Host-down redirects?

Thu, 1 Sep 1988 03:41 MDT

Monday evening SIMTEL20 came back online after being down for 18 days
awaiting air conditioner repair. During the downtime, we activated
duplicate logins on our sister site in St. Louis. However, unless our
users happened to call in or paid attention to previous announcements
to check the signon banner at the St. Louis host, they had no way of
knowing to try the alternate host. That was one problem - admittedly
one of having our users know our SOP.

The other problem was that some, possibly critical or time-critical
mail was eventually returned to the sender during that interval. And,
as far as I know, there is no "automatic" redirection possible. Or is

What I have in mind is that, given that I could have made the St.
Louis host think that its alias was SIMTEL20.ARMY.MIL (and the older
SIMTEL20.ARPA) via a quick modification to the hosts tables, would it
have been (and is it) possible to have gotten our PSN to redirect
connection requests intended for our downed host to the St. Louis
host for the duration of the downtime? If not, why not? For those of
us who take the requirement for mandatory Continuity of Operations
Plans (COOP) seriously, such a feature would close the gap and make it
reasonable to implement when needed.

Note: I am aware of the clever solution to this problem implemented at
BRL, but I'm not prepared to move off the backbone at this time (due
to our heavy traffic which would probably swamp most gateways) to take
advantage of that route.


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