When I tell people about Routescience (or enhanced BGP-routing in general), many laugh and think it's all marketing, and that human engineers can do just as good or better.

Can they really?

Humans don't have the tools/time to monitor all brownouts (note: NOT blackouts, which are hard outages, as the following piece explains):

http://www.routescience.com/products/pro_increase.html

An Internet brownout, sometimes called a soft outage, occurs when there is a significant reduction in network performance to a subset of end users as a result of congestion, packet loss, link or equipment failures, or human configuration errors.

Note that brownouts are different from blackouts. Blackouts, also called hard outages, occur when a network or portion of a network fails completely. Brownouts occur when connectivity theoretically still exists but excessive latency and loss make the network essentially impassable. Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), the routing protocol for the Internet, only detects hard outages, so BGP will eventually route around a blackout but will never route around a brownout.


The following article is very useful when understanding why BGP sucks.

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This page contains a single entry by Stephen Donner published on December 23, 2003 1:50 AM.

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