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Network Blackout

michael posted about 11 years ago | from the no-see-um dept.

The Internet 183

An anonymous reader writes "Renesys put together a special report on the effects of the recent blackout on routing and network reachability on the Internet. It includes a cool animation of networks dropping off the internet (presumably as a result of the power outage). It is interesting to see how localized some of the outage was--networks in New York state right up to the Vermont border go dark while everything on the other side of the border is quiet. New York City obviously gets clobbered."

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183 comments

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why dubya will prevail (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6738898)

Dubya will never be held accountable because he makes his primitive followers feel proud. Face it:

  • Liberating poor countries from their oil is cool. It makes citizens with a low self-esteem feel like THEY PERSONALLY rule the world.
  • Firing a few hundred missiles from a safe distance is very heroic.
  • All of the soldiers who killed their own comrades and allies were heroes.
  • That blonde chick who failed her mission because she was too dumb to find her way is definitely a hero.
  • You don't need to be worth something to be accepted. You just need to wave a flag and shout "God bless America!"
  • Every failure can be a hero in Bush's America!
  • Seeing Dubya in a fligh suit on board a carrier makes republicans shoot their load in seconds!


And as long as all of the above is true, the lies will go on.

*yawn* (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739139)

Go away, little tool. Come back when you're old enough to rent a car.

Re:*yawn* (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739172)

That's funny. He's following the idiot president and yet he calls other people tools.

Re:why dubya will prevail (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739144)

You are an asshole and I hope you die. Move to France you god damn tyrant-loving communist.

Re:why dubya will prevail (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739197)

I'll stay here, thanks. That stinking piece of Republican crap won't be president forever, you know. But I bet YOU actually had an orgasm when you saw George on that warship, didn't you?

Re:why dubya will prevail (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739329)

That blonde chick who failed her mission because she was too dumb to find her way is definitely a hero

We all know women join the army to suck some black meat.

this is not (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6738902)

first.

please ignore this post.

sorry.

have a day.

shout out... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6738903)

... to all my dead pissed frist homies.

I can see my house from here. (5, Funny)

Purosesuchi-Zu (695676) | about 11 years ago | (#6738907)

That little red dot at the tip of LI is my home LAN going down...

Re:I can see my house from here. (0, Funny)

seinman (463076) | about 11 years ago | (#6739022)

You don't have backup power on your home LAN? Pffft, and you call yourself a geek.

Re:I can see my house from here. (4, Funny)

Purosesuchi-Zu (695676) | about 11 years ago | (#6739042)

Ironically I do, but my ISP doesn't

Map of UPS battery exhaustions (3, Interesting)

BigBlockMopar (191202) | about 11 years ago | (#6739216)


You don't have backup power on your home LAN? Pffft, and you call yourself a geek.

From what I know, this failure happened from New York City to Ohio in a matter of under a minute. So, I guess the dots are more representative of the average lifespan of the (formerly) fully-charged batteries in one's UPS.

As for me, I was dead in the water. At home, it was instantaneous (I'm too cheap to buy a UPS for a site which is just for my personal amusement); at work, it was 10 minutes of standing there in the server room listening to the frantic beep-beep-beep of UPSes all around me, and then rushing around to connect low-power LCD monitors to the servers that someone else forgot to connect to the UPS's shutdown signals... (of course, this after the realization that the emergency generator is running, but not actually even connected to the servers... [grumble])

Dude.... (1)

calebb (685461) | about 11 years ago | (#6739605)


You've got to be kidding....

I hope that it was someone elses negligence & not yours! I guess I'll stop complaining about the 50 l-users who ignored my emails on Jul.28 - Aug.1 warning them of the impending RPC vulnerability worm that would destroy their data.... (well, it didn't destory their data, but they did ignore my warnings & they did get the worm!)

Re:I can see my house from here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739272)

That little red dot at the tip of LI is my home LAN going down...

Pardon me, but where is LI?

Re:I can see my house from here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739374)

Long Island. It is, well, that Long Island east of New York City on the map.

Re:I can see my house from here. (0)

Purosesuchi-Zu (695676) | about 11 years ago | (#6739661)

Long Island (LI) is off the coast of New York

Re:I can see my house from here. (0)

Purosesuchi-Zu (695676) | about 11 years ago | (#6739692)

Oops, guess I shouldn't reply as soon as I get e-mail notification. -1 Redundant :P

cool? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6738917)

Yeah that animation is really "cool". I think my nephew in 3rd grade made a better animation, of a stick figure taking a dump.

Oh and by the way : worst. story. ever.

Summary (-1, Redundant)

ryanwright (450832) | about 11 years ago | (#6738925)

Computers don't run without power. Who knew?!

Re:Summary (2, Funny)

alexre1 (662339) | about 11 years ago | (#6739003)

Pah! You dont need a power grid to run computers. Just hook up the computer to your handy Mr. Fusion, toss in an old banana peel or two, and get cracking!

