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This is my first blog, so you’ll have to bear with me. Of course, like everyone even vaguely connected to the Internet, I’ve been aware of blogs for a very long time. I’ve got lots of friends with blogs and I’ve even thought about starting one, but never managed to. I think I even read a blog once; or maybe not.

I admire the Net for the way in which it allows ordinary people (and a few extraordinary people) to produce content and to directly deliver that content to an audience. “Disintermediation” was what we used to call that–a long word for “cutting out the middle man”. Blogs can certainly do that. But they also have a tendency to be self-centered, myopic and frequently boring. I’ll try to keep those normal, human characteristics out of these posts. Blogs worth reading are typically blogs worth writing. I’m hoping that this will be one of those.

I do operations, systems/network engineering and peering for Renesys. That means I’m responsible for keeping our customer-facing and employee-facing infrastructure working. I’m also responsible for maintaining the relationships through which Renesys collects data. (More on both of those subjects in a second). I’m pulled in a lot of different directions in my job. However, the fact that I still do some engineering keeps me a little bit grounded. People who solve practical problems, of any sort, on a daily basis tend to look askance at words like ‘synergy’ and ‘proactive’.

Renesys offers some really interesting analysis and information services for the Internet. We collect data from over a hundred BGP (routing) data feeds and aggregate it into a single, searchable data engine. We use that data platform to provide services to engineers (Routing Intelligence) and to business types (Market Intelligence). It’s very cool stuff. Many of the posts I make in the future will be about events that take place on the Internet and they will be made possible by the technology we use at Renesys to make that stuff visible.

We recently got a bunch of press about our services and technology, from the US and international computer press, among them:

and even some of the local press from New Hampshire and Boston:

(full listing here).

The press coverage is not perfect, of course, but it’s very good (meaning that it is both accurate and positive :-). This kind of attention also makes it easier to do what we’re trying to do, namely, get these data and information services into the hands of a bunch of people who didn’t even know they needed them.

I’ll mostly be writing about the Internet (engineering, economics, and even occasionally governance and politics).

Most discussion about the Internet is based on lies, speculation, exaggeration and rumor. I think most people mean well, but in the absence of fact, people’s imagination takes over. Witness the clue-free ramblings at Web Hosting Talk when the subject of the “quality” of a particular service provider comes up. Does Cogent, in fact, suck, as many people at WHT seem to think or is it the best value in bandwidth out there? Is AT&T’s backbone really unmaintained and congested or are those the grumblings of wannabe peers? Abovenet: rising or falling? Is Sprint the end-all-be-all of backbones or a relic? Some of these questions are hard to answer well without proprietary data. But you might be surprised to know how completely many of these questions can be answered just by looking at globally available data and trending it over time. What I hope to offer here are answers to these kinds of questions–a perspective backed by some objective data. That should mean that although I won’t always offer the complete picture, what I do present should be verifiably true.

More shortly.

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