Feeds

Bankrupt WorldCom sees major backbone problems

Outage blamed on 'routing anomaly'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

WorldCom Inc, which is said to carry as much as 70% of the internet's traffic, suffered an outage followed by a sustained period of severe latency yesterday, apparently after a software issue occurred during routine maintenance,

Kevin Murphy writes

.

The outage, referred to as a "routing anomaly", occurred on the UUNet network on the US east coast at 8am local time and service was mostly restored by 2.30pm, according to reports. It appears that misconfigured border router tables may be to blame.

While only WorldCom customers lost their connections, overall internet performance was affected.

InternetHealthReport.com, a service of Keynote Systems Inc, reported that the mean latency on routes between UUNet and its peers was as high as two seconds yesterday. Keynote classes latency over 180 milliseconds as "critical".

WorldCom spokesperson Jennifer Baker said in a statement: "Today WorldCom experienced an issue on its IP network, affecting approximately 20% of our US IP customer base. Service to our customers has been restored. A preliminary investigation indicates there was a route table issue."

According to UUNet's web site, maintenance was scheduled for POPs in over a dozen US cities between 3am and 6am yesterday, so it is conceivable it was during that time the problem occurred. The company performs maintenance a few times a week. A WorldCom spokesperson did not return a call for comment

Reuters reported that WorldCom memos to customers indicated the problems originated in Los Angeles and Washington DC, although the knock-on effect of rerouting traffic around the black-outs dragged down the whole network. Both LA and Washington were on UUNet's Thursday morning maintenance list.

The problem is an embarrassment for WorldCom at a time when it can do without any more red faces. The company is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while it restructures after revealing the largest accounting scandal in history, and its former executives have become poster children for those who condemn corporate greed.

The company laid off 17,000 people starting in June when the news of the accounting irregularities first broke. While new CEO John Sidgmore assured customers "services are in no way affected" by the layoffs and restructuring, anecdotal evidence suggests many customers, have been buying backup connectivity from other providers.

It's not just enterprise customers that are looking for contingency plans. According to WorldCom's rivals, branded ISPs have been increasingly buying dialup capacity from alternate providers as backup since WorldCom's woes emerged.

© ComputerWire

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.