Seriously though, this has to be one of the stupidest articles ever. It's like putting together a report on "the effects of a gas shortage on cars". Duh! Then again, micheal submitted the article, so I guess we shouldn't be too surprised.

Mirror (2, Informative)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | about 11 years ago | (#6738934)

In case the site is slow, for whatever reason, here are a couple mirrors for link 2 [martin-studio.com] and link 3 [martin-studio.com] .

Another Mirror (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739141)

And here's a mirror of the whole site [goatse.cx] on a 100 MBit/sec line. This should be better than the above mirror.

Yet again... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739267)

Trolls prove how stupid they are.

Re:Yet again... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739354)

Uhh, you're stupid. And before you call a troll stupid, why don't you fucking post with your account? Yeah, that's what I thought, asswipe.

-- evil_spork

For the "Deregulation was the problem" nutjobs (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6738943)

The blaming and finger pointing began almost as quickly as the lights went out. First it was the U.S. and Canada blaming each other for causing this particular blackout, but inevitably the blame conversation turned to larger issues of policy, and how something like this could happen in such a heavily regulated industry.

Some of the finger pointing in the national press has been at deregulation -- if it weren't for deregulation, we would be better able to control and manage the grid. This misguided contention is incorrect in a number of ways.

First, the "deregulation" that has occurred in electricity has primarily been in opening up wholesale markets for power generators and their customers (i.e., utilities), enabling people in Manhattan to continue consuming power (and clamoring now for more regulation) without Con Edison having to build more power plants on the island itself. The existence and growing vitality of wholesale electricity markets has created substantial value in the past decade, through encouraging generation where it is cheapest and sales of power to where it is most needed.

But this limited amount of market liberalization has left the industry in an awkward place. Generation is largely governed by market processes, but transmission and retail distribution remain heavily regulated. The investment decisions of transmission owners and the retail rates that they can charge to their end customers all hinge on rate cases that are decided by state-level regulators. The rates that regulators allow take into account changes in costs, required investments, and the payment to the utility of a rate of return on the assets they own. For much of the past decade this rate of return has been substantially lower than what utilities could earn from doing other things with their money, so they did not invest in building much new transmission capacity or in upgrading existing lines. Nor did a regulatory environment that is a relic from the 1930s, constructed to govern and control local, vertically integrated utilities, either have the incentive or the wherewithal to force the utilities to invest in transmission assets that would carry power to customers in other states.

This lack of investment in the infrastructure that carries the product exchanged in growing, vibrant wholesale electricity markets has become a problem -- not an overnight problem, as those who follow the industry have been concerned about transmission capacity for at least five years. The numbers offered this weekend suggest that electricity volume has increased 30 percent while transmission carrying capacity has increased only 15 percent. This fact illustrates the mismatch between the dynamic markets for wholesale power and the rigid, maladaptive set of state-level regulations and incentives that govern transmission investment decisions.

Markets adapt to changing conditions. The existing electricity regulations do not, and because of that, the transmission infrastructure has not adapted to the increased demand on it from the increasing vibrancy of wholesale electricity markets.

So how do we proceed to ensure that a blackout of this magnitude does not happen again? There are four things that can relieve the strain on the grid. The knee-jerk reaction of many people is "build more wires!" More wires will increase the carrying capacity of the system, and in some cases transmission owners can add lines to existing paths. But this approach faces some serious obstacles -- such construction is expensive and time-consuming. Most importantly, though, getting new lines and towers sited is increasingly difficult, as people and communities object to having such large structures near them or strung overhead.

A second option is to use new technologies, such as high-temperature superconductors and sophisticated computer switching, to upgrade the capacity of the existing power lines. While also expensive, this option gets around the NIMBY issues that accompany the siting of new lines.

A third option is to build more generation nearer to customer demand -- having more generators near Manhattan would reduce the need to transmit power from Niagra. Again, though, NIMBY concerns have been a strong constraint on large-scale generation construction near population centers. One way to increase generation, though, is distributed generation, which involves installation of small-scale generators on-site. DG is particularly economical for high-rise buildings (indeed, as we saw last Thursday and Friday, many buildings have DG for backup power already), and can reduce or eliminate a building's need to be connected to the grid. DG does increase the complexity of managing a grid, though, because the grid has to be configured to accommodate DG if they are going to be hooked into it.

A fourth option is usually not discussed, because of the tendency to think of the grid as a supply issue. We can, and should, use market-based retail pricing to communicate customer demand into the grid. Under the decades-old regulatory rules controlling the retail sale of power, customer rates are set as averages over the entire year. Averaged rates do not take into account the fact that the cost of supplying power to customers can vary hourly. Averaged rates also give customers no incentive to conserve when the cost of providing them with power is high, such as during the late afternoon on a warm summer day like last Thursday. Grid operators saw power flow anomalies as early as three hours before the blackout that spread in nine seconds, and in those three hours, if we had market-based retail pricing, even the shifting of a few large customers could have lowered the peak demand and prevented the power surge.

