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Army DNS ROOT Server Down For 18+ Hours

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the inter-arma-enim-silent-tubulis dept.

The Internet 154

An anonymous reader writes "The H-Root server, operated by the US Army Research Lab, spent 18 hours out of the last 48 being a void. Both the RIPE's DNSMON and the h.root-servers.org site show this. How, in this day and age of network engineering, can we even entertain one of the thirteen root servers being unavailable for so long? I mean, the US army doesn't even seem to make the effort to deploy more sites. Look at the other root operators who don't have the backing of the US government money machine. Many of them seem to be able to deploy redundant instances. Even the much-maligned ICANN seems to have managed deploying 11 sites. All these root operators that have only one site need a good swift kick, or maybe they should pass the responsibility to others who are more committed to ensuring the Internet's stability."

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Army Intelligence? (2, Funny)

toygeek (473120) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769764)

An Oxymoron indeed!

Re:Army Intelligence? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769786)

It was probably outsourced to the cheapest bidder. Either that or some incompetent idiots got the winning bid
by greasing a few palms.

Re:Army Intelligence? (4, Funny)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769814)

Don't be so harsh on the US military. They only have a trillion dollar budget, you know? How are you ever going to set up redundant systems if all you get is pocket change? You have to cut corners somewhere. Maybe it's time to increase their funding a bit more.

Re:Army Intelligence? (3, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770878)

Actually, given the size and scope of the US military, you are right, 1 trillion dollars is about pocket change to most people.

I'm for increasing their budget more too. But I'm not sure that this outage wasn't planned. How better to test the ability to withstand a "cyber attack" then to lose your DNS servers and see if the your departments can fully function without them. This ability would greatly decrease the time needed to change to an alternative system if ever needed or more likely regroup resources and work around it. I'm not so sure that this wasn't just a readiness test of some sorts disguised as an accidental outage or something. It would make more sense to make it appear to be a problem server then actually gearing up to work around it that would create another potential target for any attacks.

Re:Army Intelligence? (2, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770922)

Careful - don't lump all the military together. It's the ARMY under discussion. My navy has problems, to be sure, but my navy can keep a server up and running. Not to mention, the navy wrote the book on repetitive redundancy. I think congress should take the server away from the army, and give to the navy. Overall security should improve, and physical security will most certainly improve. Our marines haven't lost a server yet!

Re:Army Intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33771010)

What about the US Air Force? As everybody knows, the Air Force the the premiere US organ to deal with black holes sucking trough artificial wormholes. They also have the experience needed to deal with spider-like swarm intelligent toys gone haywire and human consciousnesses sucked to a computer systems. Surely they can handle a few redundant servers as well..

Hmmm (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770992)

Did anyone actually notice the outage?

Re:Army Intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769940)

An Oxymoron indeed!

In fact, forget about the oxy ...

So the Internet worked as it should... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769778)

So the Internet worked as it should, and routed around this disruption. The other root servers were unaffected, and still functioned fine. So what exactly is the problem?

Re:So the Internet worked as it should... (4, Funny)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770360)

Because it's Saturday, and we don't have anything else to get upset about! WE HAVE TO HAVE SOMETHING TO GET UPSET ABOUT, DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?! How can I be expected to face the day if I'm not pissed off about something that doesn't directly affect me in any meaningful way?

Re:So the Internet worked as it should... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770674)

Umm--having retired from the military, and having also been a networking professional for fifteen years in education and industry, I have less than a great respect for the products of the U.S. Army Signal School, who happens to operate that server. I was activated for service in Iraq, and watched a fellow captain, a graduate of that school, and someone with at least five years experience, insist that Ethernet Cat 5 had a maximum single link distance of 185 meters. And he designed his network around that premise. Which meant that we spent the next six months after they left cleaning up the mess and troubleshooting the bad links that SOMETIMES worked. Granted, this is not objective but it illustrates the point.

Re:So the Internet worked as it should... (0, Offtopic)

NekSnappa (803141) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770686)

I'm upset that the Jaguar XKRs aren't doing well at Prtite LeMans, and the Europeans seem to be making a comeback at the Ryder Cup.

Maybe.. just maybe.. (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769780)

They didn't want YOU to access their servers?

