Mediterranean Cable Break – Part II

January 31, 2008 Earl Zmijewski

After looking at the countries most impacted by the cable cut in our first blog on this topic, we now turn our attention to the Internet service providers in the region and how they fared. Due to differences in network architecture, cable ownership, and transit purchasing, carriers in the same country may not all experience the same degree of outage. For all of the following, we consider a network to be “outaged” when it is unreachable from the perspective of the broader Internet—as represented by Renesys’s 250 peering sessions.

The following two tables provide the top 15 providers with the largest number of outaged networks. We list the provider’s name, the country in which most of their unreachable networks are located and their autonomous system number (ASN), an assigned number that uniquely identifies their organization on the Internet.

In the first table, we list the providers in decreasing order by total number of outaged networks. In the second table, we list them by decreasing order of the percentage of their networks that are unreachable.

Not surprisingly, the hardest hit providers are located primarily in the hardest hit countries: Egypt, Kuwait, India and Pakistan. One local provider in each of Egypt and Kuwait lost essentially all of their Internet connectivity.

Provider Country ASN Num
LINKdotNET Egypt 24863 268
Pakistan Telecom Pakistan 17557 234
Wataniya Telecom Kuwait 29357 199
TEDATA Egypt 8452 191
Sify India 9583 184
EgyNet Egypt 20858 169
Dancom Pakistan 23966 147
Micronet Pakistan 23674 125
Hathway India 17488 111
Internet Egypt Egypt 5536 95
QualityNet Kuwait 9155 90
Nile Online Egypt 15475 90
Data Network Pakistan 9260 87
IDM Lebanon 9051 80

Provider Country ASN %
Wataniya Telecom Kuwait 29357 100
Yalla Online Egypt 20484 99
Dancom Pakistan 23966 80
EgyNet Egypt 20858 77
Internet Egypt Egypt 5536 77
Micronet Pakistan 23674 73
Data Network Pakistan 9260 71
Pakistan Telecom Pakistan 17557 64
TEDATA Egypt 8452 60
IDM Lebanon 9051 56
Exatt India 18231 53
Nile Online Egypt 15475 49
Emirates Internet UAE 5384 46
Eepad Algeria 33783 43
QualityNet Kuwait 9155 35

 

After totaling up the damage to the local providers, we wondered if any of harder hit ones managed to regain connectivity for some of their networks via alternate paths. We often hear statements like “the Internet is good at routing around damage”. Well, that can be true, but only when there are available alternatives. Looking at hard-hit Egypt and Kuwait, we plotted the number of outaged networks per provider over the past day in the following stacked graph, where the width of each color represents the number of unreachable networks for a given provider. If any of the providers had choices, we would expect to see the width of their color decrease over time as they shifted traffic to alternative paths. Except in one case, that didn’t happen. The exception was the Egyptian provider, LINKdotNET (ASN 24863), which did regain connectivity for most of their unavailable networks for about one hour at 20:00 UTC, only to lose more than twice as many after that time. Whatever backup routes they used obviously didn’t hold up. The others had essentially the same number of networks out all day, the typical shape of a prolonged catastrophic failure.



To make this last point perhaps more forcefully, we next plot the total number of outaged networks for the region as a whole for 24 hours, excluding the Indian subcontinent. As shown, there was no immediate relief for the large swath of the Internet cut off by this disaster.



Next up, we’ll look at the global Internet providers and who won and lost in the battle to retain their regional customers or acquire new ones.

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About the Author

Earl leads a peerless team of data scientists who are committed to analyzing Dyn’s vast Internet Performance data resources and applying their expertise to continually improve upon Dyn’s products and services.

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