Both reality and laboratory experiments show that electricity customers do respond to price changes, and that both suppliers and customers are better off from doing so. This option does not currently exist for most customers in most places -- large or small, we cannot choose how to buy and consume power. Imagine if the telephone industry still operated this way; if it did, we would not have the vibrant, competitive, thriving cellular phone alternatives that we do now. One major lesson of this blackout should be the need to revise our obsolete electricity regulatory model, and the ability of market-based retail choice to lessen the strain on the transmission grid.

Lynne Kiesling (lynne.kiesling@reason.org) is director of economic policy at Reason Foundation and senior lecturer of economics at Northwestern University

Florida? (0, Offtopic)

soliaus (626912) | about 11 years ago | (#6738958)

What the hell is a router in florida doing going out when it isnt even in the blackout? On the day of the blackout, in Las Vegas (NV), I was in Best Buy. I dont know how or why, but the power there went off too for about 15 minutes. Weird.

Re:Florida? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739018)

Likewise the router outage in Nebraska. A fluke?

Re:Florida? (2, Informative)

SmackCrackandPot (641205) | about 11 years ago | (#6739021)

Internal corporate networks may often use third parties to provide links between different offices. In this case, the office in Florida may have been connected to the New York office via a satellite link. Any outgoing traffic would have gone from Florida to New York to the rest of the world.

This is why we need that Martian Nuclear PP (4, Funny)

binaryDigit (557647) | about 11 years ago | (#6738973)

Everyone could have switched over to ConMars power. Being a Russian installation, they would have just strung about 17million Home Depot Heavy Duty extension cords all plugged together from here to Mars (the outdoor version of course) to access it.

Re:This is why we need that Martian Nuclear PP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739029)

I know youre trying to be funny but:
Ever heard of voltage drop?
And sun?! (sometimes its between earth and mars..)

Re:This is why we need that Martian Nuclear PP (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739245)

I know you're trying to be serious/relevant, but:

Ever heard of HUMOR??

Re:This is why we need that Martian Nuclear PP (2, Funny)

aleph+ (99924) | about 11 years ago | (#6739620)

You're off by a factor of at least 100. The minimum distance between Earth and Mars is about 1,500 million extension cords (assuming 50m cords). Right now the two planets are pretty close, but later we'll need as many as 7,500 million cords, plus a few extra so we can swing the cable over the sun.

What's that I see? (5, Funny)

Exiler (589908) | about 11 years ago | (#6738977)

Is that a red circle on the webserver hosting that gif?

Apology (5, Funny)

ticklemeozmo (595926) | about 11 years ago | (#6738981)

I'm sorry. I had apparently text'd most of my friends saying electricity was poor, and almost immediately word spread around the north east..

backup? (5, Insightful)

killermal (545771) | about 11 years ago | (#6738987)

Don't these backbone routers have backup? I was in an ISP server house in the UK which had a full backup system. In the case of a power failure, it had a UPS that kicked in for 10 seconds while the generator was booting up, which then provided power for the infrastructure of the building. I would find it hard to believe that in the USA they don't have similar systems?

Re:backup? (5, Funny)

soliaus (626912) | about 11 years ago | (#6739016)

I would find it hard to believe that in the USA they don't have similar systems?

We prefer the rat on a wheel approach to power backup. It usually works, we just forgot to feed them so it failed on such a wide spread application

Re:backup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739541)

Shit, your allowed a rat on a wheel? Luxury! Oh how I wish for a rat on a wheel. In my office, I have to get butt naked, grease myself up with cleaning fluid, ram my head against the wall until blood begins to expunge from my cranium, then jump into our aquarium, filled with pirhanas, then swim round and round in circles fast enough to create the required tidal energy to power our generators. And then I have to flog myself to death for the pure gratification of my CFO.

Re:backup? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739041)

Well...I don't think this is limited to backbone routers, and there are a LOT of routers out there...

Re: Don't backbone routers have backup? (4, Interesting)

Baron_Yam (643147) | about 11 years ago | (#6739056)

Apparently not around my neck of the woods... I had fun doing traceroutes as the power came back up and seeing how far I could get as more and more routers along the way were returning to service.

Of course, I had to wait for MY neighbourhood's power to come back up as my UPS died about 4.5 hours into the blackout; my wife won't let me add the additional 300lbs of batteries required to last a full 24 hours. :( Still, I was up and running before connectivity in my area was restored.

Re: Don't backbone routers have backup? (4, Funny)

notque (636838) | about 11 years ago | (#6739085)

I had fun doing traceroutes as the power came back up and seeing how far I could get as more and more routers along the way were returning to service.

