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Re: Cogent/Level 3 depeering

  • From: Leo Bicknell
  • Date: Thu Oct 06 20:08:29 2005

In a message written on Thu, Oct 06, 2005 at 06:36:00PM -0400, Lamar Owen wrote:
> All philosophy aside, it does bother me that a simple single depeering can 
> cause such an uproar in a network supposedly immune to nuclear war (even 
> though the Internet was not designed from the start to survive nuclear war; 
> Paul Baran's packet-switching work aside; reference 'Where Wizards Stay Up 
> Late' which quotes Taylor and others on the origins of the ARPAnet portion of 
> the old Internet).  I shudder to think of what would happen if there were to 
> be a real problem (I mean, really, one link (out of many thousands) is down 
> and the Sky Is Falling!).  What happened to resiliency?

I've seen a lot of comments about the "disruption" caused by this
depeering event, and what would happen if $bad_thing happened.

I point you back a few weeks to when the hurricane hit.  You need
look no further to see people offering up their assistance to those
in need.  Look back further to 9-11, and people offering networking
help to those who's infrastructure was damaged.

I have no doubt that if the Level 3 / Cogent issue had been caused
by a pre-emptive nuclear strike and the nation was called to arms
that virtually every ISP that connects to both would be offering
them free transit to get them reconnected.

Indeed, I could log into my routers now and fix the Cogent / Level
3 problem with about 3 minutes of typing.  It would cost my company
thousands of dollars to do so, so I'm not going to do it.  As I
said before, right now this is a business problem.  By the same
token, if we were just attacked and Level 3 and Cogent were both,
together, asking for help I'd log in and have them working as fast
as I could type.  I bet others would as well.

Level 3 and Cogent are able to fix their own problems in this case,
either by making up, or by entering into a business relationship
with a third party to fix it.  This is also a problem that they,
themselves created.  That's the difference here.

I've got a new set of rules to add to this thread:

If you don't have enable on a router, and you've never negotiated
peering with a transit free ISP then you're not qualified to comment.
You really don't understand what's going on here, and it's not, I
repeat, not a technical problem.  There is nothing wrong with the
technology, architecture, or anything else.  There is something
wrong with the business model of one, or both of these companies.

       Leo Bicknell - [email protected] - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at
Read TMBG List - [email protected],

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