[nycbug-talk] Cogent and Sprint - a signal of things getting Oldschool?

Isaac Levy ike at lesmuug.org
Fri Oct 31 15:02:10 EDT 2008

Snipped down to thwart the top post,

> Isaac Levy wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> A scary ike-brain-dump lunchtime essay for halloween!
>> Freddie Crugar is slicing internet routing tables today!
>> ------------
>> Many of you saw the news yesterday afternoon that Sprint cut off
>> peering with Cogent.
>> Here's a nice summary:
>>   http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Sprint-Cogent-in-Peering-
>> Feud-98792
>> And Last Night:
>>   "Sprint-Nextel Severs Its Internet Connection to Cogent
>> Communications"
>>   http://www.ibtimes.com/prnews/20081030/dc-cogent-sprint-law.htm
>> Many of us remember how various peering wars especially in the late
>> 90's made aspects of using the internet difficult and unreliable,
>> (latency and reliability issues).  Recent years, IMHO, have been much
>> better- (though people on this list from various ISP's may say
>> different :)
>> I speak here as a user, from home, to business IT, to being a 'Colo
>> Consumer' at various scales.
>> For those who forgot, or for whom it wasn't relevant back then, this
>> commonly affected both datacenter/colo services, as well as last-mile
>> connections- at least far more than recent years- from a 'user'
>> perspective.  Peering problems have happened since, and Cogent is no
>> stranger to peering disputes...
>> Well, suddenly alarms are going off in my brain, yesterday's net
>> hiccups feel like bad old times.
>> My DSL (Speakeasy) gets quite slow for small periods of time since
>> yesterday.  OpenBSD 4.4 release today is coming down *slowly*.  My
>> home-office telecommute work day is sucking rocks.
>> My neighbor (Comcast Cable), reported less than 20k bandwidth for  
>> long
>> periods of time last night.
>> Admittedly unscientifically, from my endpoint --> traceroute to known
>> points in NYC, now go through mzima where they used to always go
>> through some level3 pipes- so I *believe* I'm not crazy to say the
>> Sprint/Cogent de-peering affected my piddly DSL, (as it reportedly
>> seems to affect a lot more people).
>> -----------------
>> MY SMALL QUESTION (paging mr. Pilosoft...)
>> Cogent.  What's their deal?  Are they really the McBandwidth that
>> people speak of?  Do they undercut the other carriers, as seems to be
>> the legal/financial problem today- or are they a logical business
>> manifestation in a market slow to change- (and in technology, I'm
>> implying change moves with Moore's law)?
>> From my view of available bandwidth in North America, all the big
>> carriers have not met my expectations- none of them have had  
>> incentive
>> to continue to invest in their infrastructure.  I know this is a huge
>> and arguable notion, but the way that amortized expenditures have
>> played out in the open market make an environment where carriers want
>> to squeeze as much use out of any infrastructure deployed.
>> Can anyone on list who deals with pipes from the datacenter
>> perspective Clarify WTF is up with Cogent for a 'Colo consumer' like
>> myself?
>> Is this de-peering related to the big economic meltdown in some
>> tangible way?
>> -----------------------
>> (why not- it is Haloween after all, muahahaha)
>> I'm NOT saying this backbone/growth situation is an evil conspiracy,
>> (though the big carriers do have a trollish history of greed and
>> neglect); maintaining stability of the market as we know it can  
>> really
>> stifle growth, e.g.:
>> "Union Protests Verizon's Neglect Of Copper"
>> (in favor of FIOS expendatures, 6 months ago)
>> http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/93261
>> The workers seem to have had a valid point, (and are picketing more
>> recently on similar lack-of-sane-resources issues).  However, as an
>> end user, I need the coming fiber *like yesterday*.  And there is the
>> rift.  Upgrades.
>> I would argue that to continue to compete and grow internationally,
>> American businesses desperately need increased bandwidth all around-
>> especially at the datacenter.  I argue that carriers need to be
>> supported in, as well as held accountable for, planning upgrade  
>> cycles.
>> All the IT managers on list, at a myriad of tech and non-tech
>> companies big and small, can understand tech growth strategies.
>> With servers and computers, the cost of upgrade is commonly
>> understood.  In healthy (lucky) environments, growth is even planned
>> for- that's part of an IT manager's job.  We all get it.
>> With that working understanding, the slow/expensive/unreliable
>> offerings from internet carriers are truly frustrating.
>> As a 'Colo consumer', I know full well how increased speed, latency,
>> and stability affect many businesses bottom line.  Typically,
>> bandwidth decides success or failure of various businesses I've  
>> worked
>> with.  Stable computing is always my job, but the carriers are one
>> element which is completely out of my hands.
>> --
>> Lately, the economist Paul Krugman has come to the forefront through
>> the market meltdown.
>> I think the sentiment of this 6 year old article is absolutely
>> relevant today,
>> NY Times, December 6, 2002
>> "Digital Robber Barons?"
>> http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0DE3D6123BF935A35751C1A9649C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print
>> -or-
>> http://tinyurl.com/6z2t24
>> Krugman writes:
>> "For example, I personally have no choice at all: if I want  
>> broadband,
>> the Internet service provided by my local cable company is it. I'm
>> like a 19th-century farmer who had to ship his grain on the Union
>> Pacific, or not at all."
>> --
>> More destructive than the lack of competition among providers, I  
>> would
>> argue, is that the big telcos are "getting into farming" themselves-
>> so to speak.