Seriously, you've got to get out more.

Re: Don't backbone routers have backup? (2, Insightful)

RollingThunder (88952) | about 11 years ago | (#6739191)

Of course, I had to wait for MY neighbourhood's power to come back up as my UPS died about 4.5 hours into the blackout; my wife won't let me add the additional 300lbs of batteries required to last a full 24 hours. :( Still, I was up and running before connectivity in my area was restored.

Why would you want it all in batteries? Use the UPS to tide you over until you can fire up the gas/diesel generator. Those you can get pretty cheaply (well, compared to 300lbs of batteries) and are useful for other things too - such as going camping.

Quick and Dirty LIVE UPS Recharging Ideas (4, Insightful)

BigBlockMopar (191202) | about 11 years ago | (#6739521)


Apparently not around my neck of the woods... I had fun doing traceroutes as the power came back up and seeing how far I could get as more and more routers along the way were returning to service.

Yeah, same up here in Ottawa, Canada... I was awakened early on Friday morning to the sound of my servers POSTing; my power was back in under 12 hours. I was lucky. :) (Made sure to double-check that hdparm was set to spin down the drives, that and killing the A/C were my contributions to energy efficiency.)

Of course, I had to wait for MY neighbourhood's power to come back up as my UPS died about 4.5 hours into the blackout; my wife won't let me add the additional 300lbs of batteries required to last a full 24 hours. :( Still, I was up and running before connectivity in my area was restored.

I don't have a UPS (well, I do, I got one free, but it's broken and I haven't had time to troubleshoot it - anyone got schematics for an APC Back-UPS Pro 280?), so your mileage may vary. If the UPS runs off 12V batteries, you might be able to:

  • cobble a set of binding posts onto the side of its case, in parallel with the battery, and connect them to the battery in a running car. (Essentially, "jump-start" your UPS. Start the car first.)
  • Replace the 12V gel-cel battery with a good old-fashioned car battery. Even a weak used one should run it for a lot longer, but I haven't seen how charge current is regulated when the UPS is on AC, so I don't know how well the UPS's charging circuits will tolerate it.
  • Scoop an old gas lawnmower out of the garbage (Briggs and Stratton or Techumseh 4-stroke motors are preferable and very reliable if you keep them well tuned). Fix it, and install a pulley where the blades were (usually a 3/4" or 1" keyed shaft, and you want to take a 4L belt of the required length). Cut a hole in the deck, install a bracket, and hang a GM 1-wire alternator (1975-1985 models) in there. The lawnmower's deck is ground, the plastic-insulated bolt on the back is the positive. Mount a car battery onto it, and you have a portable jump-starter and 12V generator. Good also to weld on a perch for your toolbox. (Built one for myself, works *great* in junkyards when you want to test compression or oil pressure in an old car.)

Note that I don't know how the UPS's inverter will handle running at rated load for longer than the internal battery is capable, nor do I expect that the UPS will have much noise suppression on the battery leads - after all, batteries themselves are pretty much noise-free electrical sources and alternators are not.

Re: Don't backbone routers have backup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739630)

Funnily enough, I calibrated my APC Smart-UPS 1400RMXL on the day of the power outage. It has 4 Costco 12V deep cycle batteries hooked up in series using a Trimetric battery monitor from Bogart Engineering (popular with the solar folks) and shunt so I can watch the amp-hours/voltage/etc. come and go. I took out the stock batteries (4 12V 17Ah VRLA batteries wired in series). The Costco batteries give me 48VDC 110Ah and with about 45% load I went 8 hours and only reached ~24% capacity as indicated on the Trimetric. The Costco batteries are a great deal -- assuming you have a good inverter that can run for hours at a time. Only $240 or so for all four batteries. So far I haven't needed to water the batteries, though I expect that I will need to do that eventually due to the high float voltage that the APC uses (ok for VRLA, flooded batteries are slightly less tolerant).

Oh yes, the magic connnector that all of the APC units use is from Anderson Power. You can get those at solar places too or just sacrifice an existing APC battery so that you can plug in your own batteries to the external battery connector on the back of your APC 'XL' model.

word to the wise: do NOT use a cheap UPS and add more battery capabity to it and expect to get hours of runtime. The inverter on nearly all UPS models isn't designed to run for more than 10-15 minutes!

I also use lcd-nut from http://www.webbastards.com/projects/ to keep track of the UPS from upstairs (the batteries are too heavy for the floor). A cool little utility for your LCD screen.

I also have a Generac Beacon whole-house generator with Sola ferroresonant transformers in case of extended blackouts. California power isn't quite that bad (though I've noticed that the *quality* of the utility power here is getting worse, requiring me to invest in some isolation transformers (just Oneac units, not ferroresonant) and better TVSS units).

Another rant: APC UPS units have meager surge protection. Get a better surge protector (ideally without any MOVs) for the UPS -- you'll need it!

