across those multiple clouds does not cost you once again a brink struck full of cash. Then, yeah, that is multi cloud, and that is a way to do things. And it's as long as you like the ROI of it, that's a good auto multi cloud. And I think we're seeing more of that.

In fact, I know we're seeing more of that. We're seeing more people be more thoughtful back to my comment, lift and shift is lift and shit, rearchitect, you know, monitor and manage is a different way, but if you've built it for that environment and it leverages what that environment is good at, you know, we're seeing more of that and we will see more and more of that in twenty twenty four.

Well, I certainly agree that there's gonna be a re evaluation of strategy, whether that means bringing certain resources back on prem or what does multi cloud mean, whether I got a front end in AWS and a back end in Azure, whatever, I do think that there's gonna be a much more critical look at how people approach cloud, specifically within the enterprise, not necessarily in web scale and and some global enterprise that have a different You know, they live in a different world, you know?

I think the last thing, and I'll just throw this out there is, for a long time, I was doing SD WAN deployments and design. And I'm starting to hear through the grapevine because I'm not doing deployments and design for that anymore. That there are a lot of folks. They're putting in the SD WAN boxes just as their endpoints.

They're just the routers, really. And then everything is just heading out to a Casbi, some Sassy service. There's no real point to the SD WAN overlay other than, like, just it's my new router and it gets me out to whatever cloud provider. And I'm seeing that as almost like a shift where SD WAN was the big shift from traditional when routing and networking for the enterprise, and it only lasted a few years.

And now we're starting to see a shift towards this. And I I don't know if that's That's a a naive perspective because I'm not eyeball deep into the technology anymore, but I am starting to see that a little bit. I wonder if that's gonna be the thing in twenty twenty four. Anyway, I think this is a good place to stop simply because we by far, the longest podcast we've ever had, that's okay.

So I'm gonna take a quick minute here. Go around, have everybody give an opportunity to just give, our audience, email, social media, whatever you want for folks to reach out if they wanna make a comment question concern. We again, we're gonna go in alphabetical order. So, Leah, why don't you go first?

Okay. So you can find me as Leon Adado all one word in almost every platform. I'm most active right now on Blue Sky. I'm also on mastodon, which existed for far more than a minute. It is a thing. But LinkedIn, you can find me there.

And you can also find my personal blog at adatosystems dot com. And, of course, you can find me over on kentech dot com as well.

I think, the most likely place to find me would be LinkedIn these days. And then I'm also on some obscure pulls IRC channels and, you know, what they are if you know me.

There you go. Great.

And, Doug, lastly, LinkedIn and Twitter X.

Doug Madore, is my handle. Yeah.

And you can still find me on Twitter network underscore fill. My blog fill dot com. Search my name on LinkedIn. Very active there as well.

I do have a link tree, so you can take a look at where I am actively all over the place. Some of his personal, some of his professional. Now, if you have an idea for an episode or if you'd like to be a guest on telemetry now, love to hear it from you. Please send us an email at telemetry now at kentech dot com.

Yeah. For now, thanks for listening, and we'll see you in the new year. Bye bye.

About Telemetry Now

Do you dread forgetting to use the “add” command on a trunk port? Do you grit your teeth when the coffee maker isn't working, and everyone says, “It’s the network’s fault?” Do you like to blame DNS for everything because you know deep down, in the bottom of your heart, it probably is DNS? Well, you're in the right place! Telemetry Now is the podcast for you! Tune in and let the packets wash over you as host Phil Gervasi and his expert guests talk networking, network engineering and related careers, emerging technologies, and more.
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