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A redundant network for an optimal operational reliability
By: Larissa Wiedeman
Last week, one of the largest and most important internet exchanges in the world, the AMS-IX, was briefly offline. A number of important websites, like Nu.nl, Facebook.com and Tweakers.net were not available to a large part of their clients. Availability is crucial for many companies and that makes it important for their ISP to not only run on a redundant infrastructure, but also on a redundant network.
An internet connection is not a standard product. The quality of your internet access is strongly dependent on the way your ISP has arranged the connection to the world outside of your own network. BIT devotes maximum care to that connection and makes choices based purely on quality, without commercial or business constraints. This means that BIT does not want to be dependent on one internet exchange or one transit partner. To be able to offer a network that is as optimal as possible, we use multiple internet exchanges and multiple transit partners. If for some reason one of our parties suffers from a disruption, our clients can be confident that they will not be inconvenienced.
BIT has a core network between six locations. A fibre optic ring runs between four of these locations: BIT-1 (Ede), BIT-2 (Ede), SARA (Amsterdam) and Telecity 2 (Amsterdam). Additionally, BIT is present in London and Frankfurt. BIT rents rack space in the two Amsterdam and two foreign locations (big datacenters where many ISPs, transit providers and carriers are present). BIT-1 and BIT-2 are owned by BIT.
For connections to the networks of distant ISPs, we collaborate with transit partners: parties that connect us to networks that are not present on the same internet exchanges as BIT. We select our transit partners based on quality and the reach of their network. For every connection, we have a minimum of two transit partners, while there are multiple routes to the same connection within each transit partner's network. So if, for whatever reason, a route or a transit partners fails, we always have an alternative.