On Friday, 29 June 2018, Comcast suffered a major outage that impacted their Xfinity service nationwide. As one commentator said, “for a minute there, it looked like the whole internet was down”. That’s a big deal, especially if you rely on cloud services to power IT at your company. If the network is down, it does not matter how capable (or how inexpensive) your provider’s services are. If you can’t reach your data center from your premise, or your customers can’t reach your website and applications, you are out of business until network service is restored. A massive network outage like this brings home the reality that to truly reap the benefits of services from a cloud provider, researching what’s available in their data center is not enough. Of equal, or perhaps greater importance is the network your provider relies upon to connect their service to your locations or customers.
In the light of what the internet just experienced, you need to ask your providers questions including:
- Do you provide network services along with your cloud offerings?
- Do you manage your own wide-area-network?
- If not, what providers do you use for network services?
- How diverse are your network connections into your facilities; how many different ISPs are you connected to?
The answers to these questions are very important in selecting a cloud provider because the cloud is only as good, or as reliable as, the network to which it is connected.
In the diverse and multi-faceted world of cloud providers, there are all types and kinds of service provides vying for your IT services dollars. Given the importance of network services to complement your cloud and data center services, the best option is to find a cloud provider that controls and manages as much of its network as possible. ServerCentral has its own multi-gigabit (10 Gbps + globally and 100 Gbps+ in our Chicago home market) backbone network connecting its global data centers. Our combined network / data center offerings can significantly improve your ability to survive and operate around outages like the one we saw last week.
The ServerCentral network:
- Utilizes four primary physically-diverse fiber paths between critical data centers in our home Chicago market, protecting against exactly the type of outage Comcast experienced this past week. Some providers only have a single connection, or a “redundant” connection that may travel the same physical path, making it vulnerable to the same externalities as the primary path.
- These paths are homed to separate critical systems (power and cooling) on both sides of the ring in Chicago.
- In addition to the primary fiber paths, we have three sets of circuits which are not dependent on our main connectivity hub in Chicago, which themselves have diverse physical paths.
- Incorporates physically-diverse redundant backbone network paths between all US and EU POPs where it is deployed, which enables us to route your all-important traffic around many regional service-impacting issues.
- Employs connections to multiple Tier 1 carriers, with available bandwidth far exceeding our normal daily traffic volume, which enables us to optimize delivery of your traffic despite many common issues such as congestion, maintenance activity, DDoS attacks or even simple misconfiguration.
ServerCentral’s network differentiates our services from those of many other cloud providers in the market and enables us to give our customers “peace of mind” regarding their ability to access data and applications in the cloud. ServerCentral’s industry leading cloud services offerings, combined with our world-class global network, are a dependable, reliable answer to the question your CIO is sure to ask in the wake of last weeks outage “How do we avoid the issues this massive outage caused so many companies last week?” The answer to that question is simple: ServerCentral.