NANOG 75 – San Francisco, CA – Hosted by Digital Realty

NANOG Overview

NANOG (North American Network Operators Group) recently held their 75th meeting. For a little more background on NANOG, check out my previous post from NANOG 73.

I had the pleasure of attending NANOG once again. 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 75 Hackathon


NANOG 75 kicked off with a hackathon sponsored by Cisco and Tesuto on Sunday February 17th. I still have not had the opportunity to attend one of these hackathons but I continue to hear great things about the experience. This was the most widely attended hackathon with around 70 participants. The recordings of the results have not been posted as of this writing but the requirement slides are here. Group 1’s presentation is here and group 2’s presentation is here.

Conference Opening

The NANOG conference officially kicked off with an opening from Sean Kennedy, Chair for the NANOG Board. Sean summarized what he hoped to get out of NANOG 75 as:

  1. Learn something new
  2. Meet new people and make new contacts
  3. Do some business

Sean walked through some of the numbers from NANOG 75. 1,280 people were in attendance for this meeting. The community is alive and well! Sean also went over some highlights from the agenda and the details around the upcoming socials.

Edward McNair, Executive Director, then went over some of the existing changes with growth to the NANOG staff. NANOG now employs 6 people include Edward himself.

Tina Morris, Vice Chair for the NANOG Board, Michael Devito, SVP of Network Solutions at Digital Realty, and Brad Raymo, Chair for the NANOG Program Committee each took a few minutes to over pieces related to their role. Check out the video recording or the presentation for more information.

Comparing the Network Performance of AWS, Azure, and GCP

The next session I was able to attend was presented by Archana Kesavan, Senior Product Marketing Manager at ThousandEyes. Archana went over a recent study that ThousandEyes did to measure the performance of the various public cloud providers: AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. ThousandEyes saw a lack of data about how the various cloud providers performed so they decided to do this research. Archana went through their testing methodology as well as the results. It is amazing how much difference there is between the way these providers do their networking.

If you are considering which public cloud is best for your application deployment, check out the video recording or the presentation for more information.

Next Gen Blackholing to Counter DDoS

After lunch, Christoph Dietzel from DE-CIX walked the attendees through a DDoS mitigation strategy they have been working on at DE-CIX. He started off by going over the challenges with the existing strategies (ACL, TSS – Traffic Scrubbing Services, Flowspec, and RTBH) for mitigating DDoS attacks on an IXP network like DE-CIX. What Christoph is proposing is an Advanced Blackhole Signaling among the IXP members using BGP. It sounded like DE-CIX has done some early testing but there is still quite a bit of work to be done to validate the approach.

Check out the video recording or the presentation for more information.

Streaming Telemetry, 3+ Year Journey

Next up was Mike Korshunov, Technical Marketing Engineer from Cisco giving the audience an update on Streaming Telemetry. This is a topic I have followed since my days cover Google over at Juniper Networks. This technology is continuing to evolve but a lot of the details have been ironed out. Mike maintains that we are in Early Majority stage at this point. During the Q&A section, a lot of people did raise their hands to say they are working with gNMI and various ST technologies. However, there were not a lot of folks running it in production. I encourage network engineers to start learning about it. I do think it is starting to take off. Check out the video recording or the presentation for more information.

Using Open Source Tools to Validate Network Configuration

I just happened to arrive early for another session so I caught the second half of this session. Dan Halperin, Head of Engineering, at Intentionet, did a nice job of describing Batfish. This is not a project I had heard of before but it does appear very mature when it comes to a pipeline for developing configs in programatic, DevOps way. I have since talked to a number of folks that are playing around with or using Batfish and they speak very highly of it. I fully intend to download the Docker image and play around with it. Check out the video recording or the presentation for more information.

Managing Network Device Properties as Code

The final session I was able to catch on Monday was by my former colleague from Juniper, Damien Garros who is now a Network Reliability Engineer over at gaming company Roblox. Damien has been a long time advocate for network automation. This was a fascinating talk on how Roblox is using network automation to quickly scale up their gaming network to support the popular games on their platform. In less than 2 years, they have gone from manual provisioning to a fully automated provisioning of their network.

Check out the video recording or the presentation for more information.

Control BGP State Explosion in Scale-Out Peering

The first session I was able to attend on Tuesday was another former Juniper colleague of mine, Rafal Szarecki. Rafal has been working with some of Juniper’s largest customers who are struggling with the BGP state in their large networks. Rafal went through some various options for getting the same advantages of a full mesh peering setup with less state in the network. Even if you are not working for a company with a large scale network, I still suggest checking out the video recording or the presentation for more information. As usual, Rafal did a nice job with this talk.

eBGP Flowspec Peering for DDoS Mitigation

The final session I was able to check out was a number of folks from Charter/Spectrum talking about the testing and work they have been doing with intra-AS BGP Flowspec. This is another passion of mine that I have done a lot of work on. The Charter team has done a lot of good work but there is still a fair amount of testing they will need to do. They also need to get other large network operators to work with them to get this off the ground. Check out the video recording or the presentation for more information.


As I mentioned, I was not able to attend all of the sessions at NANOG 75 but those that I did attend where top notch. I highly recommend the read go back through the recording or presentation materials linked from NANOG’s agenda page. I would also suggest attending a future NANOG if you have not checked one out in person. They are very well done conferences with very deep technical content for network operations/engineers. NANOG 76 will be hosted by EdgeMicro in Washington, DC June 10 2019 – June 12 2019.

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