Other flapping prefixes. Compare and contrast.

Hans-Werner Braun hwb at upeksa.sdsc.edu
Mon Sep 11 15:40:11 UTC 1995

Well, while Sean's wording at times is, ahem, suboptimal, he is
referring to a real problem in the Internet System, and in fact one
that the North American Network Operators Group should take
responsibility for, at least for the North American part. The problem
is what others believe is a strength: an anarchic system of many
autonomous service providers with little or no service model/metrics
(neither for the local nor for the system level), and no well defined
rules of conduct for interoperation and problem resolution.

A few weeks back I had problems with getting to another CONUS site.
Not exactly capillary connectivity, source was at SDSC, destination at
FIX-West. My service provider is CERFnet. Some days after emailing
about the problem (it happened on a Friday evening that I had very
intermittent connectivity, with packets from my traceroute getting lost
in Sprintlink land) I got actually quite polite and professional
responses that, based on my traceroute, it was outside of CERFnet's
domain and best they can do is inform Sprint. As I network engineer I
understand the context and the issues. As a network user I do not find
the service model acceptable. I thought my service provider was selling
me Internet connectivity, not regional connectivity. This is not to
single out CERFnet or Sprint, given the way The System is run, the
service providers likely are all the same, at least above the 90th
percentile. Certainly because there is no global (or even domestic)
problem resolution procedure that has any leverage with other service
providers. Eventually something hits the roof for someone, and he
starts bitching more publicly as his only remaining leverage, which is
what seemed happening to Sean. What choice did he have? Run to the
government and ask for regulation, as the service providers just can't
get their act together at a systemic level? Well, that may not be one
of *his* first choices, but sooner or later Real Users (rather than us
networking bigots) get pissed. You know, those you sell services to?
That you give, say, T1 connectivity to without being clear what it
means to a user, who's traffic may have to traverse five ISPs? And who
may not be interested in hearing about finger pointing from the service
provider or deferred problem resolution? I mean, what would you say if
your electrical power would drop to 80 Volts (more than once in a year)
and your local power company would tell you "uh, that's not our fault,
it is just power company 2000 miles away ran out of oil, or misplaced
some nuclear refuelment rod?"

This all should be critical to the NANOG agenda if the service
providers would want to continue to provide quality services.

I think it is an attitude problem of people largely caring about their
own swamp.

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