[nanog] Re: Microsoft offering xDSL access

Karl Denninger karl at mcs.net
Fri Jan 23 19:36:02 UTC 1998

On Fri, Jan 23, 1998 at 10:55:17AM -0800, Paul A Vixie wrote:
> > Now, if you want to *CLAIM* DS1 speeds but actually deliver something that
> > looks more like an ISDN connection, then its possible.  
> T1 into a local provider is still T1, though.  The main bandwidth consumers
> hereabouts are HTTP, NNTP, and DNS.  All of these are "cacheable" at the
> local provider, and having T1 access to those data repositories is still
> quite useful.  Not all traffic has to go to the other side of the planet.

Well, yes and no.

NNTP absolutely is.  

DNS is low-volume enough that its irrelavent.

HTTP is not nearly as cacheable as you would think, and caching it has some
bad side effects in many cases - which your customers will likely bitch 

> >                                                         But where I come
> > from advertising something you can't deliver is commonly known as fraud.
> We just call that "marketing" around here.  But your point is valid: this
> low-cost last-mile service should be described in terms of access to the
> ISP's local resources (which will therefore have to grow a lot from now).
> Hell, maybe there's something in this transparent caching idea after all?

Let's say that you can cache 50% of the HTTP traffic, which frankly, from
what I've seen is HIGHLY aggressive, but I'll be nice and give you that for
the sake of argument.

> Nobody in their right mind would sell T1 to every customer and do 1000:1
> overcommit of their transit links without some kind of bandwidth shaping.
> Since that shaping is part of the engineering plan, the marketroids will
> have to find some way to come clean about it in the advertising glossies.

Ok, so its only 500:1 assuming 50% effectiveness on the HTTP side.

It still won't work.

Now, if you intend to rate-shape (as opposed to tossing packets on the floor
when you get overcommitted) then you ARE committing fraud if you don't tell
the truth about it.  And, frankly, the customer really gets hosed with this
kind of model - because you have to be pretty predictive for this to give
you any kind of net gain in effective utilization, which means you apply the
chokes BEFORE the peak levels get hit.

The business models on which this stuff is based are full of assumptions
that anyone who has been in this business for more than a week knows won't
work in the real world.

At least, not in the world that we call the "Internet".

Now if you want to set up a private network which is called and is in fact
something less than that (ie: "Citynet"), you might be able to make it work.


The people running around shouting that "bandwidth will be too cheap to
meter" sound a LOT like the crowd that was doing this in relationship to
Nuclear Power and electricity 20 years ago.

Today, the TRUTH is that Nuclear energy is one of the most expensive ways 
to generate electricity, and in fact its SO expensive that places like
Illinois, where ComEd generates a lot of it from that form, don't have
enough on peak demand days and have to pipe it in and/or start turning
people off!

Karl Denninger (karl at MCS.Net)| MCSNet - Serving Chicagoland and Wisconsin
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