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768K day, the shutdown is just a hairbreadth away!!

  • Posted at 2019-05-21 20:13:06
  • By Prefixx Team

768K day, the shutdown is just a hairbreadth away!!

The discussion about the possibilities of the 768k day has trespassed the boundaries of the technical arena and has diffused to the public domain as a looming threat for the continuous availability of the internet. The haunting memories of its predecessor, 512k day, in 2014 send shivers down the spine of millions across the world and make the 768K day a hot topic of discussion.

The high media attention and speculations about a massive shutdown of the network as in 2014 make a large chunk of network admins and telecom professional at sea and in jittery. But a majority of the industry experts are confident that the overflowing of memory due to increased global BGP table, has already been addressed and the possibilities of repetition of the issue are abysmally low. For them, the 768K day issue is blown out of proportion and has created a panic wave across both public and domain experts.

What causes these “days”?


The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) manages the routing of packets across the internet through the exchange of routing and reach-ability information of peer routers. Each router maintains a global BGP routing table, which consists of the global Internet routes and IPv4 addresses of all known internet-connected networks.

The legacy routers were designed with a memory to store 512,000 or 512k internet routes. Addition of new routes on August 12, 2014, made the routers ran out of memory and led to the massive shutdown of routers worldwide, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars.

Even though the possibility of outgrowth of routing table was a contemplated issue, the sheer magnitude of the issue made the entire network engineers and telecom professionals bewildered. As an immediate rescue operation, they applied emergency patches and increased the global BGP routing table limit to 768,000 routes a.k.a 768K routes. But a recent study by the Twitter bot named BGP4-Table, reveals that the global BGP table has grown to a size of 767,392. Just a few more additions will exceed the limit of 768K entries and are doomed to happen within days.

Are we going to see the repetition of the 512k day?

Not exactly. We will have some issues for sure. But it won’t be a replication of 512k day. In fact, the 512k day was an eye opener for the entire industry. Those who experienced the brunt of the issue had moved to better infrastructure to evade repetition of such issues. Unlike in the past, the majority of the network devices, ISPs, NOCs, but also Prefixx Inc as an IPv4 broker and its datacenters and affiliates are not at risk.

Still, some of the smaller ISPs and network facilities are relying on the older routers and are soft spots for the issue. Since such ISPs still play a significant role in generating total internet traffic, the 768k day can create some sort of annoyance for the entire internet.

If you possess IPV4 address space or IPV4 address either as purchased or leased from any such providers, contact them and ensure that their facility is safe from the threat. A hardware upgrade is a long-term solution, still, they can tackle the current issue through filtering and reconfiguration of the BGP table.

The 768K day is not an issue, it is just a growing pain. It is an opportunity to usher in new approaches and solutions for a more robust and solid network for the future.

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