"2M today, 10M with no change in technology"? An informal survey.

Ross Callon rcallon at juniper.net
Mon Aug 27 03:32:10 UTC 2007

> In another mailing list, someone has asserted that "noone believes  
> router vendors who say [they can support 2M routes today and 10M with

> no change in technology]". 

Can you tell us who said this on which email list?

> Or perhaps more accurately, the router  
> vendors claiming this are being a bit disingenuous in that while it  
> is possible routers can handle this many static routes, they'll  
> quickly fall down if they were subjected to real world dynamic  
> conditions ISPs would see if you extrapolate routing flux in today's  
> tables up to (say) 2M routes.

I remember quite clearly at a much earlier meeting the statement that
"obviously the Internet will keel over dead if the top level IP routing
table reaches 10,000 entries" (this is not an exact quote, but the
"10,000" limit was what was stated at the time). At the time no one
challenged this observation, although at the time I did wonder why
someone thought that this was obviously true. Of course this statement
has been obviously false for quite a few years. 

Sadly, I don't recall whether this statement was made at a very early
IETF, or at a GADS (gateway algorithms and data structures) meeting,
which was the group that preceded the IETF ("gateway" was an early word
for "router"). 

Of course, over the years there have been improvements in both
implementations and protocols to make the growth from "less than 10,000"
to "more than 200,000" work okay. I don't think that anyone is expecting
that today's routers will work with 10,000,000 top level Internet routes
without any change at all in any aspect of the implementation. 


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