Remember the Information Superhighway? It’s what some folks used to call the Internet back in the 1990s. Those of us lucky enough to have access from home were using dial-up modems that were over 1,000 times slower than the cable modem I’m using right now. Nothing very Super about that and the Internet has never […]
It is an annual tradition at Renesys to provide a year-end review of how the Internet providers at the top of our Market Intelligence global AS rankings fared over the previous year. The Internet remains a huge blind spot for many organizations that are buying Internet access. Market Intelligence provides the insight into who the leaders in the Internet transit marketplace are today and how they have changed over time. Back in 2008, we chose to look at the 13 providers that spent at least some time in the Top Ten that year,hence the name “Baker’s Dozen“. We looked at the top players again in 2009, 2010 and 2011. A lot has changed over the years and for 2012, we welcome two new members to this exclusive club,PCCW and XO. As predicted last year, we also say good-bye to a declining AT&T and Savvis. While AT&T’s departure from the top of the global stage may be surprising to some, Savvis really hasn’t left as it is now part of CenturyLink, which also owns Qwest. And while Qwest did leave our top global rankings in 2011, they have now returned as part of a reinvigorated CenturyLink.
As you read this blog, keep in mind that all of the rankings we discuss are relative to IPv4, the Internet protocol carrying over 99% of all Internet traffic. (For example, compare total traffic to IPv6 traffic at the very busy Amsterdam Internet Exchange.) While we did also review IPv6 rankings last year, so little has changed that we’ll just refer you to that blog or, for more current information, our Market Intelligence product offering which covers both IPv4 and IPv6 in detail. So let’s dive in and highlight a few of the trends and changes we observed in 2012.
It’s become an annual tradition at Renesys to provide a year-end review of how the Internet providers at the top of our Market Intelligence global AS rankings fared over the previous year. Back in 2008, we chose to look at the 13 providers that spent time in the Top Ten in our IPv4 rankings, hence the name “Baker’s Dozen“. We looked at the same group in 2009 and 2010. This year, we welcome a new member to the group, Telecom Italia Sparkle, or simply Sparkle, and say good-bye to Qwest. We report on a resurgent Cogent and a declining AT&T and Savvis. These latter carriers will probably disappear entirely from next year’s edition to be replaced with the likes of PCCW or perhaps Hurricane Electric. Finally, in this edition, we’ll take our first glimpse at global IPv6 rankings. Complete ranking information about the IPv6 Internet is now part of our Market Intelligence product offering. So let’s dive into the data and highlight some trends and changes we observed in 2011.
Today is World IPv6 Day, a day when major content providers have agreed to furnish service over IPv6 for a 24-hour test period. Hopefully, you didn’t notice anything different about your Internet experience today, but providers will have gained valuable experience with the technology and any technical hurdles that remain to be overcome. In this blog, we’ll report on how far into the IPv4-to-IPv6 transition we actually are and, more importantly, just how far we have to go. There is no denying that there has been a tremendous amount of progress in the last decade or so, but much remains to be done and we are only at the very beginning of a long process.
About two weeks ago, Level 3 announced plans to acquire Global Crossing and we blogged on the enormous size and scope of the new entity, which we called Level Crossing. This week, CenturyLink, a regional US phone company, agreed to acquire Savvis. Since CenturyLink also owns Qwest, we are seeing another merger of two Tier-1 Internet providers, a pairing which we’ll label Qwavvis. In what follows, we examine the possible business considerations behind the move, as well as the impact on Internet transit customers and Renesys Market Intelligence rankings.
On Monday, 11 April 2011, Level 3 announced they had entered a definitive agreement to acquire Global Crossing. According to the Renesys Market Intelligence rankings, this merger would bring together the world’s #1 and #2 global providers, with over half the Internet market on earth dependent on the combined entity. If the deal gained regulatory approval in the US and elsewhere today, how would the Internet provider landscape change? We’ll answer that question in this blog, giving the proposed union a fictional name of Level Crossing for the purposes of our discussion.
As of approximately 20:46 UTC, four hours after this blog was first published, Noor started disappearing from the Internet. They are completely unavailable at present as shown below
As we observed last week, Egypt took the unprecedented step of withdrawing from the Internet. The government didn’t simply block Twitter and Facebook (an increasingly common tactic of regimes under fire), but rather they apparently ordered most major Egyptian providers to cease service via their international providers, effectively removing Egyptian IP space from the global Internet and cutting off essentially all access to the outside world via this medium. The only way out now would be via traditional phone calls, assuming they left that system up, or via satellite. We thought the Internet ban would be temporary, but much to our surprise, the situation has not changed. One of the few Egyptian providers reachable today, four days after the start of the crisis, is The Noor Group. In this blog, we’ll take a quick look at them and some of the businesses they serve.
Last week, we looked at the problem of incorrect DNS answers emanating from China and the potential impact on Internet users outside the country. In this blog, we’ll consider a proposed and partially implemented solution (DNSSEC) and the broader problem of hosting global services in any country known to tamper with Internet traffic. We’ll even suggest a rating system from one to five stars for evaluating countries, and we’ll note that while the US was once a 5 on this scale (highest rating), it is currently a 4 and might be headed to a 3 or 2. In general, the direction for the world seems to be for a less open and more censored Internet, and that is the truly unfortunate part of this story.
There’s been sudden interest recently in a Chinese route hijacking incident that occurred way back in April, brought about by a new report to the US Congress that highlighted the event (see pages 236-247). A second Chinese event, also in the report, has received almost no attention despite being much more interesting (technically, anyway). A Chinese DNS censorship incident occurred just one month earlier, in March, and although we already presented an analysis of that event (here and here), today we’ll provide an update on the incident and its scope. But first, let’s step back and get some context on events such as these, and see if the hype is warranted.
We’ve all heard about the wonders of cloud computing. Take your corporate web server, your email servers, your calendar software and even your business plans and other important documents and throw them all into “the cloud”. No more finicky hardware to maintain, buggy software to patch or data backups to worry about. Outsource all of those headaches and enjoy reading your email from the beach on your phone.
Of course, nothing is ever that simple. Like any outsourced solution, you will need to perform due diligence. Is your cloud service provider technically and financially sound? Have they acquired sufficient diversity with respect to their Internet connectivity? Do they comply with all applicable regulations for your jurisdiction? Are there potential physical problems at their hosting locations, such as exposure to the threat of earthquakes or hurricanes? You can probably figure all of this out. But there is another threat that your due diligence will certainly fail to expose: the threat of your cloud neighbors. If you end up with the wrong ones, you may suffer as a result of their bad behavior or simply because of the content they host. This blog examines a few examples of this potential problem.