What's going to happen to this wonderful tool we are getting all this information on...The Internet

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've been getting all of my y2k info. on the internet daily. It juct occured to me that I'm clueless whether the internet providers are y2k compliant. Will I one day not have any service? Could that be before 01-01-00? With the exception of the power grid and communication issues what else could happen? What about all of the internet businesses, what impact do you think this problem will have on them? How should they be protecting themselves?

-- Joan Gigliotti (thegigco@erols.com), June 28, 1998


According to _Time Bomb 2000_, routers and such manufactured in the last few years are compliant. Older ones are not. The internet is supposed to be invulnerable through massive redundancy, but I have a hard time beliving that. I guess it would depend on what the percentage of old to new equipment is. I'm thinking that even if half of the routers stay operational after "The Day", connections would slow down so much as to be virtually useless anyway. This of course assumes that your telephone and electricity and PC work also.

-- Douglas Malcolm (dmalcolm@mindspring.com), June 28, 1998.

I analysed this area last year for an interview on CNBC/Asia Business News. It was not an issue I had considered until the interview request, but a quick analysis surprised me. I too had heard comments concerning redundancy, component compliance, etc. These comments fail to look at the Net as an integrated system though. If you think of the "system" required to support the Net it is clear that the number of failure points is astronomical. We have heard concerns for component pieces such as the telephone network, electricity supply, servers & software, communication front-ends, etc. Based on this, where does this confidence concerning redundancy & fault tolerance of the Net come from?

Fault tolerance & redundancy require effective planning, management, & testing. It requires each element in the "system" to be professionally managed, assessed & tested for compliance, & corrected where necessary. Most elements of the Net do not meet these requirements. There has been no "system" assessment; most elements of the Net have never been planned; many components are not "managed" at all.

Since the Net is ungoverned, no single group can ensure its viability. Many people & organisations will ensure that their piece of the Net works......many will not. Based on this, we can assume that portions of the Net are likely to fail. The question is, how large will these portions be, & how long will the problems persist.

-- Robert Carlston (carlston@vol.net), June 29, 1998.

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