[RC5] US West installation discontinued due to network jam

JAPH David Nicol david at kasey.umkc.edu
Wed Sep 16 12:14:34 EDT 1998

> >
> > computers at U S West's facility
> >in Phoenix, which normally respond in 3 to 5 seconds, took as long as five
> >minutes to retrieve telephone numbers.
> >
> >The computers were so slow in mid-May that customer calls had to be rerouted
> >to other states, and at one point the delays threatened to close down the
> >Phoenix Service Delivery Center.

After reading the superficial AP article and 

<a href="http://www.scruz.net/~luke/archives/digest/v01_0375.txt">
Aaron Blosser's own reporting of his results </a>

it looks like
the delay wasn't caused by CPU being tied up but by network
jamming.  Maybe with enough effort we can get an accurate chapter
on network architecture included in the AP stylebook. <g>

By the time Blosser changed the retry rate on his two thousand
machines from two minutes to something a lot longer, the damage had
been done.  Two minutes makes sense when you're idling on a dial-up and
 waiting for Ms. Owner to check her e-mail, but two hours IMO is not
 long enough of a retry rate on 
a machine that has a permanent connection.  (Mprimescripts waited
four.)  Also some randomness needs to be thrown in to avoid repeated
collisions, just like network wires.

If a self-discovering shortest-path spanning tree could be built
into the "self-updating" idle-cycle servers that would cut down
on download volume at software update time.  

And the spanning tree would be handy in delegating assignments too,
as every machine would know how many machines were "behind" it, so
"decurions" and "centurions" would be easy to identify and delegate
enough work to so they can sub-delegate it.

In case anyone wants a demonstration of what I just described I 
suppose I could put one together.  "Roman army clustering" i guess
it could be called. 

David Nicol
share a joke at http://www.tipjar.com/sharejokes/addform.html

 David Nicol 816.235.1187 UMKC Network Operations david at news.umkc.edu
  Inspired by the subversive decadence of triple-frosted sugar bombs

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