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Re[2]: Really weird timing of posts (technogeekery)

At 10:40 AM 12.10.95, Granger, Jenny wrote:
>     I think it's just the fact that the
>     traffic very much exceeds the capacity of the machines trying to
>     handle it. I don't expect it to get better any time soon and I've
>     warned the users I support not to rely on email for time sensitive
>     stuff anymore.

I don't think it's a Net-wide problem, actually.  Except when my providers'
mail machines are bogging down, my mail usually takes just a few minutes to
get through.  Mail delivery is usually limited more by the speed of the
mail machines than by the network itself.  In this case, it appears to be
Netcom's mailing list machine.  Netcom doesn't charge much (anything?) to
host a list, so they haven't got much motivation to upgrade their capacity.
(It could be worse.  At least they seem to have stopped dropping posts.

But it occurred to me that maybe your mail really was that slow--why would
you make it up? ;-) So I traced the route to duke.edu.  You're attached via
ncren.net (NC Research & Educational Net, I presume), which attaches to
MCINet.  And there's about 20% packet loss between me and Duke, virtually
all of it being on MCINet, which tells me MCINet is hugely overloaded (even
10% loss is high), which explains why your email is slow: any traffic in or
out has to fight its way through that cloud of static.  (I've heard bad
things about MCI before, but this is just staggering.)

Note that the bottleneck is *not* at MAE East (the big connection point in
DC, which carries a huge fraction of the Net's traffic)--I get no packet
loss at all until I hit MCI.   By way of comparison, my home machine is
connected through Sprint; traffic from the machine where I'm running these
tests reaches me via MAE East; and I get about 3% loss.

The good news is that I'm told telco executives are starting to catch on,
and realize that the future is in Internet-style technology (which probably
means the Internet).  So things should get better.

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