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View Diary: Flu Stories: Is the Internet At Risk In A Pandemic? (120 comments)

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  •  AUAUGHUGH!!!! ... no, wait, I'm not worried.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, Ari Mistral, bren

    Ok... to qualify my view...  I have a patent pending on a network architecture (nationwide) optimized for simultaneous transmission of multimedia.  ($16K or so into the process, whether the claims are going to be granted remains to be seen.)
    This could 'out' me, so whomever recognizes me, please keep it to yourself for now.

    You Tube videos are clips that download to your PC in the same bursty manner that web pages do.  All video clips that download to your PC do.

    Live video streaming, on the other hand, does not.  It requires open and available bandwidth.  The Internet actually, with all its "excess" capacity, sucks for lots of live streaming.  High quality video streams are encoded and transmitted at about 300Kbs.  If you're in a small office with a T1 line, you might be able to have 300 people surf with no problem, but only 3 people will be able to get a 300Kbs video stream at one time, and that will leave very little bandwidth for the rest of the office.  

    Technology is there to mitigate this too...  but it's not available on the "Internet backbone." There's a multi-cast backbone called the MBone that allows the network equipment to duplicate source packets to multiple destination ports.  So, in that hypothetical office scenario, one 300Kbs stream, say from a news program, would be all that's required for everyone in the office to watch it (depending again on the Local Area network in the office).  The MBone is not ubiquitous, but most devices comprising the current "Internet" have multicast as a software-enabled feature.

    Again for video clips, and frequently downloaded pages, programs, etc., there's always Akamai.  They have servers throughout the Internet and a nifty algorithm that copies customers' content to multiple servers.  Next time you update any code on your PC, you might notice akamai in an address during a download.  They also charge by the number of copies of someone's content on their network (last time I checked...) so availability of content would be constrained by the content owners' budgets.

    Distance learning from a classroom to students within the neighborhood, not requiring use of the "backbone" could be facilitated by the local cable modem or DSL provider--by their enabling multicast within their network.  Bandwidth is most often limited from an aggregation point at the cable headend out to a Level3, MCI, ATT, etc, national backbone.  

    The national backbones have very high-capacity circuits linking their primary nodes.  These high-speed circuits handle bursty traffic very handily.  

    When you experience slowness, DNS (address/name resolution) servers could be busy, there might bee too much traffic on their data center network or the server hosting the content, or the colocation facility, etc.

    The "Internet" is a collection of backbone networks that are interconnected to each other, each of which connects to various customer data centers, customer locations, colocation facilities, broadband networks (cable and dsl) etc...  It's all very resilient.

    And, traffic could be prioritized.  It wouldn't be noticeable for typical web page downloads.  imho.
    and.. I could write on the subject for hours and still not scratch what I consider the surface of the subject.  

    bottom line, I wouldn't worry about "the Internet."

    It would all end so quickly if they were just impeached.

    by netguyct on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 08:38:01 AM PST

    •  How do you think (0+ / 0-)

      the traffic would/could be prioritized?

      •  It all depends... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemFromCT

        Traffic can be prioritized based on IP port...
        Some common ones:
        voice traffic (voip) including the call set up and tear down messages
        streaming video
        multicast (broadcast style internet traffic)
        then basic functions like file transfer, secure sockets, basic surfing etc, etc...

        It can also be prioritized by source and destination addresses... So the CDC multicast broadcast of "you,re in deep now" can take precedence over all other traffic.

        Every ISP or backbone owner-operator would have to turn it on and set it the same.  So a little planning would help.

        In the scenario where schools are closed, broadband ISPs, cable modem, dsl, residential ethernet (rare) could prioritize video streaming and teachers can present lessons live.  It would require a broadcast per teacher, an audioconferencing bridge for the discussion or lesson.  

        Perhaps school systems can justify prototyping such equipment setups to reach multiple handicapped students in their home setting (with caretaker, of course) on days they can,t make it to class.

        It would all end so quickly if they were just impeached.

        by netguyct on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 11:07:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  thank you! (0+ / 0-)
          So a little planning would help.

          I am not presenting an insurmountable problem, just posting a "did you even know this was an issue?"

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 12:45:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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