Re: Don't backbone routers have backup? (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 11 years ago | (#6739683)

my wife won't let me add the additional 300lbs of batteries required to last a full 24 hours

I know we are talking about places like New York, but does nobody have a car??? That beauty is probably 100x the power of your UPS battery, and it comes connected to a mobile, gasoline-powered 12V generator, on wheels.

If you don't like doing some wiring yourself (to the UPS), 300watt power inverters are under $50, which is more than enough to keep all your lights on, and a TV, radio, possibly computer+monitor, etc.

Agreed (2, Interesting)

The Tyro (247333) | about 11 years ago | (#6739112)

I've yet to see a datacenter that didn't have some sort of backup power... I've got backup power in my house, for pity sake.

Anyone in the affected areas care to comment on what happened? Did you guys just exhaust your UPS capacity, or do you just have it for orderly shutdown?

There's boku generators still floating around from all that Y2K kerfluffle... you could probably purchase some cheap failover power just about anywhere...

Even FULL BACKUP POWER is no guarantee... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739171)

You might have a network with full redundant backup power that stays powered throughout the entire blackout, yet still go down. How? If you are connected elsewhere by fiber, that signal has to be regenerated ever so often. Some of those fiber regeneration facilities have limited battery backup, or if they do have generator backups available, there could be failures. So unless you control and manage and test and maintain ALL the equipment from your facility to your end customer sites, your network could still go down. There were networks during the outage that had this very problem. Their routers and servers were powered and online with backup generators, but the telco long haul circuits one by one blinked out as remote regeneration sites lost power. Fun, isn't it!

Re:backup? (1)

doorman (61472) | about 11 years ago | (#6739271)

Some did, and a few generators failed. We lost our OC-3 from New York to London because of a generator that failed about 4 hours after the blackout started.

Re:backup? (2, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about 11 years ago | (#6739704)

Backbone routers were fully functional. The problem was than many, many smaller networks don't.

I know it's too much to ask here, but I would suggest you read the story.

keep in mind (2, Interesting)

citizen6350 (699527) | about 11 years ago | (#6738989)

Note: the dots only represent 5% of the actual NUMBER of routers downed. (though I bet their locations are based off of an average)

Woohoo Toronto (2, Interesting)

Streiff (34269) | about 11 years ago | (#6738994)

All that power outage, and not a single network outage. Woohoo!

Re:Woohoo Toronto (1)

Erick the Red (684990) | about 11 years ago | (#6739032)

That means that although you can't work, you can still read slashdot! Wait, that's what you were doing anyways :P

Re:Woohoo Toronto (0)

killermal (545771) | about 11 years ago | (#6739033)

Yay for Canada!

Re:Woohoo Toronto (2, Interesting)

malloc (30902) | about 11 years ago | (#6739175)

I have a friend who runs a small ISP here in Toronto. Today he told me that he never lost network connectivity during the blackout. He's with WorldCom and apparently because of W2K they built facilities downtown so they can last a whole month without power.

-Malloc

WorldCom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739402)

WorldCom was pretty good about keeping their servers running. I was with SkyTel, Wcom's paging company, and we survived satellite outages, twin-tower collapes, and stock falls. Heh.

Re:Woohoo Toronto (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739419)

The map only shows US outages, not Canadian network outages

Add One More... (1)

theGreater (596196) | about 11 years ago | (#6739012)

Add one more server to that infographic, since I'm fairly certain a pic that large is going to get fragdotted quite speedily.

-theGreater Pessimist.

looks more like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739014)

soviet missile strike plan

Re:looks more like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739054)

or... slashdotters farting... same result. ... hmm, better post this as anonymous...

Re:looks more like (1)

killermal (545771) | about 11 years ago | (#6739060)

...from Mars [slashdot.org] !

Re:looks more like (1)

clf8 (93379) | about 11 years ago | (#6739208)

Hey now, Russia is no longer a threat. Couldn't be North Korea, they've only got 2-3. China maybe, or a whole buncha Iraqi SCUDS wif chem weapons. They did find those, right?

Re:looks more like (1)

korgull (267700) | about 11 years ago | (#6739628)

Well, I guess paranoid americans can think of any stupid reason to satisfy their needs.....

just got off the phone with verizon (1, Offtopic)

gimpboy (34912) | about 11 years ago | (#6739035)

i told them my dsl had been choking off and on for the last day and that my ip address had been changing on the hour. now i get to see pittsburghs own special dot on the map. it's quite comforting :).

the good news is that they told me it should be fixed in 4 hours (that was two hours ago).

Re:just got off the phone with verizon (1)

jmobley (463432) | about 11 years ago | (#6739474)

Verizon is up to their eyeballs in broken circuits. We keep calling them to fix downed T1's caused by the power outage (I work for a CLEC) and when we ask if the circuits will get looked at today they start laughing.

