Pinging admins: Here comes your packet of networking news

Blockchain comes to the cable biz, acquisitions, Red Hat Summit and more


Roundup What happened in networking this week? Well, for starters, Nokia acquired analytics company SpaceTime Insight, and will roll its capabilities into its Internet of Things business.

SpaceTime Insight provides IoT analytics and applications for the transport, energy, and utilities sectors. Its focus was predicting asset failure, and automatic optimisation.

The analytics firm's CEO, Rob Schilling, comes with the deal, joining Nokia's Software business group's IoT product unit.

CableLabs looking at blockchain. Wait, what?

The American cable network operators' club CableLabs says blockchain technology is ready for the cable industry somehow.

Principal security architect Steve Goeringer wrote that the most important blockchain feature to CableLabs is its ability to create a high-integrity history of transactions.

That “boring” but “transformational” capability means that during 2018, the industry will begin “quiet and subtle” integration of blockchain into … well, that's not spelled out.

The world can hardly wait.

Mozilla: unsecured FTP is officially dead

Last month, the Firefox developers started considering the future of FTP, and this week, it became official: it will be deprecated in Firefox 61.

It's not a complete ban: Mozilla's Christoph Kerschbaumer explained that the browser will block FTP subresources from loading unless “the document itself is an FTP document” – an FTP link from an HTTPS-secured page, for example, will be verboten.

Kerschbaumer noted that FTP is one of the internet's oldest surviving protocols, and it doesn't support the automatic security upgrading provided by HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security).

We doubt many users will notice, let alone mourn, its passing.

Patch your Fortinet wireless controllers

Fortinet's FortiWLC controllers running version 7 software up to 7.0.11 and version 8 software up to 8.3.3 need patching.

The University of Toronto notified the company that when the company's Meru access points filed dump reports with FortiWLC, they were using hardcoded credentials.

An attacker with those credentials had read/write privileges over “various parts of the system”.

Networking from Red Hat Summit

Among the news out of this week's Red Hat Summit were some networking nuggets from Mellanox and Netronome.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 now has native support for Mellanox ConnectX NICs, giving RHEL developers access to DPDK (Data Plane Development Kit) and ASAP2 (Accelerated Switching and Packet Processing) Open vSwitch offload capabilities on the interface cards.

Red Hat positions the capability as important for Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) and cloud data centre applications.

There's more in this blog post from Mellanox.

Netronome also got on the networking workload offload bandwagon at the Red Hat Summit, getting its NICs supported in RHEL 7.5.

Its Agilio CX SmartNICs also bestow Open vSwitch offloading on the operating system, again with a focus on NFV deployments.

Netronome said benchmarks conducted with Red Hat showed servers managing thousands of policy rules could cut their CPU utilisation to 20 per cent, but handle seven times the throughput compared to a server without the offload capability.

Savvius expands app traffic monitor

This week, Savvius shipped Spotlight 2.0, enhancing the monitoring suite's ability to identify traffic from any application that can be identified by a server port.

The company said Spotlight 2.0 includes monitoring and troubleshooting for custom and SaaS applications; dashboards to show content by geography, app type, app latency, and worst conversation; extra TCP and VoIP quality metrics including connections refused, retransmissions, zero window, and worst jitter; extra filters and definitions; and its streaming analytics has been expanded from 5 to 10 streams.

CAIDA updates BGPStream

The internet research outfit CAIDA (the Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis) has pushed an update to its BGPStream software.

First released in 2015, BGPStream is an open source framework for analysing live and historical BGP data, to help the internet community – researchers and sysadmins – dig into route behaviour.

This is a bugfix release, required because the libbgpdump data-parsing library can crash.

CAIDA noted that it's getting ready to ship v2.0 of the software (it's currently in beta), so this will be one of the last releases in the BGPStream 1.x series. ®

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