The Elegant Network

Perspectives on Networking Infrastructure Design and Practice

This blog is on the authors’ perspectives on network infrastructure design and practice. The authors experience is in data center networks, and the primary focus will therefore be the data center. This blog also serves as a companion to a book written by one of the authors, Cloud Native Data Center Networking. The posts cover everything from musings to code on various aspects of network infrastructure, from network design to routers to Kubernetes networking to open source tools such as routing suites and observability and troubleshooting tools. You can also follow us on Medium at The Elegant Network publication.

The Authors

The two main authors of the blog posts under The Elegant Network moniker are Dinesh G Dutt and Justin Pietsch. We come together from backgrounds of operations and vendor. But we are more mixed than that. As Chief Scientist at Cumulus Networks, Dinesh worked on customer deployments which, for example, guided his thinking in implementing novel features in FRR to simplify network operations. Justin has spent a lot of time designing networks to be more operatable, and manageable, and written some key management software at Amazon. It greatly influences the way he thinks about network design.

Justin Pietsch was most recently a Principal Network Engineer at AWS. Justin’s experience is largely based on this time at Amazon, 17 years (16 years, 11 months and 21 days, actually.) He focused mostly on datacenter networking and architected what is probably the largest datacenter network in the world. He did many things during his time at Amazon including designing the main network architecture, starting the project to have Amazon’s own Network OS on it’s routes, and building the configuration management system for the datacenters. He cares deeply about software systems for network engineers so that they can design, build, and operate networks well.

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. His most recent work is titled Cloud Native Data Center Networking. He has spent 20 years in the networking industry, first working for Cisco Systems where he started as 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.

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