Re:Maybe.. just maybe.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769918)

Obviously. If you dont have written permission to access their servers you'll
get a visit from Homeland Insecurity. Hmm, theres someone at the door.

Why is it their problem? (2, Insightful)

sjs132 (631745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769796)

Because they don't have redundancy? Everyone gets mad because the USA wants to control the internet, but let something go bad and then someone wants to point fingers? Really? I just don't get the mentality of "We want you to do this for free" and then people turn around and B&M about the service being down for a bit.

Re:Why is it their problem? (4, Insightful)

Sprouticus (1503545) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769860)

It has nothing to do with this being a US Army server. It has everything to do with bad design. The people given the responsibility of a root server should NOT take that responsibility lightly.

Re:Why is it their problem? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769896)

If the US wants to "control the internet", which we do 'cuz there's Internet Money [wikipedia.org] to be had, then we have the responsibility to keep the infrastructure up and running. How are we going to combat a 'cyber attack' without redundancy ... I mean really, even /. has a backup site, right?

"backing of the US government money" (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770000)

Rest assured, the government isn't holding back. Those non-redundant Army servers already cost an order of magnitude more then everybody else's redundant servers.

Re:Why is it their problem? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770178)

Oh, I'm sorry! I wasn't aware the Military Industrial Complex's IT ran on fairy farts.

Re:Why is it their problem? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770258)

I don't follow your logic. We don't want US to control the internet "for free". We don't want US to control the government AT ALL. But if they don't want to give up their control, they could at least try to be somewhat competent at it.

Step 1: People say "US Gov/Military shouldn't control the internet". Step 2: US Gov/Military fucks something up.

By what logic should people not point fingers?

Re:Why is it their problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33771042)

The logic that says that there is more DNS root hardware outside the US than there are in within it? That most of those that are hosted, operated, and maintained outside the US are so hosted, etc by non-US companies, let alone US government agencies.

The logic that this "failure" of the US government disrupted exactly zero service to anybody because .. oh shit, I know this is crazy, the fucking system functioned as designed.

Re:Why is it their problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770396)

And, you know, tax payer dollars here. Let's scream and shout at how much money is being spent and then when the government doesn't spend it, complain some more.

Re:Why is it their problem? (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770420)

It would probably be reasonably easy to get someone else to run the H server cluster. The DNS protocol itself limits the number to 13, quite by accident, and there was no grand design when it was decided who was getting them.

If the US army can't run their server properly, they should offer the slot to someone else.

Re:Why is it their problem? (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770472)

Army:"No, we can't let you do that!"
Me:"Why?"
Army:"National Security [i.e. PR]. If you don't shut up now, we'll give your name to the FBI!" ...
Do you really expect any other result?

Re:Why is it their problem? (4, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770876)

    Actually, most of the root "servers" are "anycast" now (9 of 13), so a single site failure doesn't matter. The US DoD runs two (G and H). G is anycast. H isn't. There wasn't clarification to what the issue was. It's easy to be quick to say "oh they suck", but shit happens sometimes. That's part of why we don't run on just one root nameserver. :)

    For all we know, it could have been a planned outage. I kinda doubt it with that size window, but who knows. It was only 1 of 13, which makes it more like 1 of an awful lot since 9 of the "servers" are really servers distributed world wide. I was doing some monitoring a while back, showing how our traffic moved, and that included monitoring the root servers. It made some really screwy routes, where one check would be in the US, and the next one would be somewhere in Europe.

Re:Why is it their problem? (1, Interesting)

amorsen (7485) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771016)

I know most are anycast. I still think DoD should give up their slot to someone else, especially since they have 2. There is no reason why any organisation should have two slots; the only reason for that is historical.

Re:Why is it their problem? (0, Troll)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770494)

Because they don't have redundancy?

What do you mean they don't have redundancy? Last time I checked there were something like 13 root servers. The entire purpose of having multiple root servers is to keep the internet up when one or even a few go down.

One down, several dozens up (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769798)

What's the problem? The point of redundancy isn't to keep all redundant instances up all the time. The system is designed to allow for downtime of quite a few servers.

