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Open Network Design

OND → Accelerating Interconnectednes

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About

This is a project to help individuals and organisations quickly design and build data networks. You may notice that business requirements, technical requirements, solution architectures, high level designs, low level designs, and ‘as built’ guides (to name a few) can be stripped down, remixed, and re-built with a focus on practicality, education, and ‘getting things done’. These design documents can be a mix of or even a subset of any of the traditional discrete design, project, or configuration artefacts, in fact, they can be the traditional ones too as long as the author has the authority to put them in to the Public Domain and they’re in the correct formats.

Designs should focus on known good patterns and seek to facilitate decision making in relation to design choices, purchasing, and implementation considerations (including the actual configurations and code where possible). With this more open and flexible approach, artefacts can then be fully modularised and repurposed as micro documents (facilitating collaborative microlithic enhancements rather than monolithic rewrites). Perhaps one could also conceptualise this project as distrbuted Design Code Management for a layer above RFCs(Request For Comments) similar to BCPs(Best Current Practices) only with more holistic and practical guides.

Rather than generate ITIL shelfware or OpenGroup TOGAF frameworks we decided to pare things back to to help with decision making, building, testing, and getting things done… cheaper, faster, and more reliably.

Why?

The overall goal however is to catalyse community sharing and accelerated access to free and open data network designs whilst also empowering groups to contribute back to or help one another more easily. Reliable network platforms themselves help communities achieve the best quality access to information and services and are the fundamental underpinning of the connected experience many of us take for granted. Not all individuals or groups have the same resources or expertise thus making a free and open repository such as this will hopefully give anyone and everyone a kick start. (..and perhaps they can then save some additional money and time which can be allocated elsewhere or used to finish that last 20% that rarely gets finessed or polished!)

Networks also require ongoing operational management, instrumentation, and continued optimisation to ensure they are tailored to their specific environment and able to meet the changing demands placed upon them. Even at this management tier there are many common patterns, well known challenges, and large bodies of knowledge that are innacessible to many. Unfortunately these communities of practice are traditionally built around closed vendors and a protectionist, elitist mentality.

From discrete web articles and blogs, to all the network operator groups globally (who do a good job of sharing), or even to the open/closed forums online, there is nowhere we are aware of (yet) where individuals or organisations of differing sizes can freely access full designs and fork or update templates (or download pre-populated designs with known good configurations or stanzas).

If we can help to cut out the ‘fat’ normally found in proprietary and closed system integration documentation whilst uncovering some of the tacit knowledge for a few small projects (be they non-profit, commercial, or otherwise) we will have succeeded. The intent is to share these patterns and recipes far and wide via the FLOSS (Free/Libre/Open Source Software) ethos and toolsets by capturing patterns and making them easily available to be forked, remixed of shared for the common good.

A Note on Risk

As network platforms underpin all digital connectivity (and also accepting that risk is a factor of dependence), one must then conclude that networks pose one of the greatest risks to organisations that rely upon digital fabrics and digital services to operate. Irrespective of vulnerabilities and differing threat actors, there is still room for huge improvement in how networks are designed, built, operated, and continually improved upon. Whether a network is open or closed, contains a large population or not, all networks are subject to entropy (countered only by ectropy).

Reminder

As always, please share, comment, contribute in a helpful manner where critiscism is constructive. Collaboration and community is key. Energy flows.

License

Please see the associated LICENSE.html file in this directory which outlines more about the CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/