The Cloud Will Fail In Your Neighborhood

Oct 18, 2011

I find it amusing to see everything being moved to the "Cloud". Even the web browser on the Kindle Fire is all in the cloud. Apple's wonderful Siri depends on the cloud. Everyone is vying to store your data in the cloud.

Time-Warner Cable (TWC) provides my access to the cloud. Oh-oh.

Now mind you they are much better than Comcast was. When Comcast handled my neighborhood they had an outage where some server in their data center that our traffic went through rebooted every 15 minutes. This took 2 months to fix, during which I patiently explained to the 7 guys who came out to fix my modem how the internet works, and how I mapped the network pathway to discover this fact, not to mention the nice network diagram I drew. The last guy who came out took one look , whipped out a cell phone, called the data center where he had a buddy, and the next morning everything was fixed.

Basically I lived with an internet where every 15 minutes everything was dropped, which is especially bad when you play an MMO.

One average, TWC is better, but then sometimes they are just as lame. Last night it rained. This morning I call telling them my internet is dead. Fortunately the person checked my neighbors and found the entire local network was down so she declared an outage. A few hours later it started to work again but during the day the packet loss has been 20-50%. So all I have is a 50% cloudy network.

The packets that do go through take a reasonable time (40ms to google.com) but the one's that don't just vanish. Since I doubt that the entire internet is half-off today, I am sure it is because the local loop is overloaded, and TWC refuses to split the node.

Now if you live in a TWC area you surely must notice that 50% of the TV commercials seem to be for them, which explains why they can't split the node: those commercials are expensive and caring for customers is something we can't afford. Not to mention most of the commercials are touting the enormous speed you get with TWCable's services. Naturally they don't mention the speed of the lost packets, which is surely zero.

I am sure some of you are saying, well switch to something else. FIOS? Not coming here (50th largest city in the US). SWBell, at the edge of the DSL distance. Passenger Pigeons? Extinct.

If I can just figure out how to crash the local node, maybe it will kick my neighbors off and I can touch the cloud, if only for a moment.

If people want our lives in the cloud, they better figure out a way to string a few lines to my local can, or my life will have to remain in the clear blue sky of old-fashioned internet where lines of text come one at a time, usually.