uke's iPhone mystery reportedly resolved
By John Cox, Network World, 07/20/07
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The Duke University wireless problem involving a few Apple iPhones has been resolved, according to Apple. But so far, neither Apple nor Duke has released any details about the cause of, or solution to, a problem that ignited a tidal wave of interest among IT professionals and bloggers on the Internet.
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A Duke spokesperson, via e-mail, says “We are still trying to get details about this ourselves.” Whether the “we” referred to Duke’s IT staff or the PR staff was not clear. E-mails to Duke’s CIO and deputy CIO had not yet received a reply. Confirmation of the resolution came via a short e-mail from an Apple spokesperson.
The wireless problem crystallized exactly a week ago, on Friday, July 13, as it happens, when Duke’s IT staff identified the source of intermittent floods of Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) requests as at least two Apple iPhones connecting via the phone’s built in wireless LAN adapter to Duke’s campus-wide net. The ARP floods, up to 30,000 requests per second, knocked offline sometimes as many as 30 access points, for 10 to 15 minutes.
As of last Tuesday, the last day Duke provided any details of the ongoing problem, nine such events had been recorded. The IT staff have been working with both Cisco, the school’s WLAN vendor, and Apple to puzzle out the problem.
They had plenty of help, from amateurs, experts and would-be experts who debated the possible causes, and assigned blame, in online forums at NetworkWorld.com and dozens of other Web sites.