>> Those here who know me, know that for years I always argue for a sort
>> of "Separation of Content and Infrastructure", which I argue is
>> similar in it's aim to the US Constitutional "Separation of Church  
>> and
>> State".
>> The myriad of other businesses the 'big backbone telcos' are running,
>> (the wireleess phone mafia, ringtones, media/content distribution
>> [think Viacom], CDN's, software/application/web development, etc...)
>> This is as repressive as a world where Wall Mart was in charge of the
>> roads and streets- what if Wall Mart built roads in place of the US
>> Department of Transportation?
>> In the world of roads and streets, this scenario is clearly
>> unacceptable.  In the world of backbone telcos, why do we all  
>> tolerate
>> this?
>> Why do so many people embedded in the business of technology simply
>> lump disparate content and infrastructure digital businesses together
>> and accept it all as 'technology'?
>> Is government legislation of the backbones, (like the construction  
>> and
>> maintenance of roads), an answer?  American government sure hasn't
>> been mature enough to rationally come close to this issue, (<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_of_tubes
>>> ), but perhaps now that Ted Stevens is in the tank, <http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=avU1ymwZg4R4&refer=home
>>> , we may have some hope... (haha).
>> --------------------------
>> (I've had it up to here with this mania...)
>> Seriously- I feel this may be a critical moment to be thinking the
>> notion of US Government regulation or involvement in internet
>> infrastructure.  Fundamental concepts and principles, not just
>> technical implementation details.
>> "If Obama Appoints a Tech Czar . . ."
>> By Garrett M. Graff
>> http://www.washingtonian.com/blogarticles/people/capitalcomment/8378.html
>> "Names kicking around Silicon Valley and the tech community as CTO
>> candidates include Google’s Vint Cerf, one of the founders of the
>> Internet, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, eBay  
>> founder
>> Pierre Omidyar, and Lotus pioneer Mitch Kapor."
>> Yuck.  Since when did the most successful cutthroat Silicon Valley
>> business leaders have any any place as public servants, where greater
>> issues than their short-term tech market is at stake?  The internet,
>> and use of digital networks, is beginning to augment the fundamental
>> fabric of our post-industrial lives.
>> While it's exciting to me that a committed government 'CIO' post  
>> would
>> be considered in the first place.  It seems far better than a
>> continuation of current network policy practices- a wild-west
>> mentality where the administration simply ignores the public issues,
>> and the most attention networks and technology get is from technology
>> people like Mike Connell, among others (a Bush White House IT
>> Consultant):
>> http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Mike_Connell
>> Additionally, we're watching the collapse of unregulated wild-west
>> economics.  Nobody is game to simply 'let the market decide' any  
>> more.
>> But even the accomplished Vint Cerf bothers me in this role- as he
>> currently is "Chief Internet Evangelist for Google" (Google's
>> businesses have come to mangle Content and Infrastructure from an
>> opposite position to the Telcos, IMHO).
>> http://www.google.com/corporate/execs.html#vint
>> Who else could make a good candidate?
>> What history of other critical infrastructure in North America is
>> worth studying?
>>   - railroad
>>   - interstate highways
>>   - city roads
>>   - electrical grid
>>   - water rights
>> What, with communications networks, could fundamentally change?
>> <http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~jones/cscie129/papers/Early_History_of_Data_Networks/The_Early_History_of_Data_Networks.html
>> -or-
>> <http://tinyurl.com/5a3m2j>
>> With the election coming up next Tuesday, I DO NOT want this post to
>> degenerate into a political thread- but I would like to point out the
>> stated policies of our incumbent candidates are a VERY interesting  
>> read:
>> http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology/
>> http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/cbcd3a48-4b0e-4864-8be1-d04561c132ea.htm
>> --
>> I may sound negative here, but truly, I'm amazed and delighted the
>> internet works at all- every day- and love working in it.
>> Sorry for the long essay style post- if you read this far, thanks!   
>> If
>> you choose to constructively comment, on or off list, (even
>> constructively tell me I'm nuts), thanks even more!
>> Who has internet backbone?
>> .ike
>> _______________________________________________
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>> talk at lists.nycbug.org
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On Oct 31, 2008, at 2:50 PM, Max Gribov wrote:

> Im sure Alex has more interesting things to contribute to this, but i
> think this article illustrates the event pretty well:
> http://www.renesys.com/blog/2008/10/wrestling-with-the-zombie-spri.shtml
> note how nasa has single homed networks both on spring and cogent -  
> much
> lolz that is

> _______________________________________________
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> talk at lists.nycbug.org
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lolz indeed! (and furthering my big gripe above):

"Sprint hasn't paid any particular attention to its IP product and  
network at a senior management level for a very long time. They are  
clearly focused on wireline and wireless telecom services and Overland  
Park management seem to remain mostly unaware that they even operate  
an IP network. In other words, Cogent has picked a fight with a zombie  
here. They may even rip off a limb or two, but that doesn't mean the  
zombie will notice."


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