A Baker’s Dozen, 2013 Edition

It has 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 rankings fared over the previous year. The rapid and continuous evolution of the Internet’s structure and performance remains a huge blind spot for most enterprises, even those critically dependent […]

A Baker’s Dozen, 2012 Edition

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 20092010 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.

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A Baker’s Dozen, 2011 Edition

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.

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A Baker’s Dozen, 2010 Edition

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. In 2008, we chose to look at the 13 providers that spent time in the Top Ten in our rankings, hence the name “Baker’s Dozen“. We looked at the same group last year, although there were signs of impending turmoil. Can Level 3 maintain its hold on the top spot? Is Sprint still stumbling? Do Cogent and Qwest have what it takes to stay on the list? Find the answer to these questions and more in the 2010 edition of the Baker’s Dozen!

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A Baker’s Dozen in 2009

As our regular readers know, Renesys collects a lot of Internet routing data, using it to create reports and products based on hard facts and objective analysis. Perhaps the only controversial thing we do with our data is to rank all the service providers in the world: globally, by geography, and by market segment. The rankings are a rather crude measure of size, as they are based entirely on the quantity of IP space ultimately transited by each provider. However, it’s the ranking trends that are more revealing than any absolute number. Who is adding customers? Who is losing them or just standing still? Changes in IP transit answer these questions and more. Although there are obvious shortcomings in this approach, it is certainly objective and the process is fully automated. All of our rankings are updated daily and available via our Market Intelligence offering. In this posting, we will take a look at the top 13 providers in the world for 2009 and how they have jockeyed for position throughout the year, similar in spirit to our December 2008 blog, which provides more details about our methodology. We will see what a difference a year has made and highlight some of the more interesting changes.

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Rising to the Top: A Baker’s Dozen

As readers of this blog will know, Renesys collects Internet routing data — a lot of it. We use this data in a variety of ways: in determining the impact of cable breaks, natural disasters and deliberate partitionings; in uncovering the source of hijacks or other questionable activity; in analyzing Internet business relationships; and in exploring “what-if” scenarios.

All of our reports and products are based on hard facts and objective analysis. Perhaps the only controversial thing we do with our data is to rank all the service providers in the world: globally, by geography, and by market segment. The rankings are a rather crude measure of size, as they are based entirely on the quantity of IP space ultimately transited by each provider. Although there are obvious shortcomings in this approach, it is certainly objective and the process is fully automated. It also happens to be derived from data that is readily available for all providers. Routing data, unlike most other metrics we could consider using, is inherently public.

While everyone wants to be #1 (hence the controversy around rankings), changes in rank can be far more revealing than the actual rank itself. In other words, while there are surely big differences between #1 and #50 in our AS rankings, the differences between #5 and #6 are much less clear given the nature of the metric. What we tend to look for are abrupt changes and long-term trends. Did a provider just jump in the rankings? Maybe they picked up a large customer or a nearby rival lost one? Who was it? Is another provider showing steady gains in the rankings? Maybe they are consistently taking market share with an aggressive, well-executed business plan in a particular part of the world? This is why changes in rankings matter: they capture some of the dynamics of the business of providing Internet service. With this in mind, we will take a look at the top 13 providers in the world for 2008 and how they have jockeyed for position throughout the year. We will also highlight some of the more interesting changes.

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