Re:One down, several dozens up (1)

ani23 (899493) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770318)

Redundancy is good. Just not in comments

Lowest bidder (4, Insightful)

pixiekhatt (1344865) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769800)

This is what happens when you give contracts to the lowest bidder. The military may have tons of money, but that doesn't mean they spend it wisely. Even if it's not a contracted company taking care of these servers, and it's government employees (there's a difference), a LOT of those employees get their jobs based on keywords and general qualifications and several have a 'I did my time in the military and retired, they owe me this for all the hard work I did before' attitude. Not everyone is like that, and I've met some government employees (in the tech field) who really did know their stuff.. and not all contracts are bad -- but they can turn sour when a company steps in, says they'll do all that and more for this much less, and they really don't know what they're doing. I've seen that happen too. And if it's managed by soldiers.. well. They always told us, you're a soldier first, and a 'whatever your job is' after. Most technically trained soldiers don't know how to do their job well, or even at all. They just tough it out until they're an NCO, and then they're supposed to be a leader and tell their underlings to do the work.

Re:Lowest bidder (4, Interesting)

Isao (153092) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769948)

There are two main approaches to government contracting: Lowest Cost and Best Value. Contrary to popular belief, Lowest Cost is not always the one chosen, by a long shot. I also previously misunderstood "Close enough for government work." Turns out most "government work" has very specific requirements and specifications, or you don't get paid. If you see something different, please call Waste, Fraud & Abuse.

Re:Lowest bidder (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770284)

To tack on, often times those extremely expensive "military spec" tools and such are expensive due to having to meet standards that would normally considered ridiculous. The reason being that it's usually not too hard to head off and buy a new one, but in the middle of a war zone, it's both time consuming and risky to assume you can get a new one.

Re:Lowest bidder (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770020)

Lowest bidder does not equate getting the contracting job. Not in this day and age.

Re:Lowest bidder (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770934)

> This is what happens when you give contracts to the lowest bidder.

Because they'd obviously get better results by giving them to the highest bidder...

Try to get your head around concepts like "requirements", "specifications", and "lowest qualified bid". You not only do not get paid if you don't do the job you agreed to do, you may even have to pay the extra cost of having someone else do it over.

Not the hugest problem out there.,,, (-1, Flamebait)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769804)

The H-Root server does NOT run Windows, just in case anyone was wondering ;-)

On a more serious note, while the downtime is bad... there are 13 root servers owned by different organizations (both government & non-government) for a reason.. to provide redundancy. Interestingly, the D-Root at College Park and H-Root at Aberdeen are relatively close to one another geographically. The distributing the H-Root service would be nice, but there are lots of other letters to use in the Root namespace. In short: The Army should probably take some steps to beef things up, but the (usual) mouth-breathing hypersensationalized crap spewed in the summary is mostly for getting ad revenue into Taco's bank account and not a rational evaluation of the situation.

Re:Not the hugest problem out there.,,, (1)

memojuez (910304) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769932)

Mike Muuss must be spinning in his grave.

Re:Not the hugest problem out there.,,, (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769988)

Mike Muuss must be spinning in his grave.

For the most part, I can confirm that, but there was an 18+ hour period where a percentage of my queries simply reported that Mike Muss was unknown. Odd.

Re:Not the biggest problem out there.,,, (4, Interesting)

gnieboer (1272482) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770392)

Agreed.

From the offending server's website: "BRL volunteered to host one of the original root servers ... to provide a root server for the MILNET in the event that MILNET had to be disconnected from the Internet."

The purpose of the G/H servers is not to support the greater good (that's a side benefit), but to ensure that the MILNET can function if the DoD cuts itself off from the rest of the internet.

And besides, If my math is correct, there are a total of 205 redundant root sites (http://www.root-servers.org/), so imagine going up asking for funding...
[IT Guy] "General, we need money to add another redundant root server site, if all the sites go down the internet collapses!"
[General] "That sounds bad! How many redundant sites are there now?"
[IT Guy] "Only 205"
[General]

Military Mentality (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769818)

"I don't give a fuck, I'm still going to get my paycheck, and won't be fired."

Re:Military Mentality (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770320)

Where did you hear that? They don't "fire" people per se, but they do have these things called court martials, dishonerable discharge and if I'm not mistaken one can be discharged if one fails to get promoted. I'm sure the details vary somewhat depending upon the branch, but they definitely can get rid of people that aren't living up to their duties. And that's before you get to lesser things like being transferred somewhere miserable.

