Blame DNS stuffups, not the earthquake

The blame for Asia's Internet crisis this week has been put largely on the earthquake, and rightly so. But, in the case of China, I wonder if the earthquake is being used more as a scapegoat for their continued mismanagement of DNS servers.

The blame for Asia's Internet crisis this week has been put largely on the earthquake, and rightly so. But, in the case of China, I wonder if the earthquake is being used more as a scapegoat for their continued mismanagement of DNS servers. I run an IT service company that manages broadband and hosting services for clients, so we are quite sensitive to the network ups-and-downs of ISPs here.

Four times in the month previous to the earthquake, DNS foul ups knocked out connections to a lot of mail and Web servers, for durations of up to a few hours. This is of course not as bad as yesterday's DNS issues, which occurred after the earthquake and ran approximately for eight hours. How can I be so sure this is more a case of DNS and not just connectivity in general, caused by over-capacity, backup lines because servers were still accessible by IP.

The earthquake struck at 8:56pm the day before and most Web sites, despite this, were still accessible--albeit slow--till about 8am the next morning. I imagine traffic forced China Telecom and CNC to react because they couldn't coordinate much before the working hours of the next day, and when they did react, even connections to all local servers were lost, at least via DNS. I would love to be educated on this further and will definitely investigate further, but till now, all my staff and I keep getting are 'earthquake' excuses, and no matter how many times we pepper the ISPs here about IP-related issues, they all get dismissed with shrugs of the shoulders.

Other interesting DNS abuse can be read at my friend Bjorn Stabbell's blog. If not being able to get a Web site is frustrating when the right domain is typed in, I have to say getting the wrong site is even more frustrating, especially to ad sites quick at trying to download spyware.