How big is the Internet?

bmanning at bmanning at
Fri Aug 16 14:06:17 UTC 2013

On Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 12:37:20AM -0400, Sean Donelan wrote:
> Even the researchers at the Library of Congress, if you give them 
> enough beer and beg them enough, will eventually give you an estimate
> about the Library collection size as of the end of the last year.
> What so special about the Internet that it can't be measured?

The problem is that is can be measured, along a large number variables.

The LOC question, How Big?  Might be linear shelf space, sqft, number of
items, number of warehouses, number of employees, budget, etc.  The
base question, How Big needs a qualifier or two.

Same with the Internet.  How big makes no sense.  How much traffic begs 
the question of measured from where.  A unique attribute of IP based
transport is that -as far as I know- there is no measurement point between
-every- pair of nodes that might exchange traffic.

And since the instrumentation does not exist, you'll never get the numbers.

Select other vectors and the problem remains, the instrumentation is poor
or non-existant.

Any numbers that are derived are incomplete and/or estimates.

Pick your poision.


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