Re:Military Mentality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770802)

Ironically this is why there are 13 servers. This doesn't even matter at all.

Finally.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769850)

A story I'm interested in reading... the only problem is there is no article?

Bad design, no actual impact (0)

Sprouticus (1503545) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769854)

Having a root server without multiple instances running is horrible. Anyone who has spent an hour studying DNS would understand how bad a decision this is.....

That having been said, this is one root server amongst many, so the actual impatc is almost zero. If your DNS server is only pointing at 1 rot server, than you are more foolish that the US Army and deserve what you get.

Still, they need to fix this and move into the 1990's.

Re:Bad design, no actual impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770210)

> Having a root server without multiple instances running is horrible

You're right... that's why there's A, B, C, D, E ...

There are 12 others - pick one. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769870)

Hardware fails. That's just how it is. Even with the highest end hardware available today, outages can happen. This is why there are 13 root servers to start with. So long as they don't all go down at once, all is good. As far as 18 hours to recover, why is that bad? With 12 others to pick from, should this one be a high priority? I think not. Getting one's panties in a bunch because a server fails and takes some time to recover makes you sound like a silly management type. Most of us lived at least a large part of our lives without any root servers - or any servers at all. It's not the end of the world if DNS goes down. It will be ok, I promise.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (-1, Flamebait)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769912)

Most of us lived at least a large part of our lives without any root servers - or any servers at all. It's not the end of the world if DNS goes down. It will be ok, I promise.

You are an idiot.

At one time it wouldn't have been a disaster for DNS to go down. Now we have everything from business to business transactions to stock trading to government bonds to consumer purchases being done online. We have hospitals depending on the internet to get their plasma on time. We have a billion people using social networks for hours. We have farmers using the internet to check the weather, militaries using the internet to transmit vital intelligence, and kids using the internet to call home and say they'll be late.

From the small to the great the world is online now and even an hour's outage of the internet would be a disaster comparable in economic and social cost to the complete destruction of a small city somewhere in the world.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (5, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769974)

Most of us lived at least a large part of our lives without any root servers - or any servers at all. It's not the end of the world if DNS goes down. It will be ok, I promise.

You are an idiot.

At one time it wouldn't have been a disaster for DNS to go down. Now we have everything from business to business transactions to stock trading to government bonds to consumer purchases being done online. We have hospitals depending on the internet to get their plasma on time. We have a billion people using social networks for hours. We have farmers using the internet to check the weather, militaries using the internet to transmit vital intelligence, and kids using the internet to call home and say they'll be late.

Meh. It's just one of 13 roots. Almost nobody queries it directly. If I have my DNS pointing to my ISP DNS, or to Google DNS, or to my own recursive caching DNS Server which uses one of those as an upstream, all 13 root servers could be down for literally days and it's likely that almost nobody would ever notice. Most DNS servers will retain large caches of most domains. If something freaks out when the roots disappear, a few small ISP's might need to make some quick configuration changes. Some DNS changes wouldn' propagate properly until the DNS root servers were back online. But, frankly, life would go on. Making all of DNS go away would be pretty much impossible, short of taking out every node on the Internet.

Yes, if *All 13* root servers suddenly died, there would be a few people who would get a late night at the office, but I certainly wouldn't see the effects directly.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770196)

It's just one of 13 roots.

Actually, it's one out of over 200. There are only 13 IP addresses, but behind most of these addresses (anycast) there are multiple sites.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (-1, Flamebait)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770628)

How on Earth did you ever get modded insightful?

What do you think your ISPs DNS server uses to for the first step of resolving any query it doesn't have cached? Psychic powers? Magic fairy dust?

Having said that, the whole point of having multiple root DNS servers is to ensure the failure of one is nothing more than a minor irritation.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769978)

From the small to the great the world is online now and even an hour's outage of the internet would be a disaster comparable in economic and social cost to the complete destruction of a small city somewhere in the world.

