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768k Day may cause major internet outages

Major internet disruptions could be right around the corner as we approach 768k Day when the size of the global BGP routing table is expected to exceed 768,000 entries.

Similar disruptions were experienced back in 2014, on what we now know as “512k Day”, when the Ipv4 internet routing table exceeded 512,000 BGP routes when Verizon advertised thousands of more routes to the internet.

At the time, a number of ISPs and other organizations has provisioned the size of the memory for their router TCAMs for a limit of 512K route entries and some older routers suffered memory overflows which led their CPUs to crash. These crashes created significant packet loss and traffic outages across the internet with even large provider networks being affected.

Engineers and network administrators rushed to apply emergency firmware patches to set a new upper limit which in many cases was 768k entries.

512K Day served as a wake-up call for many ISPs and internet organizations but it seems they may have forgotten the chaos it caused as 768k Day is expected to occur sometime this month.

768k Day
While five years ago ISPs and internet companies were unprepared for 512k Day, this time around most of the large providers who felt its impact have likely prepped and maintained their infrastructures reasonably well which could lead to less outages.

However, there are still a lot of smaller ISPs, data centers and other providers who are part of the fabric of the internet. A good amount of service traffic transits through these ‘soft spots’ of internet infrastructure where maintenance on legacy routers and network equipment can be neglected or missed more easily.

It’s still entirely possible that we will see some issues or outages due to 768k Day during the next month or so.

To prepare for any potential disruptions, it is a good idea to perform some preventative maintenance on any routers that receive full internet routes.

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