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Re: "ARPANet Co-Founder Predicts An Internet Crisis" (slashdot)

  • From: Alex Pilosov
  • Date: Thu Oct 25 17:14:40 2007

On Thu, 25 Oct 2007, Paul Vixie wrote:
> "Dr. Larry Roberts, co-founder of the ARPANET and inventor of packet
> switching, predicts the Internet is headed for a major crisis in an
> article published on the Internet Evolution web site today. Internet
> traffic is now growing much more quickly than the rate at which router
> cost is decreasing, Roberts says. At current growth levels, the cost of
> deploying Internet capacity to handle new services like social
> networking, gaming, video, VOIP, and digital entertainment will double
> every three years, he predicts, creating an economic crisis. Of course,
> Roberts has an agenda. He's now CEO of Anagran Inc., which makes a
> technology called flow-based routing that, Roberts claims, will solve
> all of the world's routing problems in one go."
I don't know, this is mildly offtopic (aka, not very operational) but the
article made me giggle a few times.

a) It resembles too much of Bob Metcalfe predicting the death of the
Internet. We all remember how that went (wasn't there NANOG tshirt with 
Bob eating his hat?)

b) In the words of Randy Bush, "We tried this 10 years ago, and it didn't 
work then". Everyone was doing flow-based routing back in '90-95 (cat6k 
sup1, gsr e0, first riverstoned devices, foundry ironcore, etc). Then, 
everyone figured out that it does not scale (tm Vijay Gill) and went to 
tcam-based architectures (for hardware platforms) or cef-like based 
architectures for software platforms. In either case, performance doesn't 
depend on flows/second, but only packets/second.

Huge problem with flow-based routing is susceptibility to ddos (or
abnormal traffic patterns). It doesn't matter that your device can route
1mpps of "normal" traffic if it croaks under 10kpps of ddos (or

-alex [not mlc anything]