Ummmmm, no. Not at all. Not even close. Not even remotely comparable in any way. Not a comparison that survives even one second of rational thought. Not a sentence that I was able to finish without thinking the very phrase you started your post with.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (0, Troll)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770026)

Then think more rationally. What is the cost of a missed email? How about a thousand of them? If one non-spam email in 10,000 contains an urgent piece of information what's the cost of missing an hour's worth? How about purchases? What if every internet based store, currency trading mechanism, bond exchange and commodity exchange lost an hour's income? How much the cost of 1 billion missed "I know you're there and I support you" connections between friends? How much the cost of 1,000 drivers that can't contact a tow truck, 100,000 telecommuters that can't sign in to work, 1,000,000 phone calls that don't happen, and 10,000,000 attempts to do some bit of research that fail? A million businesses that can't get int touch with a million others?

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (1)

Enry (630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770046)

How many e-mails were dropped as a result of the one (out of 13) DNS server that was down? How many web sites were unavailable? Did you even know there was a problem before seeing it here on /.?

Redundancy is there for a reason - to make sure that things continue even if one or more systems are unavailable.

Step back, take a breath, and get on with your weekend.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770084)

I'm not talking about the cost of losing a root server, I'm refuting the claim that the internet can go down without significant cost. The "or any server" part.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770432)


I'm not talking about the cost of losing a root server, I'm refuting the claim that the internet can go down without significant cost. The "or any server" part.

Who made that claim? Seems like you're building up strawmen

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (1, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770784)

Right at the beginning of the thread you fricken moron.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770242)

What is the cost of a missed email?

1 phonecall

How about a thousand of them?

Less spam. (seriously, can you think of anyone else needing to send 1000 mails in one hour?)

If one non-spam email in 10,000 contains an urgent piece of information what's the cost of missing an hour's worth?

1. SMTP does not guarantee timely delivery.
2. Sending an email now does not give you any assurance on when it will be read.
Anyone using email for time-critical information transport runs a risk -- that can be foreseen.

How about purchases?

"Oh noes! Amazon is offline! Where do I shop now?!?!?"

What if every internet based store, currency trading mechanism, bond exchange and commodity exchange lost an hour's income?

What if? Seriously: what if???
Some companies making money don't do so for 1 hour. Oh dear.
Oh wait, I'm not paid by money-making companies to care about them. So I don't.
(besides, if all of them are offline, then no one can turn to competition -- I think the effects wouldn't be as severe as when half of them were offline)

How much the cost of 1 billion missed "I know you're there and I support you" connections between friends?

1. For ONE FRIGGIN HOUR?!?! Get real. Seriously.
I've got some great friends, but sometimes whole nights go by without them telling me they're there for me. Or vice versa.
We tend to respect each other's sleep like that.
2. If the Internet is the only connection you have to your friends, are they really your friends?

How much the cost of 1,000 drivers that can't contact a tow truck

Because internet is down?? How about they phone? Or, you know, talk to people?
Besides that: the cost is 1,000 drivers having to wait one hour. Which is nowhere near the end of the world.

100,000 telecommuters that can't sign in to work

Woohoo!! The first of your arguments that I feel is somewhat legitimate.
I think they would more or less do the same thing as their in-office colleagues at the same time.
(I doubt most teleworkers need a permanent internet connection to do any work)

1,000,000 phone calls that don't happen

They exit skype and use the damn phone?

and 10,000,000 attempts to do some bit of research that fail?

For one hour.
Seriously, whenever I run into some problem with Ubuntu, I either find a solution in 5 minutes or I easily fail for an hour in doing research.
No sweat, I'll pick it up later, with a fresh mind. That usually does it.

A million businesses that can't get int touch with a million others?

"Oh noes!! No internet, that means we can't contact anyone!!!"
Unless they have a phone, fax, physical location, post, ...

You know, there was life before the internet too. And it worked pretty nicely for a while. Even the most conservative estimates place that at roughly 6,000 years.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770304)

You left off "for one whole hour" to the end of every sentence. Of those 1,000,000 phone calls, all the important ones would be made once the lines are back up. Ditto the research, the telecommuters, most purchases, email, etc. The tow trucks would get there. The markets wouldn't collapse if you couldn't trade for one hour, in fact, if no one could trade, there would be no change at all.

It would cost money, but not anywhere near the ridiculous claim you made.. Destroying a city is permanent, you never get it back. The infrastructure alone would cost more than the internet going down for an hour, let alone all the buildings, vehicles, personal possessions, businesses and ecology.

