Preston Gralla

Will Vista kill the Internet?

September 06, 2006 2:11 PM EDT

Don't have enough to worry about? Consider this: The father of the Internet's DNS system warns that widespread use of Vista could overload DNS servers worldwide, clogging the Internet, and slowing access to a crawl.


Paul Mockapetris told CNet that "You're going to see brownouts. All of a sudden, it is going to be mud season on the Internet, where things will just be kind of slow and gooey."


Mockapetris claims that because Vista simultaneously supports the next-generation IPv6 protocol, as well as the current IPv4, it makes two DNS calls instead of one for every request. That means doubling the load on DNS servers, which in turn means far more sluggish reaction times, including brownouts.


Microsoft, of course, begs to differ. I won't go into all the gory details, but it points out that for a variety of reasons, DNS traffic won't come close to doubling. And it claims that initial tests have borne this out.


The upshot? Practically once a day, Cassandras warn that the Internet as we know it is about to crash. Somehow, it never happens. I think it'll survive Vista as well.