Honest Cogent opinions without rhetoric.

Jay Ford jay-ford at uiowa.edu
Wed Mar 8 16:28:20 UTC 2006

On Tue, 7 Mar 2006, Drew Weaver wrote:
> 	I am looking for user experiences for people who have purchased
> transit from cogent in the 300Mbps or up range as far as performance,
> stability, and any other measurable metric of quality you can come up
> with.
> 	We have heard a lot of negatives about them, about their pricing
> model, about their network, about de-peering with Level 3, etc. What we
> really need is actual information.


Assuming you're looking for operational detail, I'll offer some of my
experience with Cogent.  Note that some of this is deduced based on visible
symptoms, while some is closer to fact.

When I decided to go with Cogent as one of my providers, I knew I'd get no
more than I was paying for.  I just didn't know how that would manifest
itself.  Since then I've found out a few ways they reduce costs:
   o  few spare parts, such as using a parts depot in DC to cover Chicago
   o  fragile peering, both technically & contractually
   o  lack of well-published BGP knobs, such as communities to influence
      localpref... (they apparently exist, but are not well documented that
      I've been able to find)
   o  deferred hardware upgrades, such as using old 15454 cards which most
      folks had replaced due to stability & performance problems
   o  limited engineering coverage, requiring their NOC folks to drag in
      on-call folks while you wait

On the positive side:
   o  their NOC folks are responsive & willing to try to help
   o  it does work most of the time to reach most places
   o  it's cheap

As others have said, Cogent is a useful piece of a transit arrangement as
long as you go in with your eyes open.

Let me know if you want more detail on any of my experiences with them.

Jay Ford, Network Engineering Group, Information Technology Services
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242
email: jay-ford at uiowa.edu, phone: 319-335-5555, fax: 319-335-2951

More information about the NANOG mailing list