That's just economic cost, the social cost claim is so far from rational the light leaving rational will not reach it for thousands of years. Hundreds of thousands dead is an insanely large social cost. They're gone, no way to get them back. Tens of millions would be affected by this, the effects would last years/decades.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (0, Offtopic)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770212)

From the small to the great the world is online now and even an hour's outage of the internet would be a disaster comparable in economic and social cost to the complete destruction of a small city somewhere in the world.

And I would gladly watch it all crash and burn.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770264)

So long as they all don't go down at once

I think you missed his most important point. And maybe a couple of modders did, too.

But thanks for playing, anyway. Should have held off on 'idiot' though.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770306)

The destruction equivalent of one small city, spread out over the entire world, would be barely noticeable. The DNS thing would probably be worse. However, I'm still pretty sure it wouldn't be the end of the world, even in a metaphorical sense. If the entire DNS system were out for a month, _then_ we'd have some problems.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (1)

pooly7 (892966) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770310)

We have a billion people using social networks for hours.

Well maybe we'll gain productivity if they get to work instead of wasting time!

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770520)

"Now we have everything from business to business transactions" so sad. Businesses might have to pick up a phone.

"stock trading" Aw, the high frequency traders will have to take a day off!

"government bonds to consumer purchases" Government bonds are pretty slow turnover. A one day holiday would be no big deal. If you've just gotta have your bonds, there's always the phone. Or actually going to a bank! As for consumer purchases, a day off from that wouldn't hurt anyone either. And there's always getting off your butt and going to the store.

"have hospitals depending on the internet to get their plasma on time" No we don't.

"We have a billion people using social networks for hours." OMG!

"We have farmers using the internet to check the weather" What did farmers do before the Internet? I suppose TV, radio, newspapers and looking out the window have all been sadly neglected and are now unusable because of the Internet. Oh, no, wait. They haven't.

"militaries using the internet to transmit vital intelligence" You'd better hope not. If so, they probably deserve to be defeated. Even if they did use the Internet, hopefully someone would be smart enough to type in the actual IP addresses instead of using DNS.

"kids using the internet to call home and say they'll be late" Right... there are a LOT of kids who call home using the Internet and have absolutely no other way of contacting their parents. Not that parents aren't used to their kids not calling anyway.

You're pretty young, aren't you?

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (1)

horatio (127595) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769944)

Too bad you posted as A/C, because you make a good point. Further, quoting the summary:

...or maybe they should pass the responsibility to others who are more committed to ensuring the Internet's stability.

Maybe, before opening your fat mouth and posting on /. something you have no facts on, but seem to confidently be able state that the US Army has "acted stupidly" - you research what went wrong and then pass judgement. The parent is correct - there are 13 root servers so that one or two or three CAN go down - either because of a failure or for maintenance - without killing the whole interwebs.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770078)

Maybe, before opening your fat mouth and posting on /. something you have no facts on, but seem to confidently be able state that the US Army has "acted stupidly" - you research what went wrong and then pass judgement.

What went wrong is that a server that's not supposed to ever go down went down. What went wrong is that there are a number of well-established redundancy schemes that are capable of preventing such an outage. What went wrong is that somebody at the Army who ran this server didn't use a single one of them or didn't do it correctly. So yeah, they acted stupidly. Go ahead and rub your nose in it until you get over your "how DARE you claim incompetence within the Army" offense. I'll wait.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770132)

A machine that's not supposed to ever go down - there is no such animal. EVERY machine goes down every now and then, maintenance, environment issues, etc. Without knowing the full situation of what happened, how can you claim this was not an intentional outage with any certainty?

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770108)

18 hours down is only 99.6% uptime averaged over the year assuming no other failures. A well maintained server can have 99.99%-99.999% uptime. They should have a virtual server that can failover to other hardware without an end user noticing. Each server should have multiple network connections in case a NIC or switch fails. Not to mention a major server should have one admin on hand 24/7 and a recovery plan that can get the server back-up-and-running in MUCH less than 18 houirs. We're not talking about some huge disc image to restore, just a large list of DNS records and a stripped down hardened OS with a DNS daemon. A worst case scenario failure should take under an hour.

I would assume something as this important is housed in a datacenter and not a closet.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770332)

It's actually more like 99.795% uptime. If we are going to be precise to that degree, might as well be precise. They probably don't have a concrete set in stone SLA with anyone, so a ridiculously solid uptime isn't a legal obligation like you see with other data centers that have such reliable numbers.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770416)

18 hours down is only 99.6% uptime averaged over the year assuming no other failures. A well maintained server can have 99.99%-99.999% uptime.

