Re: Life in the Swamps / Testing


satz@clash.cisco.com
Sat, 13 Feb 88 12:18:47 PST


>> If we had a test suite that was in some sense 'official" we would not
>> have fiascos like I saw at Uniforum this week! There was the usual
>> "hook all the TCP/IP speaking booths together" party. And it barely
>> worked. Why? Two reasons: 1) Not everyone did subnetting "right"
>> and 2) the rwho broadcast storms made the net unusable much of
>> the time. If we had a conformance test suite available that everyone
>> could test against, then these two rather simple hurdles could be tested
>> for and vendors would have to pass them to get a "certificate". Would
>> this make the world "perfect"? Probably not, but it would make it a lot, lot
>> better!

The major problem with the Uniforum network was misconfiguration and
lack of understanding of all of the broadcast addresses. However the
misconfiguration was so bad the it was almost impossible to discern
broadcasts from other packets. What happened was that the show-net
started out to be network 89 with a subnet number of 1. People who
requested individual subnet numbers got them starting at some larger
number. Interestingly enough, however, was that people weren't able
to live with this arrangement for some reason networks like 8.0.0.0
and 1.0.0.0 started appearing instead. Unfortunately some hosts were
still sending out [IP] subnet broadcasts instead of network broadcasts
or general broadcasts (all ones). Test suites can do little to solve
this problem.

I also saw random ICMP message types flying around and packets with
bad checksums. A real live test suite would go along way toward
eliminating this problem.

The unusability of the network stemmed from a few hosts that were
generating error rates of 10%. Excelan, the show-net manager, quickly
resolved the problem when it was pointed out to them, much to their
credit.

Aside from all of that, it seems that Sun was advertising all of its
many networks via RIP and HP was offering a portal into its network
with an IGRP route. Sun refused to pass packets to the MILnet and HP
blocked access to the ARPAnet.
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