Sizing the Buffer

Packet switched networks benefit from buffers within the network’s switches. In the simplest case, if two packets arrive at a switch at the same time and are destined to the same output port, then one packet will need to wait in a buffer while the other packet is sent on,…


TCP MSS Values

At the recent IEPG meeting in Montreal in July 2019 Joel Jaeggli of Fastly talked on the topic of the settings of the TCP Maximum Segment Size (MSS) field in TCP implementations. There has been a recent vulnerability published (described in CVE-2019-11477, 11478 and 11479) relating to the Linux TCP…


Network Protocols and their Use

In June I participated in a workshop, organized by the Internet Architecture Board, on the topic of protocol design and effect, looking at the differences between initial design expectations and deployment realities. These are my impressions of the discussions that took place at this workshop. 1 – Case Studies In…


A quick look at QUIC

Quick UDP Internet Connection (QUIC) is a network protocol initially developed and deployed by Google, and now being standardized in the Internet Engineering Task Force. In this article we’ll take a quick tour of QUIC, looking at what goals influenced its design, and what implications QUIC might have on the…


What’s the Time?

Computers have always had clocks. Well maybe not clocks as you might think, but digital computers have always had oscillators, and if you hook the oscillator to a simple counter then you have a clock. The clock is not just there to tell the time, although it can do that,…


Another 10 Years Later

Ten years ago, I wrote an article that looked back on the developments within the Internet over the period from 1998 to 2008. Well another ten years has gone by, and it’s a good opportunity to take a little time once more to muse over what’s new, what’s old and…


Addressing 2017

Time for another annual roundup from the world of IP addresses. Let’s see what has changed in the past 12 months in addressing the Internet and look at how IP address allocation information can inform us of the changing nature of the network itself. There is no doubt that the…


Ripe 75

RIPE held its 75th meeting in Dubai in mid-October. As usual there was a diverse set of presentations covering a broad range of activities that are taking place on today’s Internet. The topics include issues relating to network operations, regulatory policies, peering and interconnection, communications practices within data centres, IPv6,…


An Opinion in Defence of NATs

Network Address Translation has often been described as an unfortunate aberration in the evolution of the Internet, and one that will be expunged with the completion of the transition of IPv6. I think that this view, which appears to form part of today’s conventional wisdom about the Internet unnecessarily vilifies…


Notes from IETF 99 – The Other Bits

After pulling out the notes from the IEPG meeting and aspects of the DNS, here are the rest of the items that I personally found to be of interest at IETF 99 last week. IPv6 Operations – Apple’s Happier Eyeballs? The way in which browsers leverage the potential opportunities offered…