Extreme congestion (was Re: inter-domain link recovery)

Sean Donelan sean at donelan.com
Thu Aug 16 06:48:08 UTC 2007

On Wed, 15 Aug 2007, Fred Baker wrote:
> On Aug 15, 2007, at 8:39 PM, Sean Donelan wrote:
>> On Wed, 15 Aug 2007, Fred Baker wrote:
>>> So I would suggest that a third thing that can be done, after the other 
>>> two avenues have been exhausted, is to decide to not start new sessions 
>>> unless there is some reasonable chance that they will be able to 
>>> accomplish their work.
>> I view this as part of the flash crowd family of congestion problems, a 
>> combination of a rapid increase in demand and a rapid decrease in capacity.
> In many cases, yes. I know of a certain network that ran with 30% loss for a 
> matter of years because the option didn't exist to increase the bandwidth. 
> When it became reality, guess what they did.
> That's when I got to thinking about this.

Yeah, necessity is always the mother of invention.  I first tried rate
limiting the TCP SYNs with the Starr/Clinton report.  It worked great 
for a while, but then the SYN-flood started backing up not only on the 
"congested" link, but also started congesting in other the peering 
networks (those were the days of OC3 backbones and head-of-line blocking
NAP switches).  And then the server choked....

So that's why I keep returning to the need to pushback traffic a couple
of ASNs back.  If its going to get dropped anyway, drop it sooner.

Its also why I would really like to try to do something about the 
woodpecker hosts that think congestion means try more.  If the back
off slows down the host re-trying, its even further pushback.

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