About Me

Dana J. Dawson, CCIE #1937 (R&S)

I’ve been working in the field of data networking since the late 1980’s, way back in the days before IPv4 variable length subnetting existed. That was while I was working at Cray Research (the supercomputing company). I since moved on to US WEST, one of the Baby Bells, which was acquired by Qwest, and then by CenturyLink, who then merged with Level 3. I recently retired after not quite a year at Navy Federal Credit Union where I rediscovered that I am not well-suited for roles in management.

I’ve spent most of my career doing Tier 3 and above customer tech support on CPE (Customer Premises Equipment), mostly Cisco products and primarly their ASA firewalls and other VPN products, in addition to the more traditional routing products. I was prticularly attracted to understanding the behavior and performance of TCP, especially when subjected to imperfect network conditions as well as various QoS technologies, such as Traffic Policing and Shaping. As part of that work I became quite comfortable with using Wireshark and other tools to test, troubleshoot, and analyze TCP application performance issues, an area that still fascinates me. Troubleshooting and problem solving have always been my passions.

When it comes to new technologies I tend toward the skeptical end of the spectrum and prefer to see success with actual, real-world deployments before becoming convinced that a new solution is worth the effort. I was in college working in the school’s data center when I saw an article in one the industry newspapers we used to get (“ComputerWorld”, I think) that quoted Michael Blumenthal, the current president of Burroughs Corporation saying essentially “Keep up with technology, but don’t ever be the first one.” I think these words are every bit as true now as they were over 40 years ago when I first read them. Related to this, I’m also a huge fan of the 11th Fundamental Truth of Networking in RFC 1912: “Every old idea will be proposed again with a different name and a different presentation, regardless of whether it works.”

Since leaving the ranks of the gainfully employed I’ve decided to try my hand at tech blogging, which explains the existance of this site. I had a friend in high school who often said “everyone has right to my opinion”. That works for me, so here I am!

So why the name “bitpersec.net“? Since much of the work I’ve done over the years involved network throughput issues, bits per second is a very familiar concept to me. And while virtually all networking technologies measure their associated bandwidths in bits per second, I thought it might also be a useful metaphor for thinking about and expounding upon other less quantifiable aspects of the networking industry and other technologies in general. We’ll see how it goes…

Contact Info

I can be reached via email at bitspersec dot net at gmail dot com