Best way to supply colo customer with specific provider

Steve Gibbard scg at
Wed Jan 31 04:40:17 UTC 2007

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

- 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 

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 would.

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 

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?
> Thanks,
> Rick Kunkel

More information about the NANOG mailing list