routing meltdown

Jerry Scharf scharf at
Fri Aug 11 19:53:32 UTC 1995

jon at (Jon Zeeff) wrote
>  Perhaps "policies, procedures & data" is a better word than "protocols" used
>  in the generic sense.
>  I want to route things differently based on the time of day, whether 
>  or not a particular network is seeing heavy traffic, and what my 
>  horoscope said today.  I can implement this much more easily on a 
>  workstation where I have source code than I can convince Cisco to 
>  implement it.  
>  > So, it seems that using route servers would have no impact wrt to removing
>  > "complex routing protocols from routers".

Making routing decisions based on horoscopes doesn't bother me. Making
routing decisions based on load is somewhere between silly and scary. If
you only cook yourself then it's silly, if you cook others it's scary.

In my dusty past I played with a digital simulation of an analog computer,
and remember trying to build various damped circuits. Then you hooked up
the signal generator, and about 8 times out of 10, some part of the circuit
went to rail (this means you blew it.) The idea of positive feedback
loops in the internet routing/traffic fabric seems unimaginable for
someone who had trouble taming 10 opamps with a known input signal.

It's easy to look at what exists and see it is suboptimal. I would venture
it is impossible to build an automatic system that would not display
catastrohic actions under certain stresses.


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