Op/Voice Information .....

Written by Raphsody

What is a Server and What can it Do?   (top)

This is really simple. A server is a computer with a huge connection using a program especially made for Undernet servers called ircu2. This software is made to hold all the servers together, protect the channels against Server Ops, and handles all text we write (forwards it to all other servers). It also contains a lot of data that we do not need to go over here.

Ok but how do they work? Who gets paid to keep a connection alive?

All servers are online 24 / 7 if they are not worked on. They 'talk' to each other continuously to check if the connection is still there. Now we come to a paradox. When a netsplit ocurrs 'we' say the Server or hub got overloaded and it split away to protect itself. Wrong. The servers can never get overloaded. They can be flooded. They can be nuked. They can split away for numerous other reasons, but they can NOT get overloaded. When a server is full, they won't let you connect. That's it. They don't split away for too much data, they split away because they don't have time to talk to each other.

Then what happens?

When a server is full with connections its starts to lag a bit. This is normal because the connection is supposed to handle so much traffic. (most servers can handle 2000+ connections) Let's say we have 100 users and they all are on 2 channels with 100 users. They say Hi on both channels they are in. Then the server must send Hi 100 x 100 x 2 x 32. When sending this much data the connection to the next server can be affected.

Now that one person says this is not a problem, but just think about when we get all those people flooding us with text :o/ . The server stops sending its 'pings' to the next server and that server does not see that connection as a live one. This is what we call Ping Timeout. The servers next to it do not get an answer and therefore it starts looking for a better connection. So the server that lags too much splits away (looses its connection to the network). When this happens to a major server that serves as a Routing Hub also we get a huge netsplit. All servers connected to that hub go with it and then forms two separate networks. This is something that often happens to Europe Vs US.

I know this is hard to read, it would seem like I am talking against myself in matter of overloaded servers and hubs but I'm not, lol. For a server or hub to be overloaded it would take in more connections then its set up to do, and it won't. In this case the server will tell you, Sorry your connection class is full. A server never accepts more connections then it is meant to handle, but when the network is -- or gets to a certain point -- it's the connections that start messing up and that is almost always what disconnects a server.

When a server merges, connects back to the network, we can get a server that is out of synch. You might notice this when you set a ban and a server lifts it immediately. What you can do is 3 things.

  1. Always try to connect to that server. Use a clone if needed but try. When you succeed, deop the remaining ops and Op them again. Reason: The server is lagged a bit. It doesn't see you as an Op and therefore uses its protection against server Ops and deops you or unban your bans. When you do this procedure it will recognize you as an Op and approve your actions.

  2. If you can get hold of a 450 OP, ask them to make W cycle the channel. This is because W is on a server of its own. When the desynched server see W again as op it will not take actions against Server Ops and such since W has higher access then a server and also handles this problem. See, This works as #beginner OP ranking also. :o)

  3. Get holds of an IRCop and tell them to clear channel. This prolly won't be done unless we are about to loose the channel, but it's worth a shot.

All servers are donated by someone, mostly universities and big ISP's, as well as a couple of private servers. Therefore No One gets paid to keep a server, it's all based on the generosity of others.

You can also get statistics information from a server check, o-lines , k-lines , g-lines and the list is long. Just type /stats g (g = g-lines , k = k-lines and so on) All commands you get from a server are called 'Raw command' This is a numerical command that your client can resolve into a text, action, or mode.

IRC was created in 1988 by Jarkko Oikarinen. It started in Finland and is now used in over 70 countries around the world. IRC is simple when it comes to how it works. When you type a line of text, that line goes to the server you are using. Then, that server is linked to all the other Undernet servers, and the line you typed is displayed there to the other users in the group.

The Undernet contains 46 servers in total + 6 routing hubs. (as of July 1999) Note: All the servers are not visible other when you do a /map or /link command. The most used server is NewBrunswick with over 70,000 connections a day.

Hope this file helps a little bit towards coming to terms with all that tech stuff going around and mainly all the other things you never get to try out.

Raphsody has written additional help pages for us, you can find them here:

Copyright 1999 Raphsody Questions or comments. mailto: raphsody@citykop.com