I think they've all lost their shit over there. :)

Origins of the Internet - no power, no work ? (5, Informative)

PaulBartlet7 (629282) | about 11 years ago | (#6739053)

As the link says - http://www.socio.demon.co.uk/mphil/appendix1.html [Quote] The Internet is a web of several thousand computer networks that now extends to just about every region of the world and has 50 to 100 million users. The Internet of today has it's origins in a networking project called ARPAnet which was run by the Advanced Research Projects Agency, a science research body set up in 1957 by the Pentagon. (Hafner & Lyon, 1996, 19) The popular belief is that the military created the ARPAnet, the precursor of today's Internet, so that data held on Pentagon computers could survive a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. Upon attack, data from computers at the Pentagon and other military installations could be uploaded (sent electronically) to other remote computers not affected by such an attack. [/quote] It's always been my understanding that the Internet would continue working after a Nuclear war, at least that was the plan. If this blackout had effected all of US / Canada like a Nuclear attack would, would any of the Net worked ?

Re:Origins of the Internet - no power, no work ? (2, Informative)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 11 years ago | (#6739091)

Define work? With current routing topologies you take down all the tier ones and your not getting out of the USA and will have trouble getting much farther than that. Contract wise the tier ones have been applying a lot of presure on the tier 2 guys not to advertise interconnects and often have good reasons not to. Add to this the massive ammounts of long haul centralization take out a few MAE points and things would be bad VPN's are replaceing the long haul circut and as it gets nastier and naster out there firewalls are the norm blocking trafic through corps private backbones and satalite links.

Re:Origins of the Internet - no power, no work ? (1)

jonbrewer (11894) | about 11 years ago | (#6739566)

With current routing topologies you take down all the tier ones and your not getting out of the USA and will have trouble getting much farther than that. Contract wise the tier ones have been applying a lot of presure on the tier 2 guys not to advertise interconnects and often have good reasons not to.

Silly question: Will IPv6 make the Internet more stable? Will it allow the tier 2 providers to trade routes more easily?

Re:Origins of the Internet - no power, no work ? (2, Insightful)

four12 (129324) | about 11 years ago | (#6739135)

computers could survive a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union.

Well, yeah, the computers survived but the power grid that runs them and their environmental support got hosed.

Re:Origins of the Internet - no power, no work ? (5, Informative)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 11 years ago | (#6739228)

The popular belief that ARPAnet was designed to survive a nuclear war was created by a Time magazine writer who didn't know what he was talking about. ARPAnet was created so that people doing military research could share thier work and the DOD wouldn't have to pay for the same research twice. That's why the first nodes were universities and not military bases. My alma mater, Univ. of Illinois, was supposed to get one of the first nodes outside of CA, but hippie protestors delayed it for a while. Fucking hippies.

-B

Re:Origins of the Internet - no power, no work ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739357)

Hail Alma Mater,
Ever so true.

Re:Origins of the Internet - no power, no work ? (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 11 years ago | (#6739479)

You might be suprised to learn this, but army bases tend to have their own power generators. Silly but for some reason they object to being depended for power on an installation hundreds of miles away.

So yes the original setup of the internet was to survive stuff like this. As indeed it did. In areas not nuked it continued to work just fine.

The entire point after all was for the network to survive even if a big hole was punched into it. We just saw that happen. And talked about on the net while it happened showing that the bits around the hole kept working.

It stops on Saturday! (1)

sharkey (16670) | about 11 years ago | (#6739061)

We don't get to see ask.slashdot.org fall off the Internet from this morning.

Animation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739087)

I don't see what's so cool about that animation.

redundancy (4, Interesting)

paradesign (561561) | about 11 years ago | (#6739115)

Im in detroit, and after power went out, so did the network. I thought that the internet was supposed to be redundant (like power)! i thought telcos invested bigtime to keep in the 9's. its good to know it didnt do squat. at work today, we finaly got a stable connection from our upstream routers. our tech department was furious because all of our stuff was on backup, why wasnt theres?

oh yeah, the cell network here was down for a good while after the lights went out. well not down, just full. i thought they learned on sept 11, that there wasnt enough capacity on the cell networks. but you know, i could be wrong.

Re:redundancy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739493)

I thought that the internet was supposed to be redundant (like power)! i thought telcos invested bigtime to keep in the 9's.

No. The telcos invested big time to keep the phone system in the 9's. I'm going out on a limb here, but I'll bet anyone who had an old-fashion, line-powered telephone still had a dial tone (and I'm not talking about one of those whiz-bang cordless phones).

Re:redundancy (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 11 years ago | (#6739603)

after power went out, so did the network. I thought that the internet was supposed to be redundant

What went out, where, when? Just because your cable modem couldn't connect, doesn't mean the internet was out ;-). I suspect you had something better than that to test, but what?

