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.
Early last month, my blog “Pinning Down Latency” included this prediction:
In the coming weeks we expect to see a dramatic shift in transit as Lebanese providers move away from expensive and high-latency satellite service to IMEWE-based service.
Well, it didn’t take long for this to play out.
Undersea cables are expensive to install. But if you’re an Asian Internet hub trying to connect to other Asian Internet hubs across un-cabled waters, what else can you do?
Well, one alternative we see is Internet Providers heading to California, as many Asian providers opt for Internet paths out of Asia to the west coast of the US, and then back to Asia. These tortuous routes, aptly called hair-pinning (observe their supple shapes), may be cost-effective initially, but generate latency, which can be a problem for some businesses (and their end users).
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.
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!
The view from seat 22A
Long ago in a faraway Internet backbone galaxy
You remember 2005, don’t you? Back then you could book wholesale IP transit for about $15 (€18 in Europe) per megabit a month. Data volume commits were much smaller then, as little as 1Gb. Those were the good old days. Today, traffic volumes have increased by as much as 10 times, yet many providers have seen little growth in total IP transit revenues.
Until this year, Iranian companies participated in the Internet primarily as consumers of international bandwidth. In 2010, however, they have expanded their scope. Earlier this year the Iranian state telecommunications company began providing Internet transit services in Afghanistan and Iraq, acting as a carrier for both commercial and government traffic. Over the next few days, we’ll take a look at this interesting evolution, and speculate a bit about what it might mean for the growth of the Eurasian Internet.
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.