And here you just went and mixed two different time periods. Do you seriously believe a 99.99% or 99.999% uptime is measured over a single year? Lets look at when the previous time the Army rootserver went down. Was it anytime within the last two years? If no, then they have 99.99% uptime.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770122)

Hardware fails. That's just how it is. Even with the highest end hardware available today, outages can happen.

Ummm, no. Many of us have redundant systems for exactly that reason. Highly unlikely for all of them to suffer failure at the same time.

Re:There are 12 others - pick one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33771064)

Yeah, and the system is redundant, you silly cunt. There were still TWELVE root servers remaining.

Really, I'm going to be the first? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769882)

They're sticking to their moto and deploying an Army of one.

Re:Really, I'm going to be the first? (2, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769996)

When the movie comes out, will it be Stephen Spielberg, James Cameron, or Mel Brooks?

Gnutella, Diaspora like decentralization (-1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769902)

This is what we need for DNS system. p2p dns.

Re:Gnutella, Diaspora like decentralization (1)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770062)

I would trust the internet even less if DNS was P2P. I can just imagine trying to look up Bubba: I ask Jack who Bubba is and he says, "a buddy from prison." Then I ask Jill who Bubba is and she says, "My sugardaddy." Sometimes these Bubbas would be the same person, and sometimes they wouldn't.

Re:Gnutella, Diaspora like decentralization (1)

mother_reincarnated (1099781) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770134)

This is what we need for the DNS system - a decentralized distributed directory.

Oh wait that's EXACTLY WHAT IT IS! Notice how there was no outage because the H-root was down.

And like sibling jojoba points out- p2p DNS would be HORRIBLE from a trust perspective.

Re:Gnutella, Diaspora like decentralization (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770552)

fool. all the root servers are under control of one country, and its organizations. does that mean 'decentralized' ?

Re:Gnutella, Diaspora like decentralization (1)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770852)

Did I miss something? Did the U.S. conquer Japan, Europe and the Middle East while I was sleeping?

*Looks up map of U.S. on Wikipedia*

Nope, I guess the I, K and M servers are safely controlled by NON-US organizations.

I'll agree the U.S. probably has too many of them, but aside from the military I'll assume the other orgs know what they're doing.

Stop spreading FUD.

Re:Gnutella, Diaspora like decentralization (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771174)

all of those countries belong to the same bloc in the west, which is controlled by u.s.. the very channels which acta is being pushed over, has the control to the means which control those satellite countries too. the only exception being eu parliament. eu parl is an exception, because, european parties used to send their overly idealistic, 'troublemaking' members there to keep them away from home turf. eu parl gained authority right in the middle of term, and the results naturally been a surprise. next election term, the parties which are generally us puppets are going to pay attention to who they are sending to eu parl.

its not fud. its politics. and you are unaware of it.

You already have that problem (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771084)

And like sibling jojoba points out- p2p DNS would be HORRIBLE from a trust perspective.

Actually, what it means, is that we would have to actually fix once and for all, the identity/trust/reputation problem that the Internet already engenders. Unless you use https for everything, signed emails etc you are already trusting people all over the place.
 

wow (4, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769928)

Whine much?

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33771082)

I can haz some cheese with that?

Could it possibly happen because.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769934)

Some muscle bound, Rambo GI Joe type, trampled around inside the server room to play paint ball wargame, and managed to trip on the servers' main power cord accidentally?

Re:Could it possibly happen because.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770004)

I'm betting that some muscle bound, Rambo GI Joe type was trampling around inside of your rectum last night with his third leg.

Re:Could it possibly happen because.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770250)

This is the Army Research Lab, not Quantico. Rest assured it was a pimply-faced geek with glasses, a PhD, and no girlfriend who tripped over the server's main power cord accidentally.

Was it the monitoring system? (2, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769936)

I've seen numerous instances where the monitoring system, itself, was confused or detached. The results on a chart are then quite confusing, unless you know how to backfill the data in the chart.

Why, no, I've never been asked to do that for a 99.999% uptime SLA monitored site when some confused person in the offsite monitoring station put a bad IP address in /etc/hosts. No, no, no, couldn't happen.

