an over-the-top data center

Patrick W. Gilmore patrick at
Mon Dec 1 14:08:09 UTC 2008

On Dec 1, 2008, at 4:58 AM, Måns Nilsson wrote:
> --On söndag, söndag 30 nov 2008 23.05.01 -0500 "Patrick W. Gilmore"
> <patrick at> wrote:

> In Sweden, the reason to not choose NetNod (and to go with the smaller
> exchangepoints) is price and only price. No swedish ISP I know of has
> stated that the fact that the Stokab fibre is bought by the IXP and  
> not the
> ISP is a problem per se. Some might have a better wholesale deal than
> NetNod has but that is still just about price.

I don't think any IXP can become a significant player on the Internet  
today by only attracting participants from the country in question.   
The Internet is not bound by political borders.  (Usually. :)

>> Now compare that to forcing every single participant to use unknown  
>> fiber
>> paths into an unknown facility.  When are these fibers groomed, and  
>> onto
>> which unknown paths?  Which fiber maintenance schedules might  
>> impact me
>> without my knowledge?  Which construction projects elsewhere in the  
>> city
>> might take me down and there's no way for me to even predict that?   
>> Etc.,
>> etc.
> The fiber paths into these facilities are national security issues.  
> Expect
> them to be guarded accordingly (as in running them in specially  
> blasted
> tunnels 30-60 meters down in the ground for the last aggregated path  
> to the
> facility). I have not experienced more unpredictability nor more  
> outages
> because Netnod buys the cable than when the ISP does. Same cable. And
> Stokab does indeed know where the cables are.

I'm glad to hear the fibers seem to be stable.  Past performance is no  
guarantee of future profits and all that, but it is good to know care  
has been taken in the past.

As for the blasting of tunnels and national security angle, this is an  
IXP, not nuclear missile launch control.  It should not be your only  
vector to get bits from point A to B.  And if it is, then you have a  
larger problem than worrying about the facility withstanding physical  

And no, attaching to multiple NetNod nodes is not a solution, since  
only Stockholm has a large number of participants.

End of day, an IXP is not some magical thing.  It is an ethernet  
switch allowing multiple networks to exchange traffic more easily than  
direct interconnection - and that is all it should be.  It should not  
be mission critical.  Treating it as such raises the cost, and  
therefore barrier to entry, which lowers its value.


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