Maybe your ISP/hosting provider is just an economy service, and doesn't have any long-term power supply.

Although, I really don't know why so few had power... A car/truck is a 12-volt generator, and an uninteruptable power supply is a 12-volt inverter. If you can go buy gas, you should be able to power everything you need, indefinately.

Canada did not fail (1)

hopbine (618442) | about 11 years ago | (#6739133)

Cool, Ottawa stayed up, too bad I lost my power so I couldn't enjoy it.

Re:Canada did not fail (1)

kick_in_the_eye (539123) | about 11 years ago | (#6739195)

Yup, we did not fail. We do not seem to have any provincial borders either.

Re:Canada did not fail (1)

Seek_1 (639070) | about 11 years ago | (#6739618)

Actually, Ottawa went down. Quebec (Gatineau which is across the river) stayed up. :( pretty pathetic eh?

Renesys Corporation... (1)

notetoi (690572) | about 11 years ago | (#6739146)

"Providing real-time internet connectivity monitoring and reporting worldwide"

Wouldn't "real-time...monitoring" = DoS?

Go Canada!!! (5, Funny)

akorvemaker (617072) | about 11 years ago | (#6739157)

Woo hoo! Notice how all the outages are south of the border? We are so good! ;-)

Slashdotting animation (5, Funny)

psylent (638032) | about 11 years ago | (#6739159)

Would love to see an animation of a webserver being slashdotted.

Re:Slashdotting animation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739335)

> Would love to see an animation of a webserver being slashdotted.

It probably would look something like this [ramb.ethz.ch] the entire time....

Slashdotting animation-Server smoke. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739337)

"Would love to see an animation of a webserver being slashdotted."

Hot enough [simson.net] for you?

Re:Slashdotting animation (1)

korgull (267700) | about 11 years ago | (#6739655)

Ah, I'd love to see the whole net getting /.d for a whole week. I guess that would be the most relaxing week of the past few years.

Florida??? (3, Interesting)

advocate_one (662832) | about 11 years ago | (#6739162)

Anyone else notice that node in Florida go down as well???

Old Nodes (2, Funny)

spineboy (22918) | about 11 years ago | (#6739534)

Those were all the old nodes that retired and moved south to Florida.......

Oklahomah had a node go down too..WTF? Ya got me on that one...Can't even make a joke about that..

Random Noise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739204)

What the hell happened in Tampa, FL?

Re:Random Noise? (1)

El (94934) | about 11 years ago | (#6739659)

The router was using a voting algorithm.

Imagine... (1, Funny)

ChopSocky (556987) | about 11 years ago | (#6739285)

A beowulf cluster of network blackouts... Wait... Somebody shoot me.

Canada was still alive (2, Funny)

thexdane (148152) | about 11 years ago | (#6739298)

i'm up in canada and when the power went out our internet conenction didn't. i know this because one of the guys from our offices out west called and asked me what was going on. tho our network did go down due to our ups running out of juice.

the only thing that did NOT go down during the power outage up here was our telephone system. i'm not sure about our other net conenctions tho, i know my home cable connection went down, that's cause cable was out in certain areas, tho in other areas the cable was fine, our bell dsl was fine because bell's authenication servers are in quebec, who would have guessed the french were useful?

i'm guessing that all of our networks were up, i guess the diesel generators a lot of the big data centers have installed came in handy.

Script generated response (0, Redundant)

OneIsNotPrime (609963) | about 11 years ago | (#6739330)

Stupid MS and their NETWORK BLACKOUT. Man, Linux users never experience NETWORK BLACKOUT. What is SCO's plan?

1. NETWORK BLACKOUT
2. ????
3. Profit!

In Soviet Russia, the NETWORK BLACKOUT NETWORK BLACKOUTs you!

_______________________

Surfing at work (1)

halo8 (445515) | about 11 years ago | (#6739407)

I work for IBM and our building had an hours worth of generating power left.

45 minutes after the power went out we were still surfing the web listing to what we could from winamp radio stations, our phones are standard call center VOIP lucent stuff.. they worked fine i was calling friends in ottawa (im in toronto) letting them know what cnn.com said.

nice to know that if the power goes out i have to walk down 11 flights of stairs, but i can still work (in the dark, no AC) on my computer and use my phone.. gee.. i guess i know where my employeres priorities are.

Philadelphia? (1)

Punchinello (303093) | about 11 years ago | (#6739453)

Although this diagram shows an extended network outage in the Philadelphia area, I do not recall any network outages in or near Philadelphia. I have clients all around the 5 counties of southeastern Pennsylvania and none of them reported an outage.

Stories, anybody? (1)

nighty5 (615965) | about 11 years ago | (#6739472)

Admins (ect) from NY post your funny/heart breaking/serious stories from the outcome that was the black out.

