Are the Route Servers Viable Solutions That Are Being Held Hostage?

Gordon Cook gcook at
Wed Dec 20 05:52:45 UTC 1995

On Sunday the 17th of December Sean Doran stated pretty clearly why 
Sprint wasn't using the Routing Arbiter database.  I am very surprised 
that neither Bill Manning or Elise Gerich or anyone else involved with 
the project has so far come back and said no...Sean....your 
interpretation was wrong.  Here is what we did.  And we did this 
because........  Does the lack of response from the Routing arbiter to 
Sean mean that it has no problems with Sean's description of what it did 
and why it did it?

To refresh folk's minds, here is what Sean said:

The principal problem is that the RSes and the whole IRR
are only as good as the databases are, and the bulk of the
RADB was populated from the wrong source.  Rather than
doing what I would consider the correct thing -- that is,
watching peerings between the RSes and the providers
participating in the various RS tests and tracking down
all the information from the IRR based on what was seen
there, verifying routing policies with end sites -- they
started with the PRDB and hoped that fate would cause the
RADB to become more correct.

To be brief and blunt, the RA team started with
information explicitly designed to PREVENT connectivity
between "bad" (evil, greedy, commercial) networks and
"good" networks which would be AUP compliant.  I'd think
common sense would indicate doing some extra (and well
paid) work to instead start off with something approaching
a model of the reality of interconnectivity.

Moreover, another disappointment is that one could easily
assert that a strong reason for using the PRDB as the
source of information from day #1 was that MERIT was
already spending its resources maintaining that database
and toolset in a deal with ANS to keep ANS's network
routing working much the same way during the many months
while they figured out how to move on from the end of the
NSFNET backbone service.

In short, I think the chief failing of the RADB is not the
toolset, the concept, or the long-term plan, all of which
make some to alot of sense.  Instead, what seems to have
killed it dead is that the RA was too busy to commit the
*serious* effort it would have taken to populate the RADB
with information from reality in the first place.

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