A letter from the CEO

Hi Carsten,

You must be talking the "new" comm-speak because "bps" has been the
conventional abbreviation for "bits per second" since at least the
modem days of the 1980s with the "thousands" modifier typically
offered lower case so as not to distract from or be confused with the
digits: kbps, mbps, gbps, tbps. The lack of a space between the digits
and letters also follows convention.

There's nothing wrong with saying "8 Tbit/s" instead. It's just as
clear and no one sensible cares. But complaining about others using
the normal convention frankly makes you look like a doofus.

Bill Herrin

Sure, and the speed of vehicles is measured in kph (and probably frequencies in cps, or in this space more likely kilomegacycles).

I didn’t complain about anything.

I just noted the very low technical competence signaled by this usage in the press release (what pushed me over the edge was of course the “terra”). Competence signaling is often inadvertent, and it can be very useful for the recipient of a message.

To keep with the side-track you opened:

I wouldn't complain about Tbps, because I know it’s the vernacular, and maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned the correct scientific notation, because even much of the science in this space is written up in vernacular.

I work with networks that offer a sustained data rate of 2-200 mbit/s (yes, millibit per seconds), so I really can’t find a lot of value in using the wrong case for the prefixes. You don’t easily find a press release with “tbps” (well, maybe with tbsp, table spoons). If it rocks your boat, nobody will stop you from writing that way, and the trade press in UK/AU really seems to like that (did I say anything about competence signaling yet?).

I know most people here don’t care (because they don’t have to(*), literally), but there are standards for these things, and there are reasons for the way that they have turned out to be. If you want to taste a little treatise from engineers who do care (because their job is building things that measure), you can look up https://u.nu/correct-units .

Can we now return to spam-bashing?

Grüße, Carsten

(*) I apologize for this little pun. Or, maybe we are the phone company now?

I’ve been looking at some deployments in areas with sketchy political forces and I was looking to use MACsec.

Given that Tbps is still relatively uncommon in many operator networks, it's not uncommon to hear people say Megabit and Gigabit with no problem, but say Terabyte when referring to Terabit, as well.

That one does get to me, but I'm often boozed up on enough wine to care :-).


How underwhelming :-)… Mark.

I eagerly await a more substantive response. This is from a position of inquiry, not a position of combat. I’m new to the world of hardware that has those capabilities, so if there’s something better, I’m all for hearing about it.

I am impressed that you stepped up, admitted the mistake, and apologized. Thank you for taking responsibility.

Anyone reading this who can say they never made a mistake can continue to criticize you. As I am about as far from that standard as one can be, I will consider this penance enough for your first mistake.

Fair warning: If you email nanog-l multiple times “by mistake”, that will not be so easily overlooked. Whether in error or not, multiple “mistakes” become a problem. Remember Grey’s law, "sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice” (or the similar Heinlein’s law, or Hanlon’s razor, etc.). Perhaps you should spend some extra time verifying your list hygiene?

What I meant was MACSec would also be my go-to, and doesn’t necessarily scream “cutting edge” :-). Mark.

Ah, okay. All good!

Terrabits? That’s a new one to me. Would that be akin to an “earthbit” or something like that?


>> 8tbps (8 terrabits per second).

Terrabits? That’s a new one to me. Would that be akin to an “earthbit” or something like that?

They are better than terrorbits, which is what happen when anyone in
the family says "My Internet is broken, can you fix it?"


“Terrorbits” sounds like a 3 year old unplugging a router - over and over until which point it then had to be relocated to a top shelf with a UPS. Telling this from a friend’s experience, not my own. Promise.

Because of dead wi-fi, or just for giggles :-)? Mark.

best to approach incidents like this with gigglebits, e.g. the sort of response that accompanies replies like "you did WHAT?? AGAIN??"


Pets. I’m pretty sure the cat was the culprit for a tech call last week, fortunately resolvable over the phone.

Hundred Meg, Ten Gig, One erm...?
Maybe harder to create vernacular for.