Stuff like:
1. Systems that went down and stayed down.
2. Pointy haired bosses that realised that investing in Solaris instead of those "Linux Hobby" boxes was a bad move because none of the Solaris came back to life
3. You were just about to go-live with a product after 2 years of development, and then the power went out
4. Everyone went home because no-one could work, except your hot looking system admin babe couldnt resist you in the data center

ect ect

We, from the other side of the globe are interested :)

speaking of network blackouts (5, Interesting)

loconet (415875) | about 11 years ago | (#6739486)

14th 4:20pm - Power goes out, our building's generators for some reason dont kick in.
14th 4:35 - Most of us decide to call it a day and go home
14th 4:30 - I'm in my car, I realize the blackout is bad when only 2 or 3 radio stations are working and the no traffic lights are. I know it was going to be a fun drive home - thank god i live 15 mins away.
14th 4:45 - I hear the blackout expands to parts of the States. me: OH FUCK@#$@#$
14th 4:50 - My sister sms's me on my cell telling me her and my mom are stuck in the subway - they need help. Like I care, I have my own problems , traffic is a mess and there are hundreds of psychos out.
14th 5:00 - I get home, look for a battery powered radio and listen in.
14th 5:30 - I get a call from my sister - they're stuck somewhere downtown. I just wish them luck.
14th 7:00 - I realize there are no candles in the freaking house, time to look for those puppies.
14th 8:00 - Sister & mom arrive home. me: LOL
14th 11:30 - I go to bed & pray the blackout lasts until the middle of the next day, that way I get an extended weekend -wohooo, back to bed
15th 7:30am - Wake up, lights are still out - no work, home free! wohoo, back to bed.
15th 11:30 - Receive a call from my boss, asking me where the fuck i was since they got power at the office but there is a lil "issue".
15th 12:30m - Got to the office, problem: No Internet connection, seems one of the ISP's switches went bye bye after the black out. Our main app server is down. No power you think? Nope The colo company hasnt been paying their bills and WorldCom used the blackout to pull the plug on them. Server is up and running but no outside world connection. FUCK@#*$.
15th 1:00pm - We think , no biggy let's use one of our other servers and restore apps and data from backup. HA! yah right - Turns out a DNS servers for our backup machines had died and the backup script had stopped working 10 days earlier. Great.
15th 2:30 - We wait to see if Worldcom is nice enough to plug the box back in.
15th 4:30 - Yah, it ain't happening - 20+ clients are without website and apps.
15th 5:00pm - Boss and I drive downtown to the WorldCom building to download data physically off the Box.
15th 5:30 - Stop for gas - HA! huge lineup.
15th 7:30 - Get into the server room, ha! the fucking cage where our box is is locked and the key is not working. One of us climbs the cage and goes into it, runs an ethernet cable from the box to the laptop. So picture these, 4 geeks inside a server room, three sitting on the floor , one inside a cage like some wild animal. I should have brought a camera. Let the tar'in begin.
15th 9:00 - Download is completed, our asses are sore from sitting on concrete, necks hurting, and WorldCom employee happy that we're finally leaving.
15th 9:30 - We're downtown wondering how the fuck we're going to upload 2gig+ worth of data and source code to our spare server.
15th 10:30 - Since there is no inet at the office and our home's cable is too fucking slow (Rogers cable sucks!) , we decide we bring out the ghetto in us. We walk up and down Yonge street asking Internet cafe's if they could lend us some bandwith!!!. Yes, you hear me right, we were begging for bandwith in internet cafes.
15th 10:45 - We decide we're hungry, so we stop at a sushi bar. After we're done we realized it might not be a good idea to eat fish after a blackout. Fridges not working aand all. Too fuckin late.
15th 11:00 - Found an internet cafe that will let us connect the laptop to upload.
15th 11:30 - Realize we can't do shit since the computer is in Korean , have all Win settings locked and the guy taking care of the place has no clue.
16th 1:30am - I'm at my boss's house uploading 2gig+ data , will take about 27 hours. Ask me if I cared about the clients at this point.
16th 1:35 - I leave and head to my friend's place where they're having beers & bbq'in on my friend's balcony. - My weekend Begins.

Network Blackouts? Yah they suck.

Re:speaking of network blackouts (2, Funny)

korgull (267700) | about 11 years ago | (#6739697)

oh man, you gotta let us know how the sushi worked out !!!

Is this a good time for Power Over Ethernet???!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6739567)

Man, I did all I could to help...I plugged my cable modem into an outlet (imagine the look on the guy at radio shack's face when I told him I wanted to go from RG68 to 110VAC). It didn't keep it up, eh? I need to call someone and bitch..

hey wait, I can still get to... (1)

spid101 (679276) | about 11 years ago | (#6739582)

oh wait, deamn cache.

Nebraska, eh? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 11 years ago | (#6739607)

"I swear, it's the Northeastern power outage that caused the Omaha routers to go down."
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