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Routing around failure

Thursday, January 31, 2008
One of the old mantras about "the internet" was that it "routes around failure". The idea, of course, was that traffic would flow and, given the web-like nature of connections, failure at any one point could be compensated for (automatically, if set up right) so that - overall - the traffic would flow. Of course, this doesn't work for everyone, but generally speaking it's true.

I've mentioned before the "attack of the Idaho backhoes" which is the annual or biennial attack on our nation's internet structure. What's even more interesting to watch is the classic "anchor" accident, where some ship drops an anchor right through the one fiber-optic cable connecting a huge area. This time it's hitting Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa as sources theorize that an anchor cut an undersea link.

To me, this stresses the importance of redundant links so that traffic CAN flow without interruption. A bit of delay is okay, but outages are becoming more and more damaging as we - as a human race - dump more and more of our communication and business on the awesome yet fragile backbone of the internet. Take note, everyone! This needs to be fixed. Traffic can route around failure, but we're at the point where the infrastructure can't handle the failure of a single link, and that's unacceptable.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:47 PM, February 01, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was trying to link to the book: Undersea Fiber Communication Systems but out of all irony I am not tech savy enough to link to it :(

2:49 PM, February 01, 2008  
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12:42 AM, February 25, 2016  
Anonymous Dick Brubaker said...

Interesting post. thanks for sharing.

2:34 PM, December 14, 2019  

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