The Attitude (was: the Internet Backbone)

Jeremy Porter jerry at
Tue Apr 16 18:22:28 UTC 1996

>> From: "Erik E. Fair" (Internet Architect) <fair at>
>> Perhaps the easy way out is to suggest that educating the ISPs as to
>> what constitutes good behavior at an exchange (routing system stability
>> and reliable packet delivery) is the responsibility of the exchange
>> operators,
>This is not just the easy way out, I believe that it is the only way out.
>Then, we don't have the problem of all those multiple peering
>agreements.  Instead, just one with the exchange.
>Also, this eliminates the problem of each ISP trying to "filter" bogus
>routes.  Instead, the exchange operators will handle that problem.
>Indeed, I think that this is/was a major impetus for "policy-based"
>routing in the first place (reading the old RFCs), and a clear reason we
>need the Routing Arbiter!

Hm, policy based routing was invented to keep nasty commerical
traffic of the holy and pure NSFNet backbone.

Here is the problem, NSPs don't trust the RA and the exchanges
to make routing and traffic flow decisions for them.  This
is what you are asking them to do.  Now if the RA
were a commerical operation, that had a responsibitly
to its customers, then you MIGHT have a different story.
MAE/NAP oepraters don't have time to do routing peering
stuff anyway.  They are just triyng to make the thigns work.

>> and it might even be possible to enforce some interesting
>> policies in that regard in the route servers (e.g. if you have more
>> than N routing or BGP peer transitions per time period, the route
>> server will refuse to peer with you for 48 hours - think of it as the
>> hold-down or damper from Hell).
>Interesting concept!

Exponential backoff works well, too bad the code base that does
route flap damping isn't really stable enough for production
use in large parts of the Internet.
Best results are give, when everyone runs it.

Partial deployments give poor results, as per Sean's talk a year
ago.  (You mean Sprint was one of the first providers to do flap
dampening, I thought they were Evil, yet hear they are doing good?)

>> I certainly think that to the extent that the exchange operators can
>> measure such things as routing and peer stability, it is in everyone's
>> interest to see the numbers (except those ISPs who are unstable). Who
>> knows? A series good reports from exchange operators about an ISP might
>> lead to offers of private peering arrangements outside of the exchange,
>> to the benefit of the ISP. Similar to the way that having a good credit
>> record seems to lead to endless offers of more credit.
>I understood that the RA contract provided for these measurements, and
>agree that they would be a good thing!

As far as I know, no one has said these stats would be a bad thing.

Jeremy Porter, Freeside Communications, Inc.      jerry at
PO BOX 80315 Austin, Tx 78708  |  1-800-968-8750  |  512-339-6094

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