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  • Dhruv Dhody

RFCs We Love: Dec 2023

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

RFCsWeLove is an online meetup organized by the India Internet Engineering Society (IIESoc). The last RFCsWeLove meetup was on the 9th Dec 2023 (Saturday) at 10:30 AM IST.

The agenda for the session was

  • Introduction & Welcome - Kannan/Dhruv

  • The Role of Network Observability in Network Automation - Dinesh Dutt [Slide]

  • Understanding Network Digital Map - Qin Wu [Slide]

  • Highlights from IETF 118 [Slide]

The two opposing views on how Network Observability should evolve to help network operators in operating their networks better were very insightful and reflected well the current state and dilemma of the industry. 

The Role of Network Observability in Network Automation

When network automation burst upon the scene in 2012, it was heralded as an idea whose time had come, and how it would usher us into a brave new world. It's 2023, and the state of most surveys in network automation adoption shows dismal results. A majority of tasks in a majority of enterprises are still done largely manually.

This is a talk focused on the untrodden path in the journey of network automation, and the role of network observability. We look at the ways in which academia, IETF, and network vendors have tried to address this, why problems persist, what problems are not worth solving and why, how modern technologies make some of the answers archaic, and more.

Dinesh G Dutt is a well-known industry expert and author of three very popular and well-regarded books on data center networks, all published by O’Reilly. He has spent 20 years in the networking industry, first working for Cisco Systems where he started as a software engineer and finished as a Cisco Fellow. His next stint–we’ll leave a more famous 2-week detour out of the discussion–was as the Chief Scientist at Cumulus Networks, the company that started the network disaggregation revolution. He’s passionate about networks and open source. At Cisco, he was one of the key architects behind many of Cisco’s mega switches such as Catalyst 6500, MDS Storage Switches, and the Nexus 7000 and 5000 family of switches. He is the coinventor of VXLAN and TRILL and has more than 40 patents to his name. He's currently the CEO and Founder of Stardust Systems Inc., and the inventor of SuzieQ, the first comprehensive open-source multi-vendor network observability application.

Understanding Network Digital Map

In daily life, we are heavily dependent on transportation maps,e.g., Google Maps for navigation, online car-hailing, and food delivery. The network digital map is a specific application of the digital twin concept in the IT field. Similar to transportation maps, the network digital map implements digitalization across industries on the basis of the digital twin for road and building infrastructures and makes the network observable, measurable, and controllable. As the network scale increases and differentiated user experience is required, users have more stringent requirements on network O&M in multi-vendor heterogeneous environments. Based on data such as network resources, computing resources, application service resources, and end users, the network digital map addresses complex O&M issues caused by increasingly complex IT technologies, such as virtualization, container, service mesh, and multi-active geographical redundancy.

The network digital map aims to build a unified IT digital twin solution to break through O&M boundaries with better multi-vendor interoperability and differentiated user experience, implement unified O&M across clouds, networks, and applications, implement multi-dimensional and multi-layer visualization of one network, eliminate data silos, and build an ICT big data lake. By offering a map-based experience, the network digital map provides diverse capabilities, such as multi-dimensional dynamic topology, search and locating topology restoration, and path navigation.

Qin Wu is an expert on Network Management Architecture with Huawei’s Data Communication in China. He is also responsible for enterprise networking innovation and standards work such as IoT, Security, SD-WAN, and Edge-Computing. He has been involved in strategic standards development, engaging with some related open Source Projects such as, ONAP for more than 10 years, held various positions in IETF, ITU-T and CCSA, PDIoT.

He has over 16 years of experience in network architecture and protocol design, starting from mobility management, performance measurement, IPTV to SDN, NFV, network management automation and YANG, telemetry, AIOPs, etc. Currently, he focuses on driving digital twin networking and Network and Application collaboration.

He used to chair the IETF l3SM and L2SM working group in the OPS area, currently chairs the ALTO Working Group in the Transport area, serves as a member of the OPS-DIR Directorate, coauthor of over 55 RFCs spanning six IETF Areas (OPS, SEC, RTG, TSV, RAI, and INT).


Find details about the previous meetup here.


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