North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Transaction Based Settlements Encourage Waste (was Re:

  • From: Vadim Antonov
  • Date: Wed Aug 26 15:02:51 1998

Sean Butler wrote:
> vadim wrote:
> >In any case, nobody was able to connect backbone flow
> >traces for any significant amount of time.  A typical
> >Internet load on OC-3 would produce about 7000 fps, or
> >500 mil flows per day.  Now, crunching that data to
> >generate bills is going to be fun.
> But you're not going to do accounting on backbone links
> to bill customers, you'd do that at their ingress.  Now,
> if you have customers with OC-3's, then for the time being,
> I agree, you probably can't bill based on flows...  But
> for customers from dial-up speeds up to DS-3's, the
> technology is there to do this today.  Quesion is:  is it
> cost feasible to do so?

To asses path-costs you have to do that in backbone.  The
end points (aka ingress points) simply do not have routing
information sufficient to recreate the paths from sources
and destinations. Actually, even backbones themselves
don't have complete vision of network topology - so the
per-flow path costs have to be calculated in a distributed

And no, distributing the topology information to ingress
points is not going to work, either - that would amount to
routing with no aggregation.

Once you realize that the size of the network, and the
need to accomodate exponential growth place constraints
on what kinds of computations you can do, a lot of things
become pretty obvious.  I may sound opinionated on the
issue - but what i do is simply applying the Internet's
equivalent of the second law of thermodynamics, which
effectively rules out perpetuum motion without going into
specifics on why it is impossible.

The per-flow computation complexity in the Internet is
at least the same as per-packet, but also necessiates
gateways to keep inter-packet state.  Which is an O(N)
kind of memory (where N is number of end-points), and
therefore cannot scale (note that current gateways only
need O(log N) memory for RIBs, assuming consistent use
of aggregation).


PS  Note that in the last paragraph the implicit 
    assumption is that the number of inter-backbone
    paths is limited (which makes limited number of
    exchange points to carry most traffic flows). The
    reason for that is flap replication property of