Fen Aldrich

Camp Counselor

The Bits Must Flow -or- (Net)Working Through the Abstractions

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Tuesday, July 25, 2023 - 6:00 PM UTC, for 1 hour.

Regular, 60 minute presentation

Room: H


As with all modern computing, the network stack has gotten increasingly abstracted away as we move to cloud services and cloud native infrastructure, but underneath it all, we’re still trying to accomplish the same things as always, get data from one system to another as quickly and efficiently as possible without interruption or eavesdropping. Starting with the classic interview question, “What happens when you try to access a website from your computer?” this talk reviews the modern complexity of the internet and reminds us about how some functional routing, switching and firewall knowledge can help us untangle the modern messes generated by layers of abstraction. We’ll start with some things like, “what about before I even get an IP address” and end up talking about BGP, the routing protocol that runs the internet. You’ll leave with a better understanding of what’s actually happening after you apply your chosen network settings to your cluster or hyperscaler, and a better framework for understanding how your cloud native applications and services are communicating across the web.


As a "back to basics" type of talk, there aren't any explicit prerequisites, but you will get the most out of this if you can identify with "it's always DNS" viscerally and have some understanding of networking and cloud computing

Take Aways

  • (re)Learn Computer Networking Fundamentals
  • Understand how Networking Fundamentals apply to modern problems
favorited by:
Dave Boulineau Dan Willman Chris Johnson Stephen Cleary Lucas Boje Kris Kirkland Julia Froegel Dave Smith Matt Frye Ken Samson Brian Meeker Christopher Ebbert Edmund Greaves Matthew Ives Jerad Burley Eric Hamacher John Kozlowski