Network Engineering Maxims of Dave Mills

Guidelines used while developing the Internet Protocol stack, as conveyed by Dave Mills (a.k.a., Mr. NTP himself, creator of fuzzballs, original IP routers)

  1. You cannot anticipate all the faults.
  2. All fault scenarios will happen at least once.
  3. No one single strategy will work.
  4. The system must be self-correcting.
  5. But each correction must not increase vulnerability.
  6. No system will always obey these rules.


Acid test:

Would you trust your paycheck to the system?

Implementation Hint:

Use unique timeouts such that even in combination they become signatures of where problems may exist. Use a different prime number for each to aid in discovering the combination of compounded timeouts.

The items above inspired at least one generation of his students; see Pezely's Postmodern Posits also on this site.