T3 or not to T3

Dean Gaudet dgaudet at hotwired.com
Sun Jul 21 23:14:34 UTC 1996

I've been doing a lot of reading and thinking on what the best solution
is for an application that initially requires approximately 15Mbps
outgoing and 8Mbps incoming (as viewed from my router), and talks with
500000 unique hosts daily (i.e. has fairly wide coverage of the net).
The application involves at least thirty machines, so colocation is likely
to be cost-prohibitive.  A single T3, or frac T3 isn't an option because
there isn't a single provider that I can trust for the availability
we want.  Even ignoring availability, I seriously doubt that any
provider can consistently fill a single customer's T3 pipe these days.
>From stuff I've seen here and elsewhere I think the most important reason
for this is congestion at NAPs making it impossible to suck (or shove)
lots of bandwidth at anything but your provider's backbone.  Taking all
of this into account, I'm really leaning towards a solution that involves
lots of small pipes to lots of providers.  Essentially eliminating the
need for 90% of our packets to traverse NAPs by using each backbone
mostly for their own customers.

Now that I've done my homework, I'd like to hear comments from some
of the more experienced folk here.

I haven't considered yet the maintenance/logistical cost of managing
15 T1s to 6 or 7 providers vs. the "ease" of two frac-T3s to two providers.

>From a provider's point of view, if a site wanted to connect, and was
willing to sign a use-policy saying they wouldn't use the connection
for transit to other providers (i.e. would only ask for customer BGP and
only route to the nets you provide in BGP updates), would that site have
lower costs associated with it?  (that you could pass on?)


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