This content is for Patreon subscribers of the j2 blog. Please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber for as little as $1 a month. This helps to provide higher quality content, more podcasts, and other goodies on this blog.
Cloudflare blocks a 15rps DDOs Attack.
Good news regarding the chip shortage.
“America’s ambitions to rebuild its semiconductor manufacturing industry took a step forward on Monday with the opening of a specialty chip fabrication plant in central New York.”
The United States joins 55 nations to set Internet rules
Will a re-brand of Frontier help its image?
New on Californias Net Neutrality Law
California’s net neutrality law is similar to the federal rules repealed under former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. California prohibits ISPs from blocking or throttling lawful traffic. It also prohibits requiring fees from websites or online services to deliver or prioritize their traffic to consumers, bans paid data cap exemptions (so-called “zero-rating”), and says that ISPs may not attempt to evade net neutrality protections by slowing down traffic at network interconnection points.
Mikrotik releases 7.3Beta37
*) bonding – fixed LACP flapping for RB5009 and CCR2004-16G-2S+ devices;
*) bridge – fixed packet marking for IP/IPv6 firewall;
*) dot1x – improved server stability when using re-authentication;
*) fetch – improved full disk detection;
*) gps – fixed minor value unit typo;
*) l3hw – improved offloading for directly connected hosts on CRS305, CRS326-24G-2S+, CRS328, CRS318, CRS310;
*) led – fixed QSFP+, QSFP28 activity LEDs when using 40Gbps modules (introduced in v7.3beta33);
*) lte – disabled wait for LTE auto attach;
*) mpls – fixed MPLS MTU and path MTU selection;
*) ovpn – fixed hardware offloading support on CHR;
*) ovpn – improved Windows client disconnect procedure in UDP mode;
*) ovpn – moved authentication failure messages to “info” logging level;
*) ppp – added warning when using prefix length other than /64 for router advertisement;
*) ppp – fixed “remote-ipv6-prefix” parameter unsetting;
*) ppp – fixed issue with multiple active sessions when “only-one” is enabled;
*) routerboot – properly reset system configuration when protected bootloader is enabled and reset button used;
*) rsvp-te – improved stability when “Resv” received for non-existing session;
*) sfp – improved QSFP/SFP interface initialization for 98DXxxxx switches;
*) switch – fixed missing stats from traffic-monitor for 98DXxxxx and 98PX1012 switches;
*) system – fixed RouterOS bootup when wifiwave2 package is installed (introduced in v7.3beta34);
*) system – fixed rare partial loss of RouterOS configuration after package upgrade/downgrade/install/uninstall;
*) user-manager – improved stability when received EAP attribute with non-existing state attribute;
*) vpls – fixed “pw-l2mtu” parameter usage;
Thanks to Scott Lepere at On-Ramp Indiana for many of these.
Calix, Clearfield, WISPA, Cambium
I have been a consultant for the Internet Service Provider (ISP) space for the better part of my working life. I have dealt with the technical side of the field and some of the business and back end. I have been an owner/operator/stakeholder in several ISPs since 2000. Some of these ventures have been self-funded, while partners funded others. This history has given me a unique perspective many others have not been able to experience.
Most of the ISP operators I have worked with boil down two one of three types
The Businessperson. These operators usually have little technical knowledge but see a business need and require technical and operational personnel to help them. An outside technical consultant helps to supplement any technical expertise.
The Techie. These are folks who know the technical side of operations. They may not necessarily have Service Provider experience. Still, they can configure gear, understand spec sheets, and follow the lingo on message boards and groups.
The Operator. They may need a consultant for a few reasons. The first is that they are racing and need outside talent on demand. Second, they may need someone to supplement higher-end tasks such as BGP, CBRS implementations, or LTE help. This person is a professional who can pick up on both the business and technical sides.
Each of the above types needs different things from a consultant and should approach a consultant differently. One of the best things to do before hiring a consultant is put a list together of what you need help with. This need can be a long wishlist or a specific task. Either way, having a defined Scope of Work (SOW) is beneficial.
From my experience, the more focused the task, the easier it is for me to get up to speed. This ease is especially true of an established network. It is much easier for me to give a time estimate when someone says, “OSPF is broken between router ten and router eleven. Can you look at that?” than it is for someone to say, “My OSPF is broken. can you look at it”. As a general topic of investigation, I will try and get more specific, so I am not spending hours looking at unaffected network segments.
One of the things I think any owner should do with a potential client is to have a general call before any work starts. If you are looking for someone to fix a specific issue, this is probably a quick call. I have jumped into a client’s screen share before within a few minutes of them calling and worked through an issue without much prep work. Suppose the operator is looking to have a consultant work on several projects and work on a medium to long-term basis. In that case, the conversation needs to be longer.
Suppose you are an operator looking to hire a consultant to be with you for a while. In that case, the initial conversation I mentioned above is more like a two-way interview process. This type of conversation tends to happen with new or startup WISPs a lot. They need direction and someone to answer many questions that are not answered outside of an ISP. In an earlier article, I go over the differences between an ISP network and an Enterprise network.
In Part two we will look at more things to ask and look for from the operator’s perspective. In Part Three we will look at some of the rationale and options from the consultant’s perspective.
Recently I have been using the QoE solution from Cambium Networks on some networks. This software allows for the prioritization and shaping of traffic on a service provider’s network. We will go into the workings of this in some later posts. Here are some screenshots.
As Internet Service has evolved so have the service offerings of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Not too long ago the majority of ISPs were providing USENET feeds. If you remember those you have been at this for a long time.
For those of you just getting started or wanting to do an evaluation on your network here are some thoughts on services you should or should not be providing.
Let’s dive into the short list
DNS – Must Have
You should be running your own Doman Name Service (DNS) resolvers. There are many benefits to you and your customers.
e-mail – Don’t worry about offering
The advent of free or low-cost e-mail services has seen a rapid decline in the need for ISPs to their customers. For ISPs who offer e-mail, it is a service that generates many trouble tickets. From SPAM complaints all the way down to them not receiving emails. Leave offering email to customers to the GMAIL folks of the world.
Web-Site Hosting – Optional
If you are a Managed Service provider (MSP) then web-hosting can be a lucrative business. With web-site hosting also comes e-mail hosting.
Voice Over IP (VOIP) is a hot topic these days. Many grants mention the ability to provide voice services as a requirement. Outsource this to providers such as Atheral.
Thats it! There are many other services you could extend to customers. There are also services which are not public facing you might want to run. Radius is on example of services you would run internally. As a service provider you should be spending as much effort on delivering solid access to your customers. Other services can be found by the end users themselves from dedicated services.