mailing list archives
Re: Internic does it again
From: David Stoddard <dgs () us net>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 12:19:34 -0400 (EDT)
Eric Germann writes:
Well our friends at Internic apparently forgot how to update their servers
*.root-servers.net from here is showing a serial of 1997072500 with no
updates made Friday night showing (11:30am EDT July 27).
While is is easy to blame the InterNIC and NSI for all the evils
in the world, the InterNIC of five years ago (or even one year ago)
is not the InterNIC that exists today. Last week I went to Network
Solutions to meet with Dave Holtzman (SVP of Engineering) on an
unrelated matter, and while I was there I got a chance to observe
first hand the metamorphosis that has transpired over the past year.
Here are just a few points that everyone should be aware of:
* NSI completely replaced senior level management about nine
months ago. Most of those folks were responsible for the arrogant,
unresponsive attitude that NSI displayed for so many years. NSI
replaced those folks with the most qualified people they could
find. For example, Gabe Battista, NSI's CEO, was President of
Cables and Wireless before coming to NSI last year. Dave Holtzman
was one of IBM's most-talented senior engineers, and also has a
substantial business background. There are dozens of other
examples throughout the organization.
* Since the transistion in the management structure, the call
support area has gone from three people to 50 people, and the
engineering support desk has gone from two to over 30 (and they
are trying to hire more people right now). Hours have been
extended from 5 PM EDT to 9 PM EDT, and plans are underway to
make InterNIC support a 24x7 operation very soon.
* The operations area is much like you would expect any large
industrial organization to have -- a controlled environment
computer room with raised floors, fire and water detection alarms,
racks of equipment and systems, hot spare systems, several large
Cisco routers including a spare Cisco 7500, three T3 links to
separate backbone carriers, a UPS system with 200 lead batteries
capable of running the entire facility for more than 24 hours,
and a large deisel generator with enough fuel capacity to run
for two weeks. The entire facility is secured with access cards,
limiting people to those areas that they work in.
[BTW, the entire InterNIC moved from its old location to its new
location one month ago without any outage -- this is a true test
of the InterNICs resources and expertise to be able to move an
operation that large without impacting the rest of us.]
* Effort is underway to define and document formal procedures for
every activity that goes on in the InterNIC. Systems are being
implemented everywhere to make the InterNIC as fault tolerant as
possible. Based on what I saw, problems like the partial DNS
update two weeks ago will be a thing of the past very shortly.
I had the opportunity to talk with Richard Walsh, the Director
of Operations, about the DNS problem and I am convinced it will
never happen again -- there are too many automated systems and
check procedures in place to allow a repeat of the previous
partial update problem.
* There is a complete focus on customer service in the InterNIC
now. With a 1600+ percent increase in customer supprt personnel
in just the past few months (which continues to grow as they are
able to find and train people), the folks at NSI now talk about
quality of service, response time, escalation procedures, and other
customer support concepts that were anathma to the organization
just one year ago.
[Case in point -- before Dave Holtzman started posting on NANOG
a few weeks ago, I can't remember anytime when an SVP at the
InterNIC cared enough to post anything to the NANOG list.]
Before I started US Net four years ago, I spent 16 years managing
software engineering projects for KPMG Peat Marwick and American
Management Systems (before that I taught CS at UofMD) -- I know
what it takes to build, operate, and manage an industrial-strength
operations center, and Network Solutions has one.
I know what the response to this is -- "These folks are the InterNIC,
they SHOULD be doing all these things!". And I agree 100%. The
difference is they ARE doing these things now. This is a direct
result of the new management at the InterNIC.
Also, a lot of folks have made derogatory comments about NSI going
public. Frankly, I think this is a good idea -- it will give them
the financial depth to be able to support the InterNIC at a level
that will benefit all of us. Based on what I saw, and knowing the
skills of Battista and Holtzman, NSI is sure to be one of the best
stock deals of the '90s.
[FWIW, I have no connection to the InterNIC what so ever -- like
the rest of you, I rely on them for their domain registration services
So if your idea of the InterNIC is two engineers, two computers, and
a half-dozen support personnel with an attitude, forget it -- it is
not that way anymore. Dave Holtzman wants to make the InterNIC a
world-class support organization that puts reliability and customer
support first. From what I have seen, he is well on his way ...
US Net Incorporated
dgs () us net
Re: Internic does it again Stephen Sprunk (Jul 28)
Re: Internic does it again George Herbert (Jul 29)