Better description of what happened

Tom Beecher beecher at
Wed Oct 6 15:44:32 UTC 2021

By what they have said publicly, the initial trigger point was that all of
their datacenters were disconnected from their internal backbone, thus

Once that occurs, nothing else really matters. Even if the external
announcements were not withdrawn, and the edge DNS servers could provide
stale answers, the IPs those answers provided wouldn't have actually been
reachable, and there wouldn't be 3 days of red herring conversations about
DNS design.

No DNS design exists that can help people reach resources not network
reachable. /shrug

On Tue, Oct 5, 2021 at 6:30 PM Hugo Slabbert <hugo at> wrote:

> Had some chats with other folks:
> Arguably you could change the nameserver isolation check failure action to
> be "depref your exports" rather than "yank it all".  Basically, set up a
> tiered setup so the boxes passing those additional health checks and that
> should have correct entries would be your primary destination and failing
> nodes shouldn't receive query traffic since they're depref'd in your
> internal routing.  But in case all nodes fail that check simultaneously,
> those nodes failing the isolation check would attract traffic again as no
> better paths remain.  Better to serve stale data than none at all; CAP
> theorem trade-offs at work?
> --
> Hugo Slabbert
> On Tue, Oct 5, 2021 at 3:22 PM Michael Thomas <mike at> wrote:
>> On 10/5/21 3:09 PM, Andy Brezinsky wrote:
>> It's a few years old, but Facebook has talked a little bit about their
>> DNS infrastructure before.  Here's a little clip that talks about
>> Cartographer:
>> From their outage report, it sounds like their authoritative DNS servers
>> withdraw their anycast announcements when they're unhealthy.  The health
>> check from those servers must have relied on something upstream.  Maybe
>> they couldn't talk to Cartographer for a few minutes so they thought they
>> might be isolated from the rest of the network and they decided to withdraw
>> their routes instead of serving stale data.  Makes sense when a single node
>> does it, not so much when the entire fleet thinks that they're out on their
>> own.
>> A performance issue in Cartographer (or whatever manages this fleet these
>> days) could have been the ticking time bomb that set the whole thing in
>> motion.
>> Rereading it is said that their internal (?) backbone went down so
>> pulling the routes was arguably the right thing to do. Or at least not flat
>> out wrong. Taking out their nameserver subnets was clearly a problem
>> though, though a fix is probably tricky since you clearly want to take down
>> errant nameservers too.
>> Mike
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