NANOG 73 – Denver, CO – Hosted by CoreSite

NANOG Overview

I have been attending NANOG meetings since the early 2000s. I have to say, the Program Committee (PC) that oversees the content for these meetings is doing a bang-up job. There was a time where most of the meetings revolved around arguments about when/if we should adopt IPv6, whether Internet multicast was a good idea, and who was upset with who over a BGP peering dispute. The content at the meetings has really evolved since then and there are a lot of top notch sessions.

Before we dive right into the content, lets look at a little background on NANOG for those not familiar with the organization. NANOG stands for North American Network Operators’ Group. They were founded in 1994 by Merit Network with funding from NSFNET. In the 2010 – 2011 timeframe, NANOG ventured out on their own to be their own 501(c)(3) organization. They hold in person meetings three times a year (Feb., June, and Oct.) hosted by various companies in the networking industry. In addition, they offer a mailing list, hold smaller NANOG on the Road meetings, and a whole lot more. They are a vendor neutral, highly technical group focused on all aspects of data networking. If you are looking for a vendor neutral networking conference, I highly recommend you check out NANOG. I always get something out of it.

Below is the summary of the sessions I was able to sit through. Unfortunately my day job combined with socializing in the hallways kept me from attending all the sessions. The good news is all the session recording and slides are posted on the agenda page.


NANOG 73 kicked off with a Hackathon sponsored by Juniper Networks on Sunday, June 24th. I have not had the opportunity to attend one of these Hackathons but I have heard great things about them. Check out the video recording or the presentation for more information.

The NANOG 73 conference itself kicked off on Monday, June 25th with a Conference Opening by Ryan Donnelly, NANOG Board Chair, as well as some words for the conference host and connectivity sponsor.

Facebook’s “Operations first, feature second” Philosophy

The first talk was a keynote speech from Najam Ahmad from Facebook on their “Operations first, feature second” Philosophy. Najam is a long-time industry titan. If you have not heard him speak before, you are in for a real treat. He always does a great job in his delivery and I found this particular talk very fascinating. Check out the video recording or the slides to learn more.

NANOG’s New Executive Director

NANOG has recently hired a new Executive Director, Edward McNair, to oversee the organization. Betty Burke served as the Executive Director for NANOG from its inception until earlier this year, almost 25 years. This is a very interesting time for NANOG as it has its first major change in leadership. Betty is well respected by the NANOG community so Edward has big shoes to fill. Dave Temkin, VP of Network Strategy and Architecture at Netflix, interviewed Edward in order for the NANOG community to get to know him. I was very impressed with Edward but check out the video for yourself.

SNMP is Dead

Carl Lebsack and Rob Shakir from Google presented on their work to migrate from SNMP to Streaming Telemetry. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart as I spent time working on this with Google when I supported that account at Juniper. The technology has advanced quite a bit since then. Rob and Carl did a great job of explaining why they did this and how the technology works. I know a lot of people argue that Google’s scale means their solutions are not meant for the mainstream. However, I think it is only a matter of time until Streaming Telemetry becomes mainstream. Check out the video recording or the presentation to get up to speed. NOTE: I also did a talk on Streaming Telemetry at NANOG 68.

Segment Routing: The Stuff Marketing Doesn’t Talk About

A former colleague of mine, Steve Ulrich from Juniper Networks gave a talk on Segment Routing. This is another topic I worked on during my time supporting Google. Segment Routing is starting to get some serious traction in the industry and Steve did a really good job of covering some of the caveats or things that need to be considered and worked on as the industry adopts this technology. Check out the video or the slides to get up to speed.

A Reflection on Time Spent at NANOG

As mentioned earlier, Betty Burke, has been involved with NANOG as long as there has been a NANOG. In this session, Steve Feldman from CBS Interactive gave a quick background on how NANOG branched out on their own, Betty’s involvement in that, and how appreciative he is to Betty for all her help. Steve then turned it over to Betty who talked about her background in the Internet and her involvement with NANOG. While not a technical talk, if you are interested in the background of NANOG the video is worth a watch. NOTE: Betty has done an awesome job with NANOG and I would be remiss if I didn’t include a shout out to all her hard work and wish her a happy retirement!

Segment Routing for DCI

Muhammad Durrani from Equinix and Pete Moyer from Nokia delivered a talk on using Segment Routing to build a DCI solution. Pete started off by going over the background on the technology and Muhammad went into the details on how Equinix has used this technology to inter-connect their data centers. Again, if you are interested in Segment Routing I suggest you check out the video or the presentation to see a real world use case for the technology.

Flowspec for BGP Route Servers at IXPs

BGP Flowspec is another technology I have a passion for. Check out my Presentations page to see more of my work on this topic. Benedikt Rudolph from DE-CIX delivered a really cool talk on how they have implemented Flowspec in their IX to protect against DDoS attacks. The video has not been posted yet but check out the presentation to get a feel for the solution.

EVPN for Everyone Else – Evolved Campus Core

Last but not least, another former colleague of mine – Vince Celindro from Juniper – delivered a talk on using EVPN to build a next generation Core network for a Campus. EVPN provides so great functionality for L2 stretched over L3. Most people think of it as applicable to the data center or MetroE networks. However, Vince points out that it has a lot of advantages in the campus network as well. At the time of this writing, the video has not been published yet. However, check out the slide deck to get a feel for the design Vince advocates.


As I mentioned, I was not able to attend all the sessions at NANOG 73 but those that I did attend where top notch. I highly recommend folks go back through the recordings or presentation materials. I would also suggest attending a future NANOG if you have not yet checked it out in person. It really is a well done conference.

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