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North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Greener grass on the other side of the fence

  • From: David Lesher
  • Date: Mon Jun 29 09:45:22 1998

> I'm not sure the telephone network is really that robust.  Think about
> the SS7 network and a world with 50,000 CLEC's.  Like most things, you
> don't want to really know what's in the sausage.  Some systems are designed
> with a high degree of control, so everything works correctly.  But they
> often have the property of catastrophic failure when any part fails to
> work perfectly, such as the cascading failures of the western power grid
> last year.

Years ago, it WAS that robust. Virtually not central control. The
switches were internally redundant [axe off part of a #1 crossbar
switch; like a worm the rest keeps wiggling...], trunking was
almost too simple to break in increments greater than one, etc.

But we've traded dumb redundancy for speed and efficiency. And
we've paid for that. It struck me that the Martin Luther King Day
ATT voice crash [?1991?] was chillingly parallel to this year's
frame outage -- both went down on DoS from Sorcerer's Apprentice
worth of maintenance messages.

A host is a host from coast to
& no one will talk to a host that's close........[v].(301) 56-LINUX
Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433
is busy, hung or dead....................................20915-1433

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