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[ih] Why did congestion happen at all? Re: why did CC happen at all?


Of course ARPA wanted to know whether the network delivered to them met the performance specs of the RFP, so they gave UCLA a contract to measure network performance and for that UCLA needed an IMP.   But if you read the ARPA RFP, or Larry Roberts' first paper presented at the 1970 SJCC, you will see very little about doing research on networking and a great deal about wanting a network to support the computer science research ARPA was already funding at places like SRI, Utah, BBN, MIT, Lincoln Lab, Rand SDC, Harvard, UCSB, Carnegie, etc.  As soon as the network began carrying user traffic there was considerable tension between the Network Measurement Center at UCLA, which wanted to conduct tests to see what types and levels of traffic would break the network, and the Network Operation Center at BBN, which wanted the network to be perceived by its users as being as reliable as at the electric service.  As manager of the NOC, I was in the middle of a lot
 of that tension.  ARPA's orders to me were generally "keep it running".  Of course ARPA may have given conflicting orders to UCLA - I don't know.


 From: Dave Crocker <dhc2 at dcrocker.net>
To: internet-history at postel.org 
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2014 7:19 PM
Subject: Re: [ih] Why did congestion happen at all? Re: why did CC happen at all?

> The ARPANET was never intended as a network for doing research on
> networks.  It was intended as a production network to facilitate other
> research.  BBN was very limited in how much experimentation was possible
> and in what it could try.

So they put the first IMP into UCLA, where the Network Measurement
Center was -- Kleinrock, and all that -- on a whim?

My understanding is that the primary goal was experimentation, but in
the form of monitoring use and trying different algorithms, rather than
by conducting artificial traffic exercises.  One might think of this as
networking as a very different kind of social experiment than we think
of today...

My other understanding is that the extent of the direct benefit to users
wasn't quite anticipated, which made it increasingly difficult to make
changes to the net that could bring it down.  So it was a few years
before they had to start explicitly scheduling time slots for experiments.


Dave Crocker
Brandenburg InternetWorking
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