COMMUNITY OF INTEREST NETWORKING
Enterprise Community of Interest Networks (CoINs) using VPLS and MPLS
Our Company‘s founding mission was to build a distributed Internet Exchange, using Layer 2 Ethernet over MPLS technology. This infrastructure also allows the Company to provide point to multi-point Ethernet connectivity as well as the wide area peering services. This model was well received and now over 120 networks are peering over the PacketExchange network.
Increasingly the business community is looking to connect with their partners, supply chain and customers in a manner that will drive business advantage. Whereas leased line circuits have proven to be too expensive to justify building the necessary infrastructure, PacketExchange is able to deploy wide area community networks, sometimes referred to as Community of Interest Networks (CoINs), which allow business to innovate and become more connected in a cost-effective manner.
Fig. 1: This shows a BGP enabled international CoIN with PacketExchange managed route servers
While PacketExchange has always had wide area peering at its core, customers have adopted the technologies present within the peering fabrics to create Community of Interest Networks spanning the continents. This has allowed them to create wide area intranets for their own use linking remote offices and customer facing extranets to allow them to share data with remote customers. While seemingly bespoke in nature as each customer has their own demands, the technology, delivery and support remain the same core skills albeit deployed in new ways. These have also allowed PacketExchange to develop strong relationships with many service providers worldwide as we have pulled together diverse network elements to create single customer solutions.
A CoIN is uniquely delivered across the wide area using a combination of VPLS and MPLS transport services to create a virtual any-to-any Ethernet network. This virtual Ethernet network has all the technical attributes of a traditional Ethernet LAN, with the added benefit of using underlying MPLS based wide area technologies to improve scalability and fast re-route functionality.
Customers can connect to the service over a single VLAN from a single port and all connections appear to be on the same LAN, regardless of the remote member‘s actual geographical location. The extensive reach of the platform greatly increases accessibility and allows multiple, remote office branches or customers to connect to a shared Ethernet broadcast medium and exchange traffic over the wide area as if it were a traditional metro exchange point.
The service is supported by capacity guarantees and SLAs and unlike an IP Transit network, is only ever one IP hop away from one destination, delivering greatly reduced, predictable latencies.
Routing information can be exchanged between CoIN members using any relevant routing protocol supported by the community as the transparent Ethernet service is agnostic of any upper level protocol or application functionality. This gives networks the ability to extend the reach of their IGP domains and continue to use standard enterprise routing protocols such as RIP, EIGRP or OSPF if BGP is not an option.
For CoIN networks that need to be BGP enabled, PacketExchange offers a fully maintained multilateral route-server based service. Route-server based peering reduces the usual administrative overheads associated with maintaining many individual peering sessions and lowers the barrier to entry. Each member exchanges BGP routing information with the two PacketExchange route-servers and these routes are then reflected to each client with a next hop of the originating member. The route-server implementation comes with an extensive set of optional BGP community based filtering mechanisms.
The peering capability and knowledge personnel have gained over the years uniquely positions PacketExchange to create and deploy innovative solutions to the ongoing issues of ensuring that traffic traverses from source to consumer in the best possible way – each and every time. We aim to protect the revenue stream and respect the fact that our customers‘ customers will only keep paying if the quality of service matches expectations. In today‘s online and real time environment, there is small margin for error.
- Contact us to find out more about Community of Interest Networking.