= N =
network meltdown n.
A state of complete network overload;
the network equivalent of thrashing. This may be induced by a
Chernobyl packet. See also broadcast storm, kamikaze packet.
Network meltdown is often a result of network designs that are
optimized for a steady state of moderate load and don't cope well
with the very jagged, bursty usage patterns of the real world. One
amusing instance of this is triggered by the popular and very
bloody shoot-'em-up game Doom on the PC. When used in
multiplayer mode over a network, the game uses broadcast packets to
inform other machines when bullets are fired. This causes problems
with weapons like the chain gun which fire rapidly -- it can blast
the network into a meltdown state just as easily as it shreds
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.