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22 Dec 2010

3 Parameters to Securing the Best IP Transit Service

A few years ago, many Internet Service Providers started to abandon IP transit in favor of creating or expanding their own IP networks.  This shift was largely attributed to low capacity prices on major markets, such as the United States and Western Europe.

However, ISPs learned that this turned out to be a costly venture.  In addition to buying capacity, service providers faced higher personal expenses than anticipated. They also discovered that it was more difficult to peer away capacity as expected.  Typically, ISPs are only able to peer away about 20 to 30 percent of their capacity.  To account for this, they must spend even more money on transit than simply purchasing IP transit in the first place.

When evaluating the related costs, a capacity and peering-based solution could end up costing twice as much as an IP transit solution, which is why so many ISPs are shifting back to their old ways.

The Ideal IP Transit Network

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In order to get the best possible IP transit service, you need to closely examine the SLAs.  To be more specific, you should put a strong emphasis on the following parameters:

Network Reach
The bigger the network, the greater your potential customer base is.  A larger network also means that the provider has better control of end-to-end network efficiency.

Number of Direct Connections
Responses times are impacted by the number of major networks with direct connections to the IP backbone.  Direct connections greatly reduce the physical distance packets need to travel over the network to reach their intended destination.  The more direct connections, the faster the response time, and the shorter the delay for end-users.

IP Transport Quality of Service
You will find that most IP transit SLAs promise a latency low enough to maintain a high performance.  However, several of them disregard potential problems that may cause parts of the network to become overwhelmed, thus affecting all users.  To ensure that important activities go uninterrupted, the IP transit service should support transport quality of service in order to prioritize real-time traffic.

Because building IP networks and peering has proven to be very cost prohibitive, IP transit is able to help ISPs and other companies save tremendously.  With the necessary capacity already in place, such a solution can be easily implemented extending service to new locations quickly and cost-effectively.

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