« Blog Home

NANOG 77 Conference Recap

NANOG 77 - Austin, October 28-30, 2019

The NANOG community-wide conferences just keep getting bigger and better! The 77th successful event was held last month in Austin, TX, from October 28–30, 2019, with a record number of attendees and plenty of great content for network engineers, developers, industry veterans and entrepreneurs alike to enjoy.

Kickstarted by the traditional hackathon, this fall’s gathering of the North American Network Operators’ Group opened with a few words from NANOG Board Chair L. Sean Kennedy, Program Committee Chair Benson Schliesser, and a host sponsor representative. 

During this time, the audience discovered that they had nearly walked into the NANOG venue “connecting to a NAT’ed network with no v6,” according to Schliesser, who related the story to some laughter. Props to AT&T for pulling off a major last-minute fix!

NANOG 77 Conference Highlights

Aside from the appeal of the vibrant Texas capital city – and the amazing BBQ, of course! – NANOG 77 offered a wide variety of presentations from industry leaders (all freely available to watch online). Here are a few of note:  

DNS Wars: Episode IV, A New Bypass – Paul Vixie, CEO of Farsight Security, delivered a keynote presentation about how access-side (recursive) DNS has been steadily pushed away from customer networks and moved first toward ISPs and then giants like Google, IBM, Cloudflare, and Cisco. He provides a special focus on the new web-based DNS-over-HTTP protocol being promoted by organizations like Mozilla.  

Incidentally, just days later, APNIC Chief Scientist Geoff Huston published an insightful response to Vixie’s talk, making waves on Hacker News and Twitter. His view of the evolving conflicts about the DNS is a must-read, providing a detailed overview of how the Internet has been irrevocably changed with tools and trends that are redefining the boundaries of the nation-state.

The Chinese Internet: A View from the Inside – Sai Ping Sung, CTO of Telstra PBS, provided a fascinating glimpse into some key cloud and Internet challenges in China, from the perspective of a Joint Venture company operating inside the Great Firewall. Attendees learned about the country’s strict (and frequently changing) Internet regulatory requirements, what these mean for telecommunications service providers, and how cloud and Internet platform technical setup is different inside and outside China.

IETF Track – This panel session, moderated by IETF Chair Alissa Cooper, provided some important updates on the latest work underway in the Internet Engineering Task Force. Primary topics included the IETF’s Internet, Operations and Management, and Routing Areas, along with a focused update on DNS-related protocols. 

Designing a Workflow to Respond to BGP Incidents – Job Snijders, IP Development Engineer at NTT Communications, gave a presentation on incident response when it comes to BGP hijacks. He outlines some questions that Network Operations Centers should explore in the wake of an incident, and specific steps that can be taken to analyze, verify, and mitigate problems without having to come up with an entire process on the spot. 

(P.S. Snijders is also involved in the OpenBSD Project and served as a key part of the successful rpki-client project that we helped bring to fruition earlier this year – check it out here!)

Powering Your Automation: A Single Source of Truth – Tim Schreyack of Dell Networking delved into the “dream” and the “reality” of network automation, and the importance of moving toward orchestration, where both tasks and processes are codified. Providing some practical examples, he described how to get started with network automation and how a paradigm shift is required to take full advantage of the possibilities. 

NANOG 78 will take place in San Francisco, CA, in February 2020 – we hope to see you there!