Internet outages predicted for coming month as 768k Day approaches

Brink

Staff member
mvp
An Internet milestone known as "768k Day" is getting closer and some network administrators are shaking in their boots fearing downtime caused by outdated network equipment.

The fear is justified, and many companies have taken precautions to update old routers, but some cascading failures are still predicted, either way.

WHAT IS 768K DAY?

The term 768k Day comes from the original mother of all internet outages known as 512k Day.

512k Day happened on August 12, 2014, when hundreds of ISPs from all over the world went down, causing billions of dollars in damages due to lost trade and fees, from a lack of internet connectivity or packet loss.
The original 512k Day took place because routers ran out of memory for storing the global BGP routing table, a file that holds the IPv4 addresses of all known internet-connected networks.

At the time, a large chunk of the internet was being routed through devices that were allocating TCAM (ternary content-addressable memory) large enough to store no more than 512,000 internet routes.

But when on August 12, 2014, Verizon added 15,000 new BGP routes, this caused the global BGP routing table to suddenly go over the 512,000 lines without warning. On older routers, this manifested by the global routing table file overflowing from its allocated memory, crashing the devices every time they attempted to read or work with the file. Companies like Microsoft, eBay, LastPass, BT, LiquidWeb, Comcast, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, were all impacted.

Many legacy routers received emergency firmware patches that allowed network admins to set a higher threshold for the size of the memory allocated to handle the global BGP routing table.

Most network administrators followed documentation provided at the time and set the new upper limit at 768,000 --aka 768k...

Read more: Some Internet outages predicted for the coming month as '768k Day' approaches | ZDNet
 

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