New Network Pizza Model

Network VLAN Pizza 2012-02-05 004

Four years ago, the last time the Patriots were in the Superbowl, I invented a real-life example of the Network Pizza Model originally attributed to David Lawrence Nicol.  I wanted to update my pizza model to reflect new networking standards, many of which I have applied to our network at SATV, which has been much changed in the four years since the original pizza model.

The original Network Pizza model went like this, based on the well-worn OSI 7-layer model:

  • Level 7: Meal layer. Hungry humans get nourished and revitalized.
  • Level 6: Presentation layer. Do you use a plate? Forks? Napkins?
  • Level 5: Session layer. Was level 4 prompt? Do you tip two dollars or three?
  • Level 4: Transport layer. Some poor shmoe has to find your cul-de-sac.
  • Level 3: Network layer. You call your Pizza service provider on the phone and have a synchronous negotiation regarding aspects of levels 2 and 4.
  • Level 2: Sauce and toppings, as specified in Level 3.
  • Level 1: Physical crust layer. The bread on which the entire pizza is

My innovation this year is to add VLAN technology to the network pizza.  It is now possible for individual client diners to enjoy the advantages of segmented networks.   We have deployed a small VLAN at SATV to make our public WiFi network easier to manage by setting it apart from our primary network.  My network pizza will, by the same token (groan), also be easier to consume.  Here are the planning, preparation and deployment details:

Layer 1 Physical Crust Layer

My recipe is based on a bubble-bread pizza I found on the net.  The ingredients are based on the pizza recipe I usually use.

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar 
  • 1-1/4 cup water
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast

Layer 2 Sauce and toppings

  • Pizza sauce (I use the jar type; I’m not strong on sauces so make your own…)
  • Fancy blended shredded cheese (any pizza combo or make your own combo)
  • Pepperoni
  • Peppers

Layer 1 Construction

Mix oil, salt, half of the water (1 cup worth), cheese, and flour. Stir until combined, cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Continue mixing until the dough ball forms and is tacky (not too dry or wet.) Add water if dry. Mix in yeast. Once you have a good dough ball, cover the mixing bowl and let stand for 45 minutes to rise.

Bread machine instructions: Put machine in dough cycle and add all ingredients. If you’re using a machine, you probably know enough to check the dough wetness as the machine runs.


Layer 2-5 Construction

This is where I diverge from a standard pizza model.  Remove the dough and put it in a covered container and let rise for 45 minutes.

Get or find a 14” cake pan, preferably the springiform type that has a removable band to enclose the batter.  Coat it with olive oil.

Divide the dough into 6-8 pieces, and roll them each into a ball.  In this instance, I used half of the dough I made and saved the other half for later.  This is a good option for small networks;  large networks will require you to use all the dough.

Place the dough pieces in the pan like so:

Network VLAN Pizza 2012-02-05 002

Flatten the dough pieces so that they resemble small pizzas.  Coat the dough liberally with olive oil.

Add the layers:

Network VLAN Pizza 2012-02-05 003

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Slide the pan into the oven and let it bake for 20-25 minutes.

As you can see in the opening picture, you now have a network pizza with VLAN, suitable for all home—and office—applications.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to implement VLAN tagging or VLAN security;  I’d suggest that some (larger) clients at your site could implement Network Access Control with an outthrust arm or a well-aimed shoulder.

I have no clue how to implement VLAN tagging or filtering, unless you use these same Network Access Control clients to bar the door.

Otherwise, the VLAN Network Pizza is an excellent, tasty implementation.  Nom, nom, nom!

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