Martello BLOG : 2019

As the global routing table increases, routers are using more memory to hold these tables. Naturally, memory on network hardware has its limits and when we reach that threshold what can we expect? An event that potentially could cause significant disruptions across the Internet, the so-called “768k Day” is closer than you think. This day is anticipated to be coming this month when the global Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing table is expected to exceed 768,000 entries. BGP is a routing protocol used to transfer data and information between host gateways, the Internet or autonomous systems. Without it, the Internet wouldn’t work.

So why is 768K day a big deal?

Let’s rewind 5 years. In 2014, there were concerns over what has come to be known as “512k Day”. This name was given to the moment when the Internet routing table was going to exceed 512,000 BGP routes.  Many ISPs and other organizations had provisioned the size of the memory of their routers for a limit of 512K route entries. Once the route entries exceed that maximum capacity some older routers suffered memory overflows which caused their CPUs to crash. These crashes caused significant packet loss and traffic outages across the Internet, including some large provider networks. Engineers and network administrators scrambled to apply emergency firmware patches and set a new upper limit of 768k entries. Since memory is expensive, many vendors saw 768,000 as a decent trade-off for memory utilization.

512k Day was an Internet milestone much like the y2k crisis at the end of the 90s, and a wake-up call for a lot of ISP and Internet organizations. This looming issue wasn’t a secret, yet many providers were caught off-guard with outdated network equipment that had a ripple effect into Internet outages.

Fast forward 5 years later, and the upcoming  768k Day is becoming an echo of 512k Day, but with a higher threshold. This time around, things will be slightly different though. Most large providers who felt the impact of 512k Day have learned their lesson and have likely prepared and maintained their infrastructures to accommodate the next level of usage. As a result, we hope not to see the same level of outages as we did in 2014.

A lot of smaller ISPs, data centers and other providers may not be as well prepared, however. When you look at Internet paths, a good amount of service traffic goes through these “soft spots” of Internet infrastructure. These areas of the Internet where maintenance on legacy routers can be easily missed, meaning we may still experience issues or outages on 768k Day.

While BGP is the core to the functioning of the Internet, there are more flexible solutions to provide business continuity for enterprises and end users.  Link management is a technique which has been in use for a number of years, but cost and complexity have hindered many organizations’ efforts in taking advantage of this increase in productivity. BGP programming is the traditional method of achieving the result, but it is a costly approach. One aspect of BGP that users must keep in mind is that it is not designed to do link balancing, but to perform internet connectivity.

ISPs now offer managed BGP services but such services have a high price tag attached to them and can create other types of issues, related mainly to responsibility for problem resolution. BGP also has limited link management abilities forcing a specific link per traffic type and does not have the ability to dynamically redirect traffic.

Want to learn more about link balancing? Download our eBook!

So it should go without saying that if you make sure your network is up to date before 768k Day arrives then you have nothing to worry about!

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is a British international hotel management company offering luxury hotels, resorts and residences in Asia, Europe and the Americas. With many locations across some of the world’s most prestigious destinations, Mandarin Oriental strives to provide 21st century luxury with oriental charm through distinctive design and a strong sense of place.

Challenge

The Internet has revolutionized how mobile workforces access information while away from the office, enabling them to keep up with their customers and their offices faster than ever before. To
meet this need, hospitality providers began offering their customers high-speed Internet access (HSIA) in guest rooms a few years ago. Mobile workers grew accustomed to this service, quickly setting a new level of expectations for their stays.

Currently, Internet access is considered as critical as plumbing and electricity in guest requirements — if not more.

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has a rich history that goes back to the late 1800’s with the opening of the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. They have continued to evolved with the needs of their guests over the years, and delivering quality HSIA was part of that. However, with the increasing bandwidth requirements of applications such as Skype, Netflix and YouTube, the strain on Mandarin Oriental Hotels’ networks increased every year.

“Customer satisfaction was negatively affected. We were looking for a way to perform ISP failover to provide better internet connectivity to our guests.”
Javier Garcia
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Solution

The Mandarin Oriental team decided to try Martello’s Elfiq Link Balancing solutions. The recommendation had come from peers in other companies who were already clients of Elfiq Networks.

Not only did the product solve the bandwidth challenges, but it could also be deployed in such a way that could protect hotels against both planned and unplanned outages alike. Available in “failover kit” pairs, Elfiq devices can add a second layer of security and resilience. Should one device become unresponsive, a second one will seamlessly continue traffic management and operations while alerting the IT department.

 

Today, most Mandarin Oriental properties own LBX2600 Series Failover Kits from Martello’s Elfiq Networks. The Hotel Group can count on a solid international network of value-added resellers to assist local properties in purchasing and deploying new devices when the need arises, and on Martello and Elfiq’s professional services team to perform remote configuration.

Adding more circuits can be done seamlessly and effortlessly, on demand, without the worry of unused bandwidth, and can be put to use from the very moment it is hooked to the Link Balancer.

 

“We have deployed the LBX2600 Series in most of our properties around the world, allowing us to offer uninterrupted HSIA to our guests. I would recommend these solutions to any hotel property.”
Javier Garcia
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

 

Download the Case Study

IoT will transform networks by increasing both the complexity and strategic importance of this underlying infrastructure. As the number of connected devices per human increases from a handful to thousands, and connectivity for moving autonomous vehicles and other complex applications ups the stakes for human safety, a reliable, secure network connection will be the difference between IoT success and failure. Whether the technology is 5G or a local solution, the challenge of maintaining network connectivity in mobile, rugged environments is a critical one. How can we position the network infrastructure for success?

Martello CEO John Proctor looks at best practices to build IOT-ready network connectivity solutions. Drawing on the company’s collaboration with BlackBerry QNX, where Martello is developing solutions that will maintain reliable connectivity in a moving autonomous vehicle, John looks at the unique challenges posed by IoT applications, and how to leverage technology for best outcomes. Addressing both the connectivity and mobile evolution, John talks about how the strain of real-time services pose challenges on networks.

Join John and the Martello staff at IoT613 at the Canadian Museum of History on May 9, 2019. John will be taking the stage at 9:55 AM to discuss how to achieve IoT-ready network connectivity. Afterwards, find Martello in the exhibit hall and discuss how we’re leveraging IoT and what our solutions offer to propel technology into the future.

Get tickets to the event and connect with IoT executives, take your business to the next level and discover the latest advancements in IoT at this year’s IoT613. This is the 4th year of Ottawa’s Premier Internet of Things Event and is a must-attend for industry professionals, executives, policy makers and researchers.

Whether you’re there to watch some of the 14 expert speakers share their knowledge on the Networks for the Internet of Things, Cultivating Precision Agriculture with the Internet of Things, You and Me in the Age of IOT, Cybersecurity and Assurance of the Internet of Things, or you want to participate in one of the Q&A panels, you will be able to get in touch with the community of IoT experts.

We hope to see you there!