SEAN at SDG.DRA.COM
Sun Jan 14 01:43:53 UTC 1996
>Hello Alan - Here's a PARTIAL list of presentations we've planned so far:
I hesitate to suggest a presentation, because I don't have any solutions
only problems. A couple of months ago this list had a thread on communicating
network outage information, network usability, and generally keeping
network operators and users informed about the current state of the
- Overall network reliability tracking, better or worse?
While individual network providers track their own network
reliability, is there a need to report and track some data
on an Internet-wide basis similar to the reliability reporting
done in other industries (telephone, airline, etc)?
While anyone could track network outages on their own through
massive invasive testing, it usually doesn't reveal the cause
of the outage. What is the biggest threat to network reliability?
A farmer with a backhoe, or a network engineer at a console?
Is there a neutral third-party which could blind and summarize
the data? I'm not an academic type, so I don't know what would
be involved in getting funding at one of the national labs for
such a project. Or do we wait the the FCC to mandate something?
- No one is perfect
Everyone should plan for the disaster which will hit their network
at some point. Whenever a network melts down, the next thing to go
is the NOC communication lines. I haven't seen a network provider
with sufficient staff to answer all the calls, and repair their
network at the same time when it goes down. Either calls go unanswered,
or the network doesn't get repaired, or sometimes both.
The 1-800 problem reporting method isn't scaling well. Alternatives?
- Everything hasn't failed at once [for a long time]
I don't think there has been an Internet-wide ('net-wide) failure
since BBN made Butterfly gateways and one lost its mind.
This means, even though one network provider is wiped out, other
networks could pass along reports about the current state of
the network. How can this reporting function be decentralized?
- Finally, keep network users informed
Since we have a hard time tracking who is using what (if we even
wanted to track users), out-of-band notification isn't great for
notifying users. Ideally the network itself could be used to
inform just those users affected why things aren't working. Any
chance of wedging a "user information" field into the IPng ICMP
destination unreachable message? It would be nice to tell the
user in the ICMP message: "Beep BOOP BEEP, We're sorry your
packet could not be delivered as addressed due to a ...." Instead
of waiting for the users to call the NOC which probably is already
snowed under with calls.
Since the 'net as a whole doesn't fail that often, but pieces
of the 'net fail frequently, in-band notification isn't as crazy
an idea as it seems.
Any thoughts how to turn this into a presentation topic?
Sean Donelan, Data Research Associates, Inc, St. Louis, MO
Affiliation given for identification not representation
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