About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at EtherealMind.com and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

Thought for My Day: Existing Networks are Self Automated and Policy Driven

Today’s Networks are auto-configuring and self-orchestrating. When you connect a server to network device, the device will identity the MAC address of the server and update it’s database. The server can make a request to a DHCP server and self configure. A network can be intentionally designed so that multiple paths exist through the network. […]


Blessay: The Internet is a “Cloud” for Networking

Can the Internet be the “Cloud Network” ? If so, when could the transition happen (if it hasn’t started already) ?

Supposition/Hypothesis As a technology, the Internet has strikingly similar properties to sharing Compute and Storage as ‘Cloud’. A large pool of resource that can be used or shared between many parties. The total pool of resource is dynamically allocated. Internet bandwidth is shared between all users and access is determined by bandwidth purchased at the network edge

Network Safety Starts With You - (click to embiggen!) - Download and place on your cubicle wall

Poster: Network Safety Starts With You

Being a Network Engineer is a hazardous and even dangerous profession yet the Health and Safety division doesn’t seem to care about the network damage and prevention.

It’s time for us to stand up and start our own ITIL-compliant safety campaign. I’ve prepared the following handy sign for you to print and place on your cubicle wall to remind you to be safe out there.

Click Those Brogues Together

Rant: Living with Legacy and Public Cloud Farting

No matter how hard the clouderati click the heels of their brogues together and repeat “public cloud is better” , the simple fact is that most companies have large amounts of IT infrastructure that works just fine and is profitable. To make matters worse, the cost of transformation exceeds the potential financial return while creating […]


Response: RFC 7167 – A Framework for Point-to-Multipoint

Frame Relay was to teach multipoint networking to upcoming engineers and we recently abandoned on the curriculum. Now it’s back in MPLS-TP.


Brocade Vyatta & Forwarding Performance on X86 Server

It’s a constant and oft repeated fallacy that software on x86 servers will never forward packets at speed. Here is Vyatta explaining why their software will be able to go past 100 Million Packets Per Second this year on standard COTS hardware.


Response: Speeds and Feeds › Of Money, Responsibility, and Pride

Steve Marquess who manages the business side of the OpenSSL Foundation talks about the shabby state of corporate support for open source development. I want to call out this paragraph first (although many other are more interesting), about the courage and discipline it takes to publish your work in the face of fear of public […]


Rant: Is It Open ? I Don’t Know What Open Is Anymore

Stuff me but I don’t know what open is anymore.


Network Dictionary: Technical Debt

Define the term “technical debt”


The Difference Between Arista and Competitors (Factories not Babies)

I was asked to describe how Arista has been able to penetrate the networking switch market relatively quickly. Arista was founded in 2004 and ten years later has achieved a competitive position against all the major vendors in networking and specifically against Cisco who has a dominant market position. Most vendors develop product like an […]


Response: Rate-limiting State and Internet Frailty – ACM

This article from the Association of Computing Machinery and written by no less than Paul Vixie. It is a detailed review of the basic facts of the Internet being smart at the edge and dumb in the middle. By design, the Internet core is stupid, and the edge is smart. This design decision has enabled […]


Response: Best Of Interop 2014 Winners Unveiled

Well deserved Overall Best of Interop  (in my opinion) for OpenDaylight Hydrogen release. As the IEEE and IETF fail deliver on innovation we are turning to open source for real progress & change in networking. While the Open Daylight Hydrogen release is a bit rough, it deserves the Best of Interop award for the reasons […]


FCoE, 10GBaseT and BER – problem managed

Some time ago I wrote that FCoE would have problems on 10GBaseT due to relatively high error rates of 10GBaseT deployment. New information suggests that this problem is solved under certain circumstances.


Book Release: Tips on Using Visio To Make Network Diagrams

I’ve unearthed and updated a guide to creating network diagrams in Visio. I wrote the first versions in 2010 using a custom software and finally worked out how to export the data. If you ever wanted to


OpenStack and Sausage Making

Who doesn’t love sausages but have you ever made them ? It’s messy,


Vendor Price Variation on 40 Gigabit SFP Modules – It’s Nuts

In a recent project, I noted an astonishing difference in price of the optical and copper cabling assemblies associated with 10Gigabit Networking. I conclude that some companies are including a “license fee” in the cost of these components and making the overall cost harder to determine.


My Best Lifestyle Interview Question. And Why.

What the best question to ask your future employer in a job interview ?


Response: A3 Communications – In The Know & Customer Activism by Blogging

Federica Monsone of A3 Communications in the UK has conducted a survey on staying informed on the storage industry. The data shows blogs & bloggers are highly trusted sources for customers. Specifically, decision makers turn to trusted advisors such as analysts and vendors about 45% of the time time, mainstream press about 35% and blogs […]

Response: Clear Sans – Free and Open Font For Your Diagrams

Intel has created and open sourced a font that is very similar to Avenir and I can recommend. Avenir is the font used in Apple iOS. Even though Avenir has been around for quite some time, it’s modern and fresh looking particular on high resolution devices such as smartphones and printed paper.  I also recommended it […]


Network Diagrams: Drawing Overlay Network Layers

Network diagrams that show overlay networks take some getting used to. Here is my current method for producing a stacked layers idea for overview.

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