Peering in to the future

Posted in Spectrum Internet, nsuk on June 16th, 2014 by Tewdric_Marketing – 84 Comments

In basic terms, you wouldn’t consider delivering a parcel to someone a few minutes drive away by travelling via, say London, or even Amsterdam, and back first. But this is in effect what we do with our internet traffic.

An Internet Exchange, shortens the journey by allowing different Internet Service Providers, content providers (such as media companies, television companies etc) and others delivering services over IP, to interconnect directly rather than going through third party networks. It means the service providers’ network traffic doesn’t have to potentially travel huge distances to get from one network to another.

The usual way Service Providers connect to the internet is using ‘Transit’, when an end user or network operator pays another, usually larger operator to carry their Internet traffic for them. If there’s a problem however, such as a slow connection or packet loss, the network is at the mercy of its transit provider as it sends traffic across the internet on whatever path it chooses.  

In contrast, Peering is the process by which two or more service provider networks connect and exchange traffic directly, which decreases the time it takes to send and receive traffic, gives more control over network paths (networks can re-route when there’s a problem) and avoids having to pay third party transit costs.

Keeping local internet traffic on local infrastructure, by allowing multiple Service Providers to peer (interconnect) with each other across a single physical port is where an Internet Exchange comes in.

What does all of this mean for your business?

Joining an Internet Exchange provides a number of advantages for the service provider, business and end user, including:

  • Cost – Service Providers negotiate peering agreements with other service providers in the exchange which lowers or eliminates routing costs. These cost reductions can then be passed on to the end user.
  • Latency – The number of “hops” the servers need to make among networks to deliver data to its final destination is reduced in an Internet Exchange, reducing the time it takes for data to travel across the network and improving quality of services such as VoIP.
  • Bandwidth – reducing the distances data needs to travel reduces the cost of bandwidth hungry applications but also increases the amount of bandwidth available for applications that do need to send data over longer distances.
  • Resilience – Because the Internet Exchange is comprised of many service providers, organisations can access connectivity from any of the members in the Internet Exchange.  Therefore, the risk of being impacted from any single provider’s failure is greatly minimized. The nature of an Internet Exchange creates contingencies and redundancies.

Why does Wales need an Internet Exchange?

There are Internet Exchanges in Scotland, Ireland, Manchester, Leeds and London, so why does Wales need an Internet Exchange too?

Well, for a start building a local networking community helps businesses to thrive, it helps galvanise a local business community and bring economic advantages. It encourages the development of locally hosted content and services and increases the appeal to businesses wanting to invest locally. Aside from the advantages mentioned above, a local Internet Exchange also means improved access to local content which means increased usage of that content, all of which is good news for businesses and the Welsh economy.

Food for thought at Advantage IT Wales

Posted in Spectrum Internet, Tewdric, nsuk on December 12th, 2013 by Tewdric_Marketing – 96 Comments

On 6th December Tewdric brands Net Support UK and Spectrum Internet held the Advantage IT Wales event, supported by Microsoft and Cardiff and Newport Council, in the historic Pierhead Building Cardiff Bay to unveil the latest technology trends SMEs can take advantage of in 2014 and into the future.

Advantage IT Wales, sponsored by Nick Ramsay AM, was aimed at IT Managers, Managing Directors and Finance Directors wanting to find out more, trial the latest products and devices from Microsoft and get the best advice on their IT strategy for 2014.

Guest speaker, Microsoft’s Stuart Ball, provided an overview of the changing dynamics of the business world, not just in Wales but throughout the UK, and attendees had the opportunity to speak with knowledgeable IT specialists as well as being provided with information and demonstrations on Microsoft products such as Office 365, Lync and Yammer.

Also speaking at the event was Cardiff Council’s Jim Smart, leading the Super Connected Cities Scheme for Cardiff, who detailed how important superfast broadband is for businesses to maintain their competitive advantage and create opportunities.

For a summary of Advantage IT Wales click here to check out the storyboard on Storify

Giles Phelps, Managing Director of Spectrum Internet and Kevin Herbert, Operations Director at Net Support UK, spoke about how efficient IT systems and connectivity can increase productivity, reduce business costs and bring greater flexibility to operations; which is essential for all SMEs. Net Support UK celebrated its 15th birthday this year and wanted to encourage delegates to embrace change in their business and to support the youth of today in having a keen interest in digital technology.

With the New Year approaching we advise Welsh SMEs to speak to specialists at Net Support UK and Spectrum Internet regarding their current IT infrastructure and connectivity to find out how they can best take advantage of the technology and services available in 2014.



Are most organisations ready for the cloud?

Posted in Spectrum Internet, Tewdric, nsuk on May 11th, 2012 by TewdricBlogger – Comments Off

Tweet As I’ve been answering a journalist’s questions this week, I’ve also been thinking about the articles, blogs and presentations that I’ve given over the past three years on the subject of cloud based services. Ironically, three years ago we were calling them managed hosted services – which we had been doing for about seven years! So has anything actually changed or is it just PR spin? NSUK began offering remote back-up services to a number of companies who required storage and proper back-up processes that they couldn’t do themselves. Over time we began hosting other services too, like Microsoft Exchange. Now, it’s not uncommon for a customer to hold all the IT services with us. But one thing has definitely risen in popularity – the accessibility to these services. The likes of Google Apps and Microsoft 365 have brought low cost cloud services to the masses. Whilst it doesn’t offer the same flexibility as our private cloud services can, it could reduce the IT costs for a SME significantly. Plus as Internet connectivity (even broadband!) is improving in many places, connecting has become far more efficient than when we started ten years ago. So if you haven’t looked at hosting any of your services yet, you might be missing out and being left behind your competitors. Isn’t it worth a call to find out a bit more about it?

Is the UK’s infrastructure falling behind other nations?

Posted in Communic8, Spectrum Internet, Tewdric, nsuk on March 19th, 2012 by GilesP – Comments Off

I don’t normally read through the PM’s speeches but this one makes a lot of sense! http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2012/03/19/david-cameron-s-road-privatisation-sp If you don’t want to read through it, the key points are that he believes our Victorian-laid infrastructure may be a bit outdated and it’s having an effect on business. It may cost billions to put right but it’s investment in infrastructure that’s key right now. And he’s right! In my personal soap box corner, investing in good communications for your business can only be a good thing. Whilst the costs for fibre optics are high, there’