About Our Network:
Customers connect to 4 Cisco 6509 routers. These routers have multiple connections to our backbone routers. Backbone routers are Junipers with multiple connections to our backbone OCn's.
The backbone is a Tier 1 backbone.
Our data center has connections to a multitude of different Internet backbones including UUNet, Sprint, Cable and Wireless, CRL, Qwest, Exodus, Agis and Net Axs. We also have private and direct peering DS3's set up between our location and that of American Online and PSI-Net. The data center also operates its own DS3 to Mae East to peer with many of the smaller Tier One providers as well as operating another DS3 to the ATM switch located there.
By connecting to multiple backbones, the data can be distributed through many sources. This architectural design also means that the network connections are not reliant on any single Internet backbone. In the event problems occur, traffic is automatically rerouted. This ensures the integrity of the network and continued access for our high-speed dedicated server clients. This takes the term "multi-homing" to a whole new level.
Current bandwidth utilization is 25% during peak traffic times. This assures network flexibility. If a particular backbone connection experiences problems, the traffic is simply rerouted over alternate paths. This ensures that users receive fast access times to sites hosted on our network.
Additionally, the network runs Border Gate Protocol (BGP4). BGP is used as a provider with more than one access point to the Internet. It helps create a truly redundant network. In fact, in an ideal situation, a lease line failure should result in the BGP routing session to close on the bad leased line and the router on a working circuit should then begin to accept the additional traffic.
In other words, traffic from a down circuit is redistributed across other circuits, thereby maintaining network integrity. Providers that are multi-homed and properly setup can actually be more reliable than a single backbone provider. This is because they have multiple paths to multiple providers.
About internal connectivity:
A provider's local area network is not often enough being seen as a point of latency. The two primary sources of latency for a full-time Internet connection are both the user's local area network and the ISP's local area network. The local network is anchored by Cisco 5500 Series ether switches and high-end Cisco routers (like a Cisco 7513). This top-of-the-line network hardware ensures that data requests get to their destination and back out of the network as fast as possible. We use ether switches instead of hubs because of their speed and their security capabilities. Whereas only one computer plugged into a hub can talk at one time, all the machines connected to a switch can talk at the same time. This means more data can travel through a switch and each server acts as its own node on the network. Furthermore, since each server is its own node on the network, it is difficult for hackers to trace data packets with sensitive information (i.e. passwords) to a particular server.
Servers on the network do not share a single path (T3). Instead, the servers are connected into a high-speed Ethernet switch. This switch is connected to the core router at the data center. From the core router, data is sent back to the end user across the fastest available path. Whereas statically routing traffic over one path creates a single point of failure, this distributed architecture ensures that users can access data extremely quickly and have multiple paths both into and out of our network.
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