& cplSiteName &

Bloomberg: Networking & Security Are Easy

Mitch Wagner

SAN FRANCISCO -- Open Networking User Group Spring 2017 -- For Bloomberg's subscribers, the difference between success and failure is measured in milliseconds. To that end, Bloomberg maintains its own network, from backbone to customer premises equipment, to make sure that its subscribers get the information they need without delay.

Bloomberg runs an IP/MPLS private global network, providing market data, video, voice, screencasts, exchange connectivity and embargoed data. Nearly every trader or market data analyst has a Bloomberg Professional Terminal. The service uses multicast for real-time market data. It deploys 15,000 routers on premises to ensure performance.

Truman Boyes, head of networking for the Bloomberg office of the CTO, shared some key networking principles at the conference here Tuesday.

"Networking is easy," Boyes said. "We've over-complicated the whole thing." Every networking protocol does one thing: advertising vectors, he said.

Security is also easy. It's "the inverse of networking," Boyes said. Security hides connections and communications.

Bloomberg's Truman Boyes
Bloomberg's Truman Boyes

Where things get into "massive complexity" is combining networking and security. "You have full connectivity with networking, and you try to dial that back with security," Boyes said.

Boyes has little time for today's firewalls. "Every firewall that that exists today should not exist five years from now," he said. "They're broken. The design is broken." Top-of-rack switches provide 1-5 terabits per second of forwarding for every compute platform and rack, but firewalls max out at hundreds of Gbit/s.

Boyes doesn't like the Simple Network Management Protocol. "SNMP should die. It's not a managed protocol. It's not simple," he said. SNMP is being replaced by streaming analytics.

The Bloomberg man provided guiding principles for the company's own networking. Multivendor support is key, he said.

Simplicity is also important. "We want less protocols, we want less state, we want less confusion. We want simplicity in the network," he said. Network operators should just plug a rack into the data center, and have it just work.

Everything should be automated and assembled like Lego blocks. Failure is OK. "It's OK to fail, just fast-fail," Boyes said.

Automation is important. "People build the robots. Robots build the network," Boyes said. Robots are automated tools, such as SaltStack, Chef, and Puppet. "Whatever it is that helps you build the network and maintain the infrastructure -- that's where the effort should go," he said. Manual configuration is what causes errors in the network.

For future direction, Bloomberg wants a "seamless cloud." It shouldn't matter whether a workload is deployed on Microsoft Azure, for example, or some other cloud.

Can Google make the grade as an enterprise cloud provider? Find out on our special report: Google's Big Enterprise Cloud Bet.

Bloomberg is looking to move more of its networking to the public Internet, using SD-WAN with "a solid routing stack," Boyes said. "The Internet is becoming very good," he said. "In financial sectors around the world, plain vanilla Internet is growing." The price per megabit is "dropping through the floor," and the last mile can be purely Internet, with Bloomberg's terminals purely Internet connected.

Bloomberg's business, with customers in the financial sector, isn't "cost-constrained," Boyes said. "The goal here is to have a better services," he said. "I want to be as close to the customer as possible." To that end, Bloomberg peers its network in all the major Internet exchanges so it can be one hop away from the user.

"The Internet is going to help us get to the users," Boyes said. "In the same way that the business world warmed up to cloud, I think that's going to happen the same way for public Internet as well."

Related posts:

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders talks with VMware's Shekar Ayyar, who explains why cloud architectures are becoming more distributed, what that means for workloads, and why telcos can still be significant cloud services players.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
I'm Back for the Future of Communications
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 4/20/2018
Verizon: Lack of Interoperability, Consistency Slows Automation
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/18/2018
AT&T Exec Dishes That He's Not So Hot on Rival-Partner Comcast
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/19/2018
Facebook Hearings Were the TIP of the Data Iceberg
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/20/2018
Pay-for-Play Is a Sticking Point in Congress
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/18/2018
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed