L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

04 May 2007 Blog Home : May 2007 : Permalink

Sloppy Reporting Kills Internet2

The Instapundit linked to a network world story about a network outage caused by a fire with the following snark:

INTERNET I; Designed to survive a nuclear war; survived 9/11, Katrina, numerous other diasasters.

Internet II: Taken out by a homeless man with a cigarette.

The snark is misleading and is rather like saying "tanker fire destroy interstate system, railways manage fine" when referring to this incident. The story doesn't explicitly mention it but it seems clear that, as with the SF bridge oil tanker fire I linked to, a major route was taken out because of the fire but that the rest of the network functioned just fine. I have no doubt that traffic between NY and Boston on Internet2 went via somewhere else (DC, Cleveland and Bufffalo probably according to this map) in the interim, just as traffic across the Bay Bridge between SF and Oakland was rerouted via San Mateo or somewhere. There is, however one difference between the Internet2 and the Interstate system: unlike the SF bridge which is going to take years to repair, the Internet2 service was restored in about 4 hours.

Mind you the technical network geek in me wonders why Internet2 and/or its cable providers apparently don't have redundant paths that would cut in within milliseconds of the primary path going down. Given that a bridge is a pretty large single point of failure Level3 should have had an alternative route somewhere IMO. Obviously the Internet2 isn't intended (at present) to be a network carrying life or wealth critical information becuase those networks tend to have multiple layers of redundancy (actually sometimes they have too many but that is a whole other story).

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin