Old Dog Consulting

Internet Protocol Consulting Services

I am Adrian Farrel, Principal Consultant and Managing Director of Old Dog Consulting.

I have 30 years' experience designing and developing portable communications software ranging from various aspects of SNA and OSI, through ATM and into IP. At Data Connection Ltd., I was MPLS Architect and Development Manager, leading a team that produced a carrier-class MPLS implementation for customers in the router space, while their GMPLS implementation pioneered the protocols working closely with optical companies developing the standards. As Director of Protocol Development for Movaz Networks Inc., I had the opportunity to build a cutting-edge system integrating many IP-based protocols to control and manage optical switches offering wavelength services.

I am co-chair of the IETF's Layer 3 VPN Service Model (L3SM) Working Group which seeks to develop a technology-agnostic YANG data model to describe the L3VPN services offered by network providers to their customers.

In March 2015 I completed six years as one of two Routing Area Directors in the IETF. The fifteen Area Directors comprise the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) responsible for the day-to-day operation of the IETF, guiding the development of new technical topics, and maintaining the quality and value of its output. The Routing Area Directors are particularly responsible for all of th Working Gorups maintaining and developing protocols related to routing and forwarding of IP and MPLS packets.

Previously I was co-chair of the IETF's Common Control and Management Plane (CCAMP) Working Group, which is responsible for the development of the GMPLS family of protocols. I also chaired the Path Computation Element (PCE) Working Group, which applies remote path computation techniques to MPLS and GMPLS networks, and the Layer One VPN (L1VPN) Working Group, which developed mechanisms to manage connectivity over optical networks using GMPLS. Within the IETF I have co-authored and contributed to numerous Internet Drafts and RFCs on MPLS, GMPLS and related technologies.

When I served as the IETF's liaison to the ITU-T on optical networking, I frequently attended ITU-T meetings to discuss and help formulate the ITU-T's Recommendations on related technologies. I was also a founding board member of the MPLS Forum.

As well as frequently speaking at conferences, and authoring several white papers on GMPLS, I have served on many technical committees and review panels including the MPLS conferences in Washington DC every year from 2004 onwards, the 2004 IEEE International Workshop on IP Operations & Management (IPOM 2004), and the IP and Optical Network conference (iPOP) in Japan every year since 2005. I was Guest Editor of a special edition of the IEEE's Communications Magazine entitled "GMPLS: The Promise of the Next Generation Optical Control Plane."

I am the author of three books from Morgan Kaufmann, and editted another two. Click here to see details.

Click here for a list of some of my other publications including conference presentations, papers, and IETF RFCs.


Old Dog Consulting is a loose affiliation of a small group of consultants who work with me to meet the specific needs of my customers. I work full time as a consultant, and I call on the services of other consultants to provide input in their specific areas of expertise to support my work and to provide added value and detail in what is a very wide area of technology.

Our work concentrates on the function and application of Internet routing technologies ranging from long-established routing protocols such as OSPF, IS-IS, and BGP, through more recent developments like MPLS, GMPLS, and PCE, to the latest ideas in Software Defined networking (SDN) and Network Function Virutalization (NFV).

Our clients range from large Service Providers, through established networking equipment manufacturers, to start-up companies in various stages of development. We protect our customers' confidentiality through stringent NDAs, and exchange information between ourselves only on a need-to-know basis, but at the same time our contact with carriers and vendors facilitates a beneficial cross-fertilisation of requirements and ideas.

The services that Old Dog Consulting provides include:
Advice about standards bodies and standards tracking. We provide reports about the development of protocol standards within the IETF, ITU-T and OIF based on first-hand experience of attending these bodies, writing the standards, and piloting the work through the standardisation processes. Additionally we help our customers to develop and promote their ideas through the standardisation process to ensure that the networking community understands and adopts the technologies that are of greatest importance to our customers.
Reviewing and development of architectures and designs. Working with equipment manufacturers, we help to structure the protocol software components and switch architectures through written contributions, planning discussions, or the review of existing material.
Strategic product direction. Both Service Providers and equipment manufacturers can leverage our wide experience within the industry when planning new products or services. We provide input to Functional Specifications, Product Level Management, and business models for new start-ups.
Education. Formal or informal education classes are an excellent way to bring a development team up to speed on Internet protocols and service, or on the techniques for successfully architecting protocol software in network devices.

Contact me:   Adrian Farrel