Internet performance

Ken Pogran (
Mon, 9 Nov 87 08:47:31 EST

A note regarding Internet and ARPANET performance:

Many users have noted a degradation in Internet and ARPANET
performance over the past few weeks, especially in end-to-end
round-trip delay. There've been a few messages to tcp-ip about
it, especially over the past week.

BBN has been investigating the situation; while we have a pretty
good handle on what's been happening, we don't yet fully
understand why.

The problem seems to center around the three ARPANET EGP Server
gateways. The amount of ARPANET traffic destined for these
gateways has increased dramatically in recent weeks. Moreover,
they seem to be slower in processing incoming traffic. This has
led to severe but highly localized congestion in the ARPANET.
ARPANET round-trip delays to these gateways have skyrocketed;
some gateways may not be able to maintain their EGP "connections"
with the servers, resulting in Internet connectivity problems.

Current speculation is that this is all related to the recent
increase in the size of EGP routing updates such that these must
now be fragmented by the servers into two ARPANET messages --
i.e., EGP routing update traffic in the ARPANET has effectively

It's also possible that there's some tie-in between this problem
and the ARPANET PSN 7 upgrade. There's no evidence that points
in this direction, but on the other hand we have not yet ruled it

On a more general note, it's also worth pointing out that in
recent months, traffic on the ARPANET has grown at annualized
rate of 50%, and this growth shows no signs of letting up.
ARPANET and Internet capacity and performance is going to
continue to be an issue in the future.

Ken Pogran
BBN Communications

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