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Usenet Propagation Sucks

Mike Duvos <[email protected]> wrote Fri 29 Aug 1997:
>Theoretically, I was under the impression that Usenet consisted of a large
>number of machines, which compared their news spools continuously, with
>each giving the other all articles that were not on both machines. 
>Practically, this seems to work a lot less well than the designers

In practice, it's really tough to keep a good feed going. We happen
to keep the alt.anon* stuff for a longer period of time. We've started
keeping individual groups longer as requested by readers. This makes
them happy, for the most part. It needs so much disk! We have two incoming
server feeds and three outgoing and people still complain that their
groups don't have enough messages for their liking. Plus the damn thing's
history database has to be rebuilt twice a month, and at night lest the
customers come for blood when they don't get their daily usenet, and it
never seems to go right without someone (me namely) sleeping in the office
keeping it company during the process.

A server would need terabyte upon terabyte to store a good archive
of Usenet for, say, the past year.

I wonder if the designers could forsee Usenet's explosive popularity,
or the taxing load the spammers place.

Mark Hedges