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

  • From: Andrew Odlyzko
  • Date: Thu Oct 25 21:32:53 2007

Isn't this same Dr. Larry Roberts who 5 years ago was claiming, "based
on data from the 19 largest ISPs," or something like that, that Internet
traffic was growing 4x each year, and so the world should rush to order
his latest toys (from Caspian Networks, at that time)?

All the evidence points to the growth rate at that time being around 2x
per year.  And now Larry Roberts claims that current Internet traffic
is around 2x per year, while there is quite a bit of evidence that the
correct figure is closer to 1.5x per year,

Andrew Odlyzko

  > On Thu Oct 25, Alex Pilosov wrote:

  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]