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  • Writer's pictureAaron Magruder

Fundamental Truths of Networking RFC-1925

Just a little bit of fun for Network Professionals. Numbers 7-9 are my favorite.

2. The Fundamental Truths

(1) It Has To Work.

(2) No matter how hard you push and no matter what the priority,

you can't increase the speed of light.

(2a) (corollary). No matter how hard you try, you can't make a

baby in much less than 9 months. Trying to speed this up

*might* make it slower, but it won't make it happen any


(3) With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is

not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they

are going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them

as they fly overhead.

(4) Some things in life can never be fully appreciated nor

understood unless experienced firsthand. Some things in

networking can never be fully understood by someone who neither

builds commercial networking equipment nor runs an operational


(5) It is always possible to aglutenate multiple separate problems

into a single complex interdependent solution. In most cases

this is a bad idea.

(6) It is easier to move a problem around (for example, by moving

the problem to a different part of the overall network

architecture) than it is to solve it.

(6a) (corollary). It is always possible to add another level of


(7) It is always something

(7a) (corollary). Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick any two (you can't

have all three).

(8) It is more complicated than you think.

(9) For all resources, whatever it is, you need more.

(9a) (corollary) Every networking problem always takes longer to

solve than it seems like it should.

(10) One size never fits all.

(11) Every old idea will be proposed again with a different name and

a different presentation, regardless of whether it works.

(11a) (corollary). See rule 6a.

(12) In protocol design, perfection has been reached not when there

is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take


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