Routing black holes

Despite its robust appearance, more than 10 percent of the internet flickers out like a candle every day, according to researchers who unveiled on Wednesday an experimental tool that probes the network’s dark places….Sometimes certain blocks of the internet weren’t reachable at all, Katz-Bassett reported, while other times only traffic coming from particular portions of the net fell into what’s called a “routing black hole.” When that happens, packets sent from one computer to another — whether a request for a web page, or an e-mail message — are somehow diverted to the wrong location, where they’re lost forever….Routing problems can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from problems with a particular router, often a new one, to ironic problems with a technique called “multi-homing” -– which supposed to make it easier for packets to reach their destination by allowing an internet site to simultaneously have a number of different addresses and network connections.

Read this item from WIRED


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