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Navigating Network Complexity: Next-generation Routing with SDN, Service Virtualization, and Service Chaining by Jeff Tantsura, Russ White

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Chapter 8. How Complex Systems Fail

Every happy family is happy in much the same way, but every unhappy one is miserable in completely unique ways.

To apply this to the network world with just a slight change—“every network that succeeds does so in much the same way as every other network in the world, but every network that fails does so in a completely unique way.” Turning this around, this means one of the best ways to learn network design is to work on failures. Every failed network design an engineer touches teaches some lesson in design, as well.

But to really learn network engineering, a little theory of failure is called for—an understanding of what might be called “failure theory” provides a context, or a framework, into which an engineer ...

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