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History of Networking

Ihor Marhitych — 02 Dec 2019

This is series of interviews recorded by Russ White for who took the initiative to interview key people who either invented, popularised, or are intimately familiar with the origin of a certain technology or organisation. Many thanks to Russ who allowed us to make these podcasts available on RIPE Labs. Watch this space for more interviews.

MPLS/TE: George Swallow

Traffic engineering is an interesting case study in using packet based mechanisms to solve problems traditionally solved with circuit switched network technologies. George Swallow is one of the original designers of MPLS/TE.

Pseudowires: Luca Martini

In the first few decades of networking, circuit switched solutions reigned supreme. When packet switched networks were fully adopted, network engineers discovered there were some problems that were still best solved with circuit switched technologies--hence the invention of emulated point-to-point circuits over packets switched networks.

LISP: Dino Farinacci

Location and identity are often bundled into a single "thing" in IP networking. One attempt to separate these two is the Locater Identifier Separation Protocol, or LISP. Dino Farinacci is the inventor of LISP.

ILNP: Saleem Bhatti

Mobility problems in networks did not arise with the data center fabric and virtualized load. ILNP was designed to support mobility in IP networks on a campus or global scale.

Backpack: Yuval Bachar

The concept of disaggregation could not be taken seriously before the rise of merchant silicon. Yuval Bachar designed the Backback, one of the first "white box" routers in the world.

EIGRP: Donnie Savage

The Enhanced Interior Gateway Protocol (EIGRP) was, at one time, a dominant routing protocol in large-scale networks.

DNS: Paul Mockapetris

DNS is a critical system in all networks, as it converts names to topological addresses where services can be found.

DNS Adoption: Paul Vixie

Even though DNS seems obvious now, it took a good coder to sit down and write an initial implementation to get the protocol deployed in early networks. Paul Vixie, who wrote the original BIND toolset, joins the history of networking.

Network Management - SNMP: Craig Partridge

The Simple Network Management Protocol, or SNMP, was originally specified in RFC1067, and most recently in RFC1157. The original intent was to make "all IP and TCP implementations be network manageable"—an early form of providing a machine-readable interface so operators could "automate all the things." Craig Partridge played a key role in the early development and standardisation of SNMP; he joins us on the History of Networking to discuss the origins and challenges involved in developing SNMP.

NBASE-T: Peter Jones

Peter Jones joins the History of Networking to discuss the origins, drivers, and challenges surrounding NBASE-T. While this is a new technology, the work involved in developing the technology and products to make it real reach several years back into the past.

Fast Reroute: Alia Atlas

The IETF community designed and proposed a few different fast reroute solutions to improve packet switched network convergence. Interview with Alia Atlas

The RFC Series: Steve Crocker

Many of the standards that make the Internet "go" are described in Requests for Comments, or RFCs. Steve Crocker joins the history of networking to describe how and why these documents came to be.

CSNET: Larry Landweber

Larry Landweber is John P. Morgridge Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He founded the CSNET project in 2979, one of the earliest networks eventually contributing to the creation of the Internet as it exists today. The CSNET eventually became National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET). Larry is credited with making the decision to use TCP/IP on CSNET.

TCP/IP: Douglas Comer

The Transmission Control Protocol, or TCP, is one of the foundational technologies of packet switched networks. TCP not only provides windowed flow control, it also manages the retransmission of data when errors are detected, and sockets for addressing individual applications on a host. Douglas Comer was involved in the early development of TCP/IP.

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