TechSpeak – Network Hardware
I was looking through the web hosts’ sites yesterday – when I came across an odd jumble of numbers and letters at the Nocster site, detailing the company’s network information.
“The Cisco™ GSR12000/7200VXR based network maintains BGP4 redundant connectivity over GIG-E uplinks to XO™ Communications, Global Crossing™, Verio™, & Cogent™, carried over OC12/GIG-E via CTSI™ & XO™ (pending) diverse path fiber. 24/7/365 Network Operations Center monitoring of all locations, including POPs in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, & Philadelphia.”
I was left with a not-so-bright look on my face. It could have been Ferengi speak for all I could understand of it. Which made me wonder, do potential customers ever really ‘get’ what all that techie speak is about?
For the benefit our mutual understanding, I conducted some research. The results are below.
First, let’s figure out what all those acronyms actually mean.
BGP4 – BGP means Border Gateway Protocol, is an inter-Autonomous System routing (a technique by which data finds its way from one host computer to another protocol used to exchange routing information across the Internet and is the only one designed to deal with a network of the Internet’s size. It is one of the most important protocols on the Internet because all internet service providers must use BGP to establish routing between one another. BGP4 is the fourth and only version that has been in use since 1994.
GIG-E – Gigabit Ethernet, is a transmission technology based on the Ethernet frame format and protocol used in local area networks (LANs). It provides a data rate of 1 billion bits per second (one gigabit), and is currently being used as the backbone (A backbone is a larger transmission line that carries data gathered from smaller lines that interconnect with it. ) in many enterprise networks. Gigabit Ethernet is carried primarily on optical fiber and is defined in the IEEE 802.3 standard.
OC12 – Synchronous Optical Networks (SONET) include a set of signal rate multiples for transmitting digital signals on optical fiber and the base rate (Optical Carrier-1) is 51.84 Mbps. OC12 is a high end multimegabyte circuit for fiber optic able to transmit signals at 622.080Mbps.
POPs – stands for point-of-presence which is an access point to the Internet and necessarily has a unique Internet Protocol address. A POP usually includes routers, digital/analog call aggregators, servers and frequently, frame relays or switches. The number of POPs that Internet service providers or online service providers have is sometimes used as a measure of its size or growth rate.
Given the above definitions, what then do I make of that particular Nocster.net blurb?
That the host has a network based on series Internet routers from Cisco that maintains redundant connectivity, compliant with the BGP4 routing protocol, and able to carry gigabits of data over XO™ Communications, Global Crossing™, Verio™, & Cogent™ uplinks at 622.080Mbps via a CTSI™ & XO™ (pending) diverse path fiber (Read: very very fast, which webmasters really want). And that the company’s Network Operations Center monitors all locations, including access points in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, & Philadelphia, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.