By Network Bulls
Sep 13, 2014
Technical Articles,T...

Welcome to NB Tech Series and today we are posting first technical article of this series.

Everything today has certain rules, protocols that must be followed and abide in order to maintain its significance. Similarly Networking field of the IT industry id based upon certain laws given up people who are known as masters of networking. Like there are certain civil laws that must be followed and not be broken similarly networking has certain laws which must not be broken at any time. Knowing deeply about these laws, understanding them gives us a fair picture about how people like us today remain connected to each other via medium of Networking. These laws are very less known by general Network Engineers as not even covered during CCIE course training.

To know more about the ever evolving laws of networking have a quick read of the following laws:

1.      Law by Metcalfe

This law states that "the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users." Which means the apt value/importance of a network is known by doubling the number of actual users connected. For example, a network has point to point link between four users with a value of 4(2^2). Say if the network permits full mesh connectivity between 100 users then the value is 10, 000(100^2) while internet having nearly 2.7 billion users making its value up to 7x10^80.

2.      Law by Beckstrom’s

This law by Beckstrom is a revised version of Metcalfe’s law stating that "The value of a network equals the net value added to each user's transactions conducted through that network, summed over all users." This can be more cleared by the following example: say you are logged into a social media website then no one cares making the value nil. But when your friends and further friends of your friends get connected, you will become unable to avoid getting stuck into vortex. Put simply networks can act like big friendship pyramid schemes.

3.      Law by Reed

This law also describes about the requirement of a network stating that "utility" of large networks can scale exponentially with the size of the network. This law is a bit similar to the law given by Metcalfe. Calculated on the basis of number of people connected like that is a social network style. The formula given by Reed is 2^N - N – 1 where N stands for number of users in the network.

4.      Law by Sarnoff

This law states that "the value of a broadcast network is directly proportional to the number of viewers". This law is basically related to viewers of television but can be used for digital age of online videos. For example, say a channel with 1, 00,000 viewers is much better than a network with 1000 viewers. Same is the case with multiple users on a multicast channel.

5.      Law by Postel

This person advised that Internet Protocol has been standardized. The law states that protocol developers to "be conservative in what you do; be liberal in what you accept from others". The robustness principle allows interoperability between internet systems and has laid the basis in designing of many communication protocols. Without this concept anything in networking would ever work right.


6.      Law by Snyder’s Razor

This law states that “all other things being equal, choose the more secure option." This law is related security with a twist stating that all things being equal, chose the simplest solution". This is similar to the R. Buckminster Fuller quote "When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." An example would be using a weak or strong IPsec algorithm including key lengths. If both the weaker options takes equal time and cost to be configured like the stronger option then go for the stronger security option. Whenever someone suggests Policy Based Routing, concepts of such simple design must automatically strike your mind.


7.      Law by Murphy

The law given by Murphy states that "the more nodes in a network, increases the system's complexity, thus, the more likely a failure will occur”. Put in simple words the mean time between failures might be less or small than you might have ever though earlier. By the means of Murphy’s Law the insecurity rises exponentially in proportion to number of nodes present in the network.

8.      Law by Godwin

The law given by Godwin states that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." Variants of this law such as a law by Earle states that as any discussion of online/virtual game economies progresses, the likelihood of EVE Online being mentioned approaches 100%". Another variant states that the more times Deus Ex is mentioned in a discussion, the probability of at least one person (re-)installing it approaches 100%."

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