ICMP Redirect Wars

Jeff Makey (Makey@LOGICON.ARPA)
1 Apr 86 19:55 PST

Every now and then, two or three of the ARPANET<->MILNET gateways will
get into an ICMP Redirect argument over who should be handling one of
my connections. Below is the latest example of this behavior, taken
from my April 1 TCP/IP daemon log (this happened before April Fools
day, too).

Redirect (code 0) to (from at 16:11:36)
Redirect (code 0) to (from at 16:11:38)
Redirect (code 0) to (from at 16:11:43)
Redirect (code 0) to (from at 16:11:44)
Redirect (code 0) to (from at 16:11:45)
Redirect (code 0) to (from at 16:11:49)
Redirect (code 0) to (from at 16:11:53)
Redirect (code 0) to (from at 16:11:57)
Redirect (code 0) to (from at 16:11:59)
Redirect (code 0) to (from at 16:12:02)
Redirect (code 0) to (from at 16:16:05)
Redirect (code 0) to (from at 16:16:06)

Notes: All times are Pacific Standard Time (HH:MM:SS).
       Code 0 means "Redirect datagrams for the Network" [RFC 792]. is XX.LCS.MIT.EDU. is SRI-MILNET-GW.ARPA (my host's assigned ARPANET<->
            MILNET gateway [DDN Mgt Bulletin #23]). is BBN-MILNET-GW.ARPA. is DCEC-MILNET-GW.ARPA.
       It was a TCP/SMTP connection sending from XX.LCS.MIT.EDU to
            LOGICON.ARPA ( I don't know exactly when the
            connection was established, but we received the SMTP DATA
            command at 16:12:15 and the last of 10868 bytes trickled
            in at 16:17:07 (for an average of 37.2 bytes per second).
            (The piece of mail was Arms-Discussion digest V6 #69.)

An occasional redirect is fine, but this whipsawing back and forth
can't be good for anybody (due to the ICMP overhead). Is this sort of
behavior just a symptom of the poor ARPANET<->MILNET performance or
does it contribute to the problem?

                        :: Jeff Makey

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