Re:Was it the monitoring system? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33771190)

https://lists.dns-oarc.net/pipermail/dns-operations/2010-October/006142.html
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

> FYI, the H root server is currently experiencing an outage
> due to a SONET ring outage possibly caused by flooding from
> the tropical storm on the east coast. No estimated repair time.

H root returned to service at 12:30 UTC today. Fiber cut due to downed
utility poles. Repair was delayed due to high water.

The Army Research Lab? (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769956)

They are too busy getting blocked by my PeerBlock application to deploy more DNS sites.

And you idiots think the US gov't can do better... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769958)

micromanaging your personal healthcare choices? LOL, just LOL. Just lost your arm in a car wreck? Slap some duct tape on it and walk it off, son. Gramps has a cold? Better send in the nurse to "fluff his pillow," a.k.a. press it against his face until he stops moving.

Re:And you idiots think the US gov't can do better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770014)

Old troll is old.

Why was this posted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770024)

No news outlets have picked up on this, and rightly so, since it isn't a big deal.

If the other 12 root servers were also down, then it might warrant a story. ;)

Reminds me of a stupid boss I had that got on my case for not being overly worried when one system in a three-level redundant design went off-line for a few minutes.

He flipped out screaming that the entire system was all "aye ree" (his pronunciation of "awry"). I guess he had no clue what "redundant" meant, either.

Re:Why was this posted? (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770282)

Or maybe he was a closet Rastafarian, and was rather animatedly telling you not to worry. "Ev'ryt'ing irie, mon..." :)

Coincidence - Curfew for US Personnel in Germany? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770204)

Wondering, at least one US Base in Germany had a curfew for all DOD personnel from Oct 1 2300 through Oct 2 0500, with base installation closures from Oct 1 1800 ...

Re:Coincidence - Medal of Honor not available? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770266)

And during the curfew/outage they could not access Medal of Honor online multi-player... wow that is a strange coincidence...

Maybe someone in IT thought the AAFES ban meant they had to shut down access, and they was their plan...

Meant to happen (1)

DrPepper (23664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770252)

I think you are overreacting a little bit. The expectation always was that one or more root servers would be unavailable at any one time - hence why there are 13 different root server systems available. More than one can be unavailable for days, and due to redundancy and caching it won't affect anything - as expected, nobody has really noticed this blip.

There should be a good mix of technologies used in the different root server systems - different architectures, OS, etc. Some sites use anycast which gives massive redundancy within that system as well as providing good performance. However other architectures have their place and may be more robust to attack or certain failures. We need the variety.

So technically it's a shame that H has gone down - they don't seem to have a good track record [ietf.org] . Fortunately this time it isn't an issue.

Non-story (2, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770278)

You have to realise that the layout of the root dns server hierarchy is historical. It is composed of organizations that are vastly different now than they were 20 years ago. The H root server people don't seem to care about things very much and there are a couple of other root servers where the organizations operating them don't put too much effort into things.

Luckily, the internet doesn't really depend on them, as there are a couple of big organizations with heavy investment into making sure the root servers stay accessible all the time, like RIPE or Verisign. They operate thousands of physical machines at dozens of geographically distributed locations, all structured under one ip address, via anycast. This results in the situation where one logical root server outweights the other one in terms of physical boxes at least 100:1, if not more.

My last information about the Verisign operated root servers from a couple years ago for example is that they are ridiculously overprovisioned, operating well under 1% used capacity, even when subjected to a fairly large DDOS. As far as I know, the common dns servers all support rtt banding, so basically using a random list of dns servers for a given resource that fall below a threshold of latency, therefor they wouldn't really notice the H root being down.

And which Product? (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770464)

..and which Microsoft Product are you running?

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770702)

It was down for that long because that is the amount of time it took them to install the new monitoring hardware.

You must be mistaken, check again (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770764)

*Unplugs toaster oven and plugs back in server*

--BOFH

Probably not unplanned (1)

RobNich (85522) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770790)

My guess is that since this root server is designed to operate on MILNET after disconnecting from the Internet, they may have been running a drill to do just that. Also, I highly doubt that this is the only root server on MILNET. I expect that they have multiple sites and plenty of redundant locations, but they only give out the Maryland location for security reasons.

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