North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Best way to supply colo customer with specific provider

  • From: Keith
  • Date: Thu Feb 01 11:41:26 2007

Just curious, the customer wants to purchase cogent bandwidth through you instead of going directly?

Wouldn't it be easier just to have Cogent run another connection to the Meet Me Room in your facility and just extend it to their cage or rack?

This seems like a lot of over engineering to me to provide a customer with Cogent bandwidth.

Andrew Gristina wrote:
another way is tunnel them to a border router that
interfaces with Cogent and deal with it at the border
router.  QinQ tunnel, GRE, IPSec, or whatever tunnel
type you can support and will service the type of
traffic your customer needs (L2 or L3).  If you have
multiple Cogent connections you might even be able to
DMVPN to the relevant points.  MPLS is another elegant
way to handle it, but if you have MPLS infrastructure,
you probably would have said so.

--- Steve Gibbard <[email protected]> wrote:

If you actually want to do this, you've got four

- Policy route, as mentioned below.
- Get the customer their own connection to Cogent.
- Have a border router that only talks to Cogent and
doesn't receive full
   routes from your core, and connect the customer
directly to that.
- Do something involving route servers and switches
outside your border
   routers, a-la-Equinix Direct.

The policy routing idea will work, for some
definition of work. I forget whether Cisco now has a fast
(non-processor-switched) path for policy routed traffic; they didn't yet when somebody
convinced me to try this many years ago. If nothing else, it will make a
mess of configuration and troubleshooting.

Getting the customer their own Cogent connection is
likely the least trouble, but may not save you as much on the
bandwidth cost as aggregating the customer's traffic into the rest of your traffic

Connecting the customer to a Cogent-only border
router works fine if you already have such a border router. If not, it may
require significant reengineering.

The route server suggestion is thrown out mainly as
a conceptual exercise. It would require a lot of design work.

All that said, if you're paying your engineers and
operations people developed world salaries, and paying major
well-connected city bandwidth rates, none of these suggestions should make your
accountants or your customer's accountants happy. You'll be saving a
bit on bandwidth costs while putting in large amounts of engineering time
that at best will do nothing useful for your other customers. Any way
you do this, you'll probably find that it costs you considerably more
than it would to give the customer your standard product.


On Tue, 30 Jan 2007, Rick Kunkel wrote:

Hello all,

Being relatively new to the colocation business,
we run into a fair number
of issues that we've never run into before. Got a
new one today, and
although I can think of kludgey ways to accomplish
what he wants, I'd
rather get some other ideas first...

We just had our first customer that's requesting
bandwidth exclusively
through a particular provider of ours (Cogent) at
less expensive pricing.
The money people here are up for it, but
obviously, they want to make sure
that he's confined to that Cogent connection.

So now of course we're attempting to figure out
the best way to do this,
and I figured that rather than reinventing the
wheel, I'd check to see how
others accomplish things like this.

The way I can imagine doing it is by using
route-maps to steer all of this
customer's traffic out the Cogent pipe, and
modifying our BGP
announcements by AS prepending on whatever block
or blocks we set aside to
be "Cogent-exclusive".

Again though, this seems to me to lack a certain
amount of, for lack of a
better word, "grace".

Any other suggestions?


Rick Kunkel

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