January 11, 2019

What I Plan to Read in 2019 - Networking, Protocols, and more

With each passing year, tech is moving faster and faster.

To try to keep up with it all, every year I set a goal of technologies to learn (or reinforce). Usually it involves buying a book or two, plunking down in front of some video content, and of course, getting some sample trace files so I can see how it works at the packet level.

For 2019, these are some of the technologies I would like to ramp up on, or further increase my depth of knowledge. I'm sharing this list with you so I can hold myself accountable to do it - otherwise reading takes a backseat for most of the year!

  1. TCP/IP Illustrated - Volume 1, Second Edition (Fall, Stevens)

I always - ALWAYS - learn something new about TCP when I read the Stevens book. Even if it is a little gritty feature that I didn't fully understand before, this book brings it back up to the surface. Also, as I get new traces and work with new customers throughout the year, most of the time this book reminds me of things to look for in the packets. This in turn helps me get to the root problem faster. I also will keep a pulse on new congestion window trends and methods for large data transfers.

 2. RFC 7540 - HTTP /2

I have been meaning to beef up on HTTP / 2 for some time. Now is the time! HTTP /2 is a pretty significant change over HTTP 1.1, including multiplexing requests and responses. So to track down server-side delays and pinpoint delays, I need to better understand how they are working on the wire, even behind the green lock, since most of these are encrypted. Which brings me to the next read-up thing.

3. RFC 8446 - TLS 1.3

To get to the packets behind the green lock, I need to better understand how they are encrypted. This RFC was released in August 2018 and has been updated even since.

4. DNS and Bind

A bit of an older book, but it shreds DNS to bits and really helps to enforce how the whole thing works. After listening to one of Mr. Hansang Bae's sessions at Sharkfest where he really recommended it, I picked up a copy and plan to read it. For me, I have had to analyze DNS transactions on multiple occasions as a part of an analysis project, but I haven't had to really get unto the gritty underbelly yet. I hope to do so in 2019.

5. CISSP Study Guide

As a packet enthusiast, trainer, consultant, etc... I find that most of the cases I am called for are performance related. Something is slow, break-fix, get it optimized and working right again. I have had the goal of getting more into the security space for years, which the CISSP would help me to do.

This is just a quick list for me. There are more things I want to learn about, but this is what I will commit to. 🙂

Maybe you have already read this stuff and are looking into other technologies. If so, which ones? What are you going to read in 2019? Comment!


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