We explain how network failures were caused by a natural disaster, describe the restoration steps that were taken, and present lessons learned from the recovery. At 21:26 on December 26th (UTC+9), 2006, there was a serious undersea earthquake off the coast of Taiwan, which measured 7.1 on the Richter scale. This earthquake caused significant damage to submarine cable systems. The resulting fiber cable failures shut down communications in several countries in the Asia Pacific networks. In the first post-earthquake recovery step, BGP routers detoured traffic along redundant backup paths, which provided poor quality connection. Subsequently, operators engineered traffic to improve the quality of recovered communication. To avoid filling narrow-bandwidth links with detoured traffic, the operators had to change the BGP routing policy. Despite the routing-level first aid, a few institutions could not be directly connected to the R&E network community because they had only a single link to the network. For these single-link networks, the commodity link was temporarily used for connectivity. Then, cable connection configurations at the switches were changed to provide high bandwidth and next-generation Internet service. From the whole restoration procedure, we learned that redundant BGP routing information is useful for recovering connectivity but not for providing available bandwidth for the re-routed traffic load and that collaboration between operators is valuable in solving traffic engineering issues such as poor-quality re-routing and lost connections of single-link networks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering