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From: m...@cbosgd.UUCP (Mark Horton)
Subject: backbone reorganization time
Message-ID: <448@cbosgd.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 18-Oct-83 15:22:40 EDT
Article-I.D.: cbosgd.448
Posted: Tue Oct 18 15:22:40 1983
Date-Received: Wed, 19-Oct-83 23:59:58 EDT
Organization: AT&T Bell Laboratories, Columbus
Lines: 60

The current Usenet backbone is beginning to get creaky in some places,
and some things are changing, so it looks like it's time to reorganize
the backbone again.

Hosts on Usenet that are currently backbone hosts are
alberta*, ubc-vision*, uw-beaver*, tektronix, zehntel, hplabs, sdcrdcf,
sdcsvax,hao, ihnp4, we13, burl, duke, spanky, ulysses, harpo, seismo,
decvax, linus, utzoo*, philabs, mcvax*.  (* indicates a node with only
one backbone link to the rest of Usenet.)

I'd like to give everybody the chance to join or leave this group if
they are interested in joining or have found problems with being on
the backbone and want out.  If you want out, please drop me a note.
If you are on the above list and want to stay on, also please let
me know - among other things, it will let me know how well this message
is getting out and which hosts have a responsive contact person.

If you are not on the above list and would like to be a backbone host,
please let me know.  If you already have some major link that is not
a backbone link, you are a prime candidate for becoming a backbone
host.  For example, hosts cornell-vax135-ukc, decwrl, ittvax-qumix,
cca-sri-unix, ucbcad, eagle, houxm, hogpc, all would be good candidates
for backbone hosts, given the current links.  However, if you are
interested and can meet most of the requirements for backbone hosts,
you are encouraged to inquire.  Unless there are good connectivity
reasons, there will normally be only one backbone host in each
geographic area (but this definition is flexible).

The primary purposes of the Usenet backbone are to keep Usenet reliable
and fast.  By having a set of nodes that are themselves reliable and
well connected to each other, most traffic will get to the entire net.
A new goal is to keep propagation delays as small as possible, to cut
down on the time lag resulting in multiple followups to one query.
A goal is for an article to reach 95% of Usenet within 24 hours of
the time it was posted.

A backbone host should be fairly reliable.  That is, under a moderate
load such as Usenet traffic causes, with 2-4 backbone links plus 2 or
more local links, the system should be up and able to accept and send
news most of the time.  A backbone host must also have a responsive
contact person.  The contact person is expected to read net.announce
and often (preferably at least once a day) in order to
deal with any sudden emergencies that come up.  This contact person
should also be easy to reach via electronic mail and telephone, in
case of a problem.  Backbone host should be able to afford the phone
bills that come from their backbone links.  If they have special phone
arrangements that enable them to connect cross-country without a large
phone bill, great.  But there will typically be around 3 non-local links.
An autodialer is strongly encouraged, in order to eliminate the 24 hour
polling syndrome.

Responsibilities for a backbone host include management of their portion
of Usenet (helping set up connections in a way that makes sense for
the region, helping track down problems); being a contact person for
new hosts (you would refer them to a local news feed); keeping abreast
of what's happening on Usenet; keeping their host running smoothly;
keeping a current version of news running on their host.

	Mark Horton

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