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China to Enforce TLS 1.3 Ban | Gestalt IT Rundown: August 26, 2020

This week Tom and Max Mortillaro take a look at the winding down of Lumina Networks, Uber’s former security chief getting in hot water with the feds, and China banning TLS 1.3 with ESNI and more.

This Week on the Rundown

Lumina Winding Down

Open source vendor Lumina Networks announced that it is winding down operations. The company, which was founded back in 2017 and backed by both AT&T and Verizon, was the holder of the SDN controller developed by Brocade before their disassembly. CEO Andrew Coward said that the compnay was hit with the double whammy of COVID-19 related issues along with the typical struggles associated with running a company that relies on an open source model. Coward said that VCs and telcos typically don’t invest heavily in open source companies.

Uber Secure Hiding Place

Joe Sullivan, former head of security for Uber, was chaged last week with attempting to hide a data breach from federal investigators. The breach happened back in 2016 and ultimately led to his dismissal from the company the next year.The federal prosecutors were very clear that there was a huge distinction between failing to protect the enterprise network and what Sullivan did, which was trying to hide it from investigators after the fact. The breach, which exposed the email addresses and phone numbers of 57 million Uber users as well as 600,000 drivers licenses, was settled in 2018 for $148 million.

Palo Alto Buys Crypsis

Security giant Palo Alto Networks announced this week that it will be acquiring The Crypsis Group for $265m. The company specializes in incident response, risk management, and digital forensics. Palo Alto CEO Nikesh Arora says that the acquisition will help the company not only predict and prevent attacks but mitigate the impact of breaches in the future.

DoD to 5G – A OK!

The emerging tech that is 5G just got a big boost in the US. The Department of Defense announced this week that it has cleared spectrum in the 3450-3550 Mhz range for use by providers. Combined with frequenices previously opened up this means there is now a large contiguous space that can be auctioned off to providers for use in their deployments perhaps as early as next year. Does this mean that we’re going to get 5G even faster?

Purely Heading to Cheaper Flash

Pure Storage announced that their newest generation of FlashArray//C is now shipping. The device, which is optimized for 2-tier storage workloads, uses enterprise-grade flash for fast performance as well as capacity-oriented storage for cost savings on the platform. The idea is that Pure is looking to position FlashArray//C in place of hybrid arrays. VAST Data and StoreONE are also charging forward in this market

China to enforce TLS 1.3 and ESNI Ban

The Chinese governemt has enacted a ban on secure communications initially put in place back in July. The ban covers the user of Transport Layer Security (TLS) version 1.3, the latest release. Specifically, it also bans the use of Encrypted Server Name Indicators (ESNIs). With traditional SNI you can infer which servers are being contacted because it is in plaintext in the packet header. TLS 1.3 with ESNI encrypts this field to obfuscate the DNS and server requests with an extra layer of security. The Chinese governement is dropping all TLS 1.3 traffic with ESNI enabled and banning IP addresses using it for a temporary period. They are allowing TLS 1.3 traffic using SNI along with previous versions of TLS. What does this mean for the future of communications in China? And will the developers of TLS continue to add these functions to the protocol, knowing they may get swatted down in the future?

No Zoom Zoom

Monday was not a good day for Zoom. An outage in the service started around 9am ET and continued on for about four hours. Users were greeted with error messages saying they could not connect to scheduled calls. Some users were able to connect directly via the client. With the current state of the world relying more and more on Zoom and other conferencing platforms to do business, the outages included schools doing distance learning from home, business attempting to have meetings, and even courthouses trying to have hearings for accused criminals. Zoom released few details about the outage, only saying that some authentication features were briefly offline. We’re relying more and more on Zoom to do things we used to do in person. Does this kind of outage shake your faith in video conferencing?

Intel Chipletting To the Future

Intel just wrapped up their 2020 Archiecture Day and the end of the show highlighted some changes coming from the chip titan. Intel is looking to start building heterogenous designs over their traditional monolithic architecures starting in the 2024 timeframe. The idea is to make components for the chips on different processes, mixing 7nm cores with 10nm GPUs and even bigger purpose-built components for other uses. Intel has made the news recently becuase they have admitted they are behind in their shift to the 7nm process and that it will have an impact on the future of their fabs. It even cost an executive his job.

TSMC Shrinky Dinks

On the other side of the specturm, TSMC has announced they’re going to shrink their dies even more. This week they announced a roadmap that includes a move to a 5nm process that is currently in high-volume production. This is rumored to be for use by Apple and given the amount of chips being made that’s a safe bet. The roadmap also lays out the journey to get all the way down to 3nm on some units. Max, these two stories couldn’t be more different. Is the future of chips in the low end of the range? And how much lower can we go?

NetApp Layoffs are Solid

Chris Mellor at Blocks and Files is reporting that NetApp will be laying off around 700 employees as part of a restructuring. The biggest bulk of these layoffs are reported to center around the group formerly known as SolidFire, which was acquired by NetApp back in 2015. Around 100 employees will be let go from the Boulder-based operation. According to Mellor’s reporting from anonymous posting on, this is the result of a “failed acquisition” and that NetApp sales teams have been trying to convert HCI opportunities to traditional NetApp Filer sales.

The Gestalt IT Rundown is a live weekly look at the IT news of the week. It broadcasts live on YouTube every Wednesday at 12:30pm ET. Be sure to subscribe to Gestalt IT on YouTube for the show each week.

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at

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