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Re: Greener grass on the other side of the fence

  • From: Roeland M.J. Meyer
  • Date: Mon Jun 29 10:59:47 1998

I've worked in technical management at both MCI and Pacific Bell. Take my
word for it, DAIL-TONE is a miracle, a miracle that it's there.

At 05:40 AM 6/29/98 -0500, Sean Donelan wrote:
>>As an aside, it always amazes me that the Internet even works (particularly
>>for an infrastructure that the unwashed masses seems to think will replace
>>the existing telephone network), but I guess the same could be said of any
>>chaotic (in the non-linear sense) system...
>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.
>Central, hierarchial control is alluring.  But there are still trade-offs.
>It used to take a week (or more) to add/change/update network routes in
>the prdb (and its predecessors).  Perhaps acceptable when the central
>control was working, but it also took that long to fix things when the
>central database was screwed up.  If you were really lucky, you might
>be able to convince someone to do an 'emergency' change in a day or two.
>We (myself included) often express amazament how the network manages to
>continue functioning.  However, the system might not be as out-of-control
>as some people think.  It is definitely chaotic.  On the other hand, it
>has shown itself remarkably resiliant to the many evil things people
>and nature have done.
>I'll note I'm writing this note while watching white scan lines roll over
>my highly reliable TCI cable service, NOT!
>Sean Donelan, Data Research Associates, Inc, St. Louis, MO
>  Affiliation given for identification not representation

Roeland M.J. Meyer, ISOC (InterNIC RM993) 
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