NetMcr #5, November 2016

On the 10th of November, NetMcr came once again took place upstairs at the 57 Thomas Street bar, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Attendance was lighter than expected, mostly owing to a certain lurgi doing the rounds, but we were certainly weren’t in short supply of fresh faces; one attendee came all the way from Warwickshire, and we also still seem to be getting fresh faces from around the local area, which is excellent.

We were overjoyed to have our first presenter of the evening; long-time Manchester networking stalwart – yet first-time NetMcr attendee – Marek Isalski, Owner of Faelix.

Marek delivering his talk
Marek delivering his talk to the engaged audience; thankfully no expletives were visible.

Marek’s presentation, entitled ‘The Naughty Step’, went into fantastic detail regarding the home-grown system that Faelix use to make better use of all the raw intrusion data that is collected as part of routine network operations. Netflow, Fail2Ban, etc.

The presentation gave a great overview of just how useful all of this information can be, when put to proper use. We were treated to a number of end-user success stories (and a few gotchas!) that have really made a difference to Faelix’s response to security events happening on their network.

Many parts of Marek’s presentation also went into a bigger topic that was presented at the first Mikrotik User Meeting to happen in London, so we’re very grateful that we could see the brief version before the big event!

The last of two presentations for November was by Tom Hill, Network Manager at Bytemark, discussing the lacklustre percentage of IPv6 traffic being served towards ISPs with hundreds of thousands (even millions) of IPv6 subscribers, relative to that of larger content producers (e.g. Netflix, Google).

Tom ranting profusely about the lack of public-facing AAAA records
Tom ranting profusely about the lack of public-facing AAAA records

Because this was more of a lightning talk, Tom left us with the conclusion that as larger ISPs are now finally pushing IPv6 out to their subscribers en masse, the pressure has now shifted to be on those in Systems, Support & Development roles to enable AAAA records for their public-facing web presence.

We were done with presentations for the night, and for another month, but there was plenty to discuss over another pint (or two). We’d like to thank everyone that did manage to make it along, despite the biological hazards that seem to have been plaguing Manchester this past month. We’ll look forward to seeing everyone again on the 8th of December! 🙂

For those interested, here are the slides for the talks, in the order they were presented on the evening:

  1. Tom Hill & Thom Seddon, “Welcome to NetMcr #5” (PDF pending)
  2. Marek Isalski, “The Naughty Step” (PDF)
  3. Tom Hill, “Dude, where’s my IPv6?”  (PDF)

Upcoming: NetMcr #5, 10th November

Hello everyone,

NetMcr #5 will be going ahead as per the usual ‘2nd Thursday’ schedule! We’ve already confirmed a talk by Marek Isalski, whom has gracefully agreed to talk about the Internet’s “Naughty Step” (we can’t include the avoid the original name for this talk, as it’s somewhat rude!)

As per ususal, we’ll be occupying the upstairs room of the glorious 57 Thomas Street, starting from 19:00. The first talk is generally at 19:30, so do get there with enough time to get settled.

There is also the usual Lanyrd event page for you to keep a track of the evening’s agenda as it develops, and to indicate your attendance.

Of course, we’re still looking for someone to fulfil a few extra talk slots, so raise a hand if you’d like to give short & informative talk. You don’t need to be an expert, nor do you need to have previous experience of giving talks to a large audience – we’re a well behaved bunch, and maintain a strict code of conduct. Any topic related to Networking will be well received and appreciated. 🙂



NetMcr #4, October 2016

A little later than expected, but I’ve finally gotten around to writing-up the NetMcr event from Thursday the 13th of October, 2016.

Owing to a short delay at the beginning of the evening, whilst we waited for the borrowed projector to get to us, the evening started with a little more socialising than usual.

Lots of socialising
Lots of socialising, discussion and a sprinkling of beer.

Not long after this was taken, the projector was retrieved (thank you, James) and the show began with the usual introductions.

Tom presenting the NetMcr welcome slides
Tom Hill (@tomm3h) presenting the NetMcr welcome slides

The first presentation of the night was to be given by Simon Gunton, of Auto Trader. Simon was kind enough to give us some insights on what a hosting network looks like when you’re only building it out for a single customer (albeit a pretty big, important one, such as AT) and he certainly sparked a great deal of intrigue from the room.

Simon Gunton giving Auto Trader presentation
Simon (right) in full presenter swing. Engaged audience (left).

There’s something about Auto Trader that seems to capture our interest; local heroes, or just a well recognised brand? Either way, I’m afraid we’re not able to redistribute the slides from the evening, but I’m hopeful that we’ve made a good impression on enough of the Auto Trader staff to keep them coming back in future months, just in case you’re curious.

Our second, and last presentation for the evening was by Ashley Nurcombe from WiFi hardware & consultancy company, Aerohive Networks. Ash travelled all the way up from Southampton to give us this talk, so we were really very grateful to have him there on the evening.

Ash Nurcombe's Aerohive presentation
Ash giving his presentation, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was roaming’

The presentation ran across a broad range of facets regarding WiFi, as well as some of the more nuanced wireless concepts (including some misconceptions!) such as roaming, and Ash probably spent almost as much time answering questions from the room as he did giving his presentation. Good sport!

Ashley Nurcombe, fielding questions
Ash fielding a great many questions from the room

Unfortunately, we were also prohibited from sharing the slides from the Aerohive presentation. However, Ash (and Simon) are both on twitter – @ajnurcombe and @cessle, respectfully – so do feel free to say hello if you’re interested in hearing more about their areas of expertise.

Thanks to everyone that came, the two presenters for their excellent contributions, and we hope to see you all again in November.

We’ll be back in the upstairs room of 57 Thomas Street on the 10th of November.