Mike Muuss (mike@BRL.ARPA)
Tue, 25 Mar 86 21:01:34 EST

I recently learned of the deal struck between NSF and DARPA
which will result in the ARPANET backbone to be expanded by
as many as 40 additional IMPs in support of university connection
to NSF supercomputer assets.

This makes me wonder about the desirability of continuing the split if
both halves are now going to become full production networks, rather
than having them divided by protocol_experiments -vs- production use,
where production use was defined as any non- link-level or IMP-level
or IP-level communications work. (ie, the "protocol_experimenter"
group was defined to be very small). It seems to me that the
trunking expenses of running TWO cross-country networks is likely
to be substantial. I understand the desire for trunk encryption
and node site security don't mix well with the university setting,
but this may grow to a very expensive luxury. I can imagine trunking
costs in the millions of dollars/year to enhance ARPANET back up
to it's former size. Anybody care to comment?

I also found it a bit shocking to learn of a policy change of this
magnitude in SCIENCE magazine, rather than here on the net.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the performance problems with
the core gateway system and EGP will *have* to be fixed before the
NSF Universities start comming online.

I would like to point out that the Army and NASA have their supercomputers
on the *MILNET*, and the NSF supercomputers will be on the *ARPANET*,
and the Universities are split between both. Expect cross-core
congestion of a magnitude so far only dreamed of by BBN NOC staff
in their worst nightmares...

By the way, if there are any MILNET trunk capacity planners on this
list, please take note: The first Army supercomputer will be getting
installed at BRL in the June-July timeframe, with the second one
operating by Christmas. Any chance all those extra trunks for our
IMP might get installed before we double our present traffic levels?
Better beef up the core, too!

I apologise for often sounding like the prophet of Doom. Overall,
we at BRL are highly pleased with the InterNet. I just worry
overmuch about the growing pains, as the system succeeds, succeeds,
and then succeeds some more.


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