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Showing posts from August, 2021

The curious case of the missing return packet

 In this post I want to dig deeper into a phenomenon that I spent a few day debugging with friends. It will be a story of a behavior that seems illogical at first glance, broken even, but will seem feasible in the end. Let's begin! Things you will need: The scenario requires one host and one switch minimum*. In our example we will use two Linux hosts, an Arista DCS-7050S switch, and an Arista DCS-7050QX switch. The second switch and host is not strictly needed, but it makes the scenario more realistic and is how we found this issue. The story begins with you and a couple of friends are building an internet exchange (IX) for education and for fun. The simplest IX is just a simple switch - yes even an unmanaged thing you can pick up for $10 would work theoretically. The switch has one purpose: connect different actors together so they can route traffic between each other. See diagram 1. Diagram 1: Your typical IX network. It's just a switch. You have your IX switch and you have y