North American Network Operators Group

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Re: External Events (was Re: has no DNS A record !)

  • From: Sam Thomas
  • Date: Wed Jan 26 10:46:59 2000

On Tue, Jan 25, 2000 at 08:40:46PM -0800, Sean Donelan wrote:
> On Tue, 25 January 2000, John Hawkinson wrote:
> > Is your goal to get the word out to network providers of people
> > who use E*TRADE? Do you really expect that many of them will
> > forward this announcement or make good use of it? Should
> > a message be sent to NANOG every time CNN, Netscape, or Yahoo
> > go down?
> > 
> > Am I missing something here? [Like a sense of humor?]
> External events have an affect on network service and network operators.
> Why do most NOC's have one or more monitors tuned to CNN and the Weather
> channel all day and all night?  Ok, I know the real reason, but what is
> the reason the sales people tell prospective clients?

generally, we had CNN/TWC on because we weren't allowed to have wrestling
and tractor pulls on during business hours m-f. we were allowed football
on the weekends and mnf. occasionally there was a useful bit of news, but
more often we were too busy to notice.

> The question is really one of editorial policy and how significant is
> any individual event.  I don't think there is really one answer which
> can cover everything.

I think the question is more one of propagation speed. sometimes, there is
actually information on this mailing list of a useful nature delivered
before it can be obtained through normal channels. frequently it's
information about a fiber cut, and we have you to thank for it. thank you,

> The Internet (RTM) worm affected only VAX and Sun computers, an estimated
> 10% of the Internet of the day.  If you didn't use Sun or VAXen, it would
> have been an irrelevent event for you.  When AOL forgot to put a GUARDIAN
> password on its domains, and there where changed to a tiny ISP, if you
> didn't use AOL it may have been irrelevent to you.  When Cisco, Bay and
> GATED BGP implementations had a disagreement on whether ASNs could be
> repeated in an as-path, it may have been irrelevent to you if you used
> a different BGP implementation or router.

in today's internet, whether it affects anyone on this list specifically,
it will most likely affect the customers of the majority on this list.
whether or not any of us wish to admit it, customers are the reason we
operate our networks. when things like this happen, and affect our customers,
they will call our customer support people, who will in turn look to the NOC
for answers. working in a NOC, I know it is very nice to be able to look
my brethren in the eyes and tell them what the problem is, and what they
should tell our customers about it. believe it or not, there are people
on this list who actually operate networks and we would like to know why
there are thousands of people calling support to ask why they can't trade
stocks; and we want to know yesterday.

> Whether a particular NSI problem, an E*Trade problem, or an Ebay problem,
> or a Cisco CCO problem is really significant enough to talk about semi-
> publically is tough.  It would be nice if each company was willing to
> make timely disclosures about problems.  But as we've seen time and time
> again, companies would prefer to never to acknowledge they had any problem
> until it becomes impossible to ignore (e.g. Worldcom's 10 days of hell
> last summer).

this is frequently because these folk have made unrealistic promises to their
customers that they can maintain the illusion of keeping so long as news of
the failure is kept internal.

Sam Thomas
Geek Mercenary