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512000 The Magic Number Or Not If It's The Internet

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/11030725/How-an-arbitrary-number-broke-the-internet-yesterday.html

You may have noticed yesterday that your internet connection was rather sluggish, or perhaps went down entirely. You were not alone: problems were reported around the world. We even had issues here at the Telegraph.

Auction site eBay, for instance, collapsed for much of the day. The company has not explained the exact nature of the problem, but admitted in a statement that “technical experts identified this was due to upstream Internet Service Provider (ISP) issues”. Password manager LastPass was also affected, leaving customers locked out of their accounts.

The issue, according to many experts, was with something called the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). You may never have heard of it, but it is absolutely vital to the operation of the internet and is causing large problems.

..

Now we are at the point where some older routers are struggling to cope: their memory is too small and their processors not powerful enough. A full copy of the routing table now contains 512 rows of 1,000 ports, a total of 512,000 routes. Older hardware was never designed with larger tables than that in mind. Many have a strict 512,000 route limit, put in place by programmers many years ago who were forced to arbitrarily choose a number; you don't make something so capable that it can operate for a hundred years as the hardware cost would be enormous, but you must also ensure a practical lifespan. The result if often little more than an educated guess.

..

<noframe>Twitter: Tony Hughes (CP) - If you noticed anything strange this morning, eg. inability to access websites, it was because the global routing table hit 512K at 9am BST</noframe>

The problem has been anticipated for years, but replacing these machines is an expensive, non-trivial task. It’ll happen – especially now that BGP issues are causing such large problems – but not overnight.

Many are already back up and running, others were replaced months or years ago. More problems will also be alleviated slightly by a new protocol called IPv6 which will reduce the strain on BGP. But further outages cannot be ruled out.

Anyone any idea of how much hardware needs replacing. Seems someone needs to create a higher limit the next time.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/11030725/How-an-arbitrary-number-broke-the-internet-yesterday.html

Anyone any idea of how much hardware needs replacing. Seems someone needs to create a higher limit the next time.

I'm not surprised that the infrastructure of the internet is showing cracks.

Guess who'll have to pay for the upgrading? The taxpayer!

I remember the rolling electricity power cuts in the 70's which didn't have a drastic effect on the way of life back then. But can you imagine the havoc that internet outages would cause?

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Well I must say I'm not impressed at all with this so-called 'magic' number.

I have been saying it very loudly all day while putting my hand inside top-hats, and have not been able to produce any doves, white rabbits or endless knotted-hankies.

And quoting it while pulling the table cloth from the table just smashed all of Mrs XYY's best China.

Given my experience, perhaps referring to it as 'pretty shite number' from now on would be much more appropriate...!

Mr XYY, Abracadabra St, Fulchester.

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And quoting it while pulling the table cloth from the table just smashed all of Mrs XYY's best China.

Mr XYY, Abracadabra St, Fulchester.

I always thought you had metal enamelled NAAFI mugs up there! :blink:

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I always thought you had metal enamelled NAAFI mugs up there! :blink:

Used to mate - but I left them in the backyard after a barbeque and the friggin' pikeys nicked 'em...!

XYY

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