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Protocol Wars

January 16, 2015

In 1991 Dai Davies introduced Internet technology into the pan-European backbone, EuropaNet, which was originally planned as an X.25 network. This put him right in the middle of the “Protocol Wars,” when engineers, organizations and nations became polarized over the issue of which protocol – Open Systems Interconnections (OSI) or TCP/IP -- would result in the best and most robust networks. As we all know now, TCP/IP won the war, but the battles were brutal. Davies recalls being in Japan speaking at a seminar in which he was describing his own hybrid solution, which used a combination of the two protocols. “A guy in the back of the room was making obscene gestures at me the whole time, because I was not advocating for a ‘pure’solution using just one of the two,” he said. “The idea that you could have co-existing protocols was heresy. You had to choose sides, and it was trench warfare.” Davies survived that war and has gone on to lead many successful battles to bring networking to regions worldwide, from the Far East to Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.

 

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