Core Network & Backbone Connectivity
Our fully redundant core network and backbone connectivity is unsurpassed in its efficiency and performance. With eleven separate sites, located in five different states on both coasts and central US, and fully redundant architecture out of all of our data centres, our network offers extremely low latency, no packet loss, and, best of all, direct connectivity to all major global tier 1 backbones and other major networks & ISPs. This unique combination provides a superior network infrastructure with an unmatched quality of service.
Our core network consists of eleven (11) sites, located at five states, coast-to-coast. DCA2 - our second state-of-the-art data centre, including numerous advanced features such as support for geographically dispersed high-availability clusters, US military / NSA standards compliant "tempest room," multiple telco PoPs on-site (Looking Glass Networks, Level 3, MCI, Verizon Business, Cogent, etc.), multiple Gigabit transit & peering capacity, and numerous advanced geographically dispersed hosting options; located in prestigious Tyson's Corner, McLean, Virginia DCA3 - our latest - fourth - state-of-the-art data centre, including numerous key features such as support for geographically dispersed high-availability clusters, fully redundant power infrastructure (parallel, redundant, generators and four parallel redundant sets comprised of eight UPS systems total), multiple Gigabit transit & peering capacity; located in central Springfield, Virginia IAD1 - network presence for peering with major networks/backbones, ISPs, cable and DSL providers; also for transit sales and direct commercial transit connections; located at Equinix in Ashburn, Virginia NYC1 - network presence at NYIIX, for peering with major networks/backbones, ISPs, cable and DSL providers; especially many European networks are located at NYIIX; located at Telehouse in New York, New York NYC2 - further network presence in New York for peering; located at 111 8th Ave. in New York, New York CHI1 - network presence for peering with major networks/backbones, ISPs, cable and DSL providers; especially many Canadian networks are located at Equinix Chicago; located at Equinix in Chicago, Illinois PAO1 - network presence at PAIX, for peering with major networks/backbones, ISPs, cable and DSL providers; especially many Asian networks are located at PAIX; also for transit sales and direct commercial transit connections; located at Switch & Data in Palo Alto, California SJC1 - network presence at Any2 San Jose, for peering with major networks/backbones, ISPs, cable and DSL providers; located at CRG West in San Jose, California LAX1 - network presence at Any2 Los Angeles, for peering with major networks/backbones, ISPs, cable and DSL providers; especially many Asian networks are located at Any2 LAX; located at CRG West in Los Angeles, California SEA1 - network presence at SIX & PAIX, for peering with major networks/backbones, ISPs, cable and DSL providers; also for transit sales and direct commercial transit connections; located at the Westin Building in Seattle, Washington SEA2 - our third state-of-the-art data centre, OnFiber, ELI, Integra Telecom, Level 3 and AboveNet (MFN) PoPs on site, and many others nearby, multiple Gigabit transit & peering capacity, and numerous advanced geographically dispersed hosting options; located in high-tech Seattle, Washington Our network is legacy-free and only utilizes the latest in Cisco internetworking equipment.The network is fully redundant at each and every level possible, there being no single point of failure. The network is fully fault tolerant and able to withstand a major disaster.
Physical Network Infrastructure
The physical layer of our network consists of a number of interconnected private OC-192 SONET rings. Our Virginia & DC multiple OC-192 SONET rings are operated by Level 3 (former Looking Glass Networks) and Cox Communications, while in Seattle we use OnFiber, Q.West, ELI & Integra Telecom redundant SONET rings. Our transport between Ashburn, VA, Chicago, IL, Palo Alto, CA and Seattle, WA is provided over redundant Level 3 and Global Crossing SONET rings, while to New York we are using Level 3 (former Looking Glass Networks). All of our fibre carriers are financially healthy and well known major telecoms with proven 100% uptime and reliability (Looking Glass Networks, Level 3, Cox Communications, OnFiber, Q.West, ELI, and Integra Telecom). The OC-192 SONET rings consist of two redundant OC-192s traversing two separate paths and having two diverse routes to our facilities, thus providing the ultimate in reliability and performance. Even if both of the lines are cut at any point, the SONET ring is still operational, with less than 50 ms (0.05 second) self-healing restoration time. The multiple private SONET rings provide us the ultimate in reliability: no downtime even in the case of a major fibre cut in the area (due to separate paths and multiple fibre carriers).
Physical Connect Locations for our Tier 1 Backbone Providers:
- DCA2 - Level 3: McLean, Virginia
- DCA3 - Global Crossing: NW Washington, DC
- DCA3 - Global Crossing: NW Washington, DC
- SEA2 - Level 3: Seattle, Washington
- SEA2 - Q.West: Tukwila, Washington
- SEA1 - Global Crossing: Seattle, Washington
Traffic from each one of our sites considers all the outgoing routes - including routes through all the other sites - weighted for physical distance, reliability, performance and latency, and picks the most direct, lowest latency route available to the destination. That is, all the packets take the most direct, fastest, way out and have a full BGP selection of all the transit providers and peers at all the sites, not just the transit/peering lines present at that particular site. The network is fully inter-connected and meshed.
In addition to buying commercial transit from the world's major tier 1 backbones, we also have an extensive peering network established. Peering is the process whereby one network provider, such as us, connects to another one directly -- bypassing the "middlemen" (intermediary networks). Peering provides a more direct, faster, and shorter route than transit by bypassing other third-party networks, resulting in considerable performance & reliability gains. However, very few networks engage in peering, as typically a coast-to-coast IP backbone is required for a network to qualify for peering (so only very large national or International Internet networks even qualify to peer), and it is considerably more costly and time-consuming to maintain many 100s, if not 1000s, of peering connections, vs. just a few transit links. We, however, always go for the best and invest the time and the resources necessary in order to ensure that our customers enjoy performance that is truly "Ahead of the Rest."® We have a large number of peer sessions (over 500), composed of major national & international backbones, ISPs and content providers, at the Equinix Exchanges (IBX'es) in Ashburn, VA and Chicago, IL, at NYIIX in New York, NY, at PAIX in Palo Alto, CA and Seattle, WA, at the SIX in Seattle, WA, and at Any2 in both Los Angeles, CA and San Jose, CA, in addition to a number of private peering inter-connects. A partial list of our peers follows, below. Note that new peers are added on a regular basis, so, the list below may not be complete and up-to-date. For redundancy and optimal performance, we peer with most peers at multiple locations.
Further Advantages of Our Network
The northern Virginia / DC area is an ideal location for a data centre. A very significant portion of the world's Internet traffic passes through here, and the area is not subject to earthquakes, tornadoes, floods or other natural disasters. With two data centres in Northern Virginia, and a West Coast data centre in Seattle, WA, we are able to provide the ultimate in multi-site, geographically-dispersed, mission-critical hosting services. We are located at the true heart of the Internet, and in a very safe and secure area. This central location ensures optimal connectivity, speed, and routing, minimizing the number of hops - and thus the chance of any problems. We are located right beside a great number of of private and public peering points, in one of the most densely and best connected areas in the world, including directly peering at the Equinix Exchanges (IBX'es) in Ashburn, Virginia and Chicago, Illinois, at the NYIIX in NYC, New York, at PAIX in Palo Alto, CA and Seattle, WA , at the SIX in Seattle, WA, and at Any2 in both Los Angeles, CA and San Jose, CA. All providers have multiple, redundant routes into the DC/VA area. This is further built upon by our redundant connectivity to multiple Tier 1 providers via separate circuits, terminating at diverse locations in Virginia and the District of Columbia. We are redundantly set-up Internet connectivity wise (multiple backbone connectivity providers), as well as physically. In terms of fibre optics, we have multiple private OC-192 SONET rings with multiple financially-healthy fibre providers, taking different physical paths. Likewise in Seattle, we are located in a stable and level area (ground level of a well-built single story facility), providing the best resistance to earthquakes, and have multiple diverse-path fibre transport circuits with OnFiber, Q.West, ELI, Integra Telecom and Sabey. Seattle is one of America's best connected high-tech cities, and is an excellent base for high-performance, reliable Internet connectivity, and provides some of the most reliable power found anywhere. We have built our facilities in the best possible areas for Internet connectivity and electrical utility reliability, and then further reinforced them with redundancy in all the possible forms. For example, we are able to offer multiple location hosting with the advantages, such as low latency and direct connectivity of the same IP network, yet the redundancy and security of three separate Data Centres in two different states, over 2500 km physically apart (Virginia & Washington state). Under 5ms (0.005 second), 10 miles, apart DCA2 and DCA3 are available for ultra low-latency dual-location hosting needs, while DCA2 and/or DCA3 plus SEA2 add up to a 2500+ miles apart fully geographically redundant hosting, just some 70ms (0.07 second) apart, on the same reliable & secure coast-to-coast IP network. To ensure the best routing of our customers' data, in addition to peering, we also pay for commercial top-priority transit network capacity to our tier 1 backbone providers and have full burst capacity available at all times on all circuits. Thus we receive the highest level of service, including 99.99% or 100% uptime and no packet-loss guarantees, from all our connectivity providers. 90%+ of traffic from us to end users only passes over one or two backbones on its way to reaching the end destination. In addition, we are committed to under 50% network capacity utilization at all times; we ensure that our network always has double the capacity it needs, even at peak hours. Furthermore, our core network routers always have not only dual power supplies, but, where available, power feeds to each power supply from a different power grid & UPS system, thus ensuring the ultimate in reliability.
Our network design and operations ensure the very best connectivity, speed, and reliability possible: 100% network uptime, no packet loss, and under 3 ms low latency connection to Tier 1 backbones - guaranteed by our industry-leading SLA. Our Network & Backbone Connectivity in summary: eleven (11) sites with direct network presence in Virginia, New York, Illinois, California, and Washington state two Data Centres at the heart of the Internet - in Northern Virginia, one of the most naturally safe and best connected areas in North America a third Data Centre on the West Coast - in the high-tech hub area of Seattle, WA fully redundant AC & power at all sites physical fibre redundancy through multiple private OC-192 SONET rings with eight (8) separate financially strong and highly competent fibre carriers redundant network architecture using legacy-free, top-of-the-line Cisco equipment atGigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet speeds redundant, geographically dispersed, direct connectivity to all of the world's major tier 1 backbones over 500 peering sessions - most traffic goes directly to the destination network, bypassing any intermediary transit carriers BGP enabled network consists of a variety of backbone providers, each providing connectivity that enables our customers around the globe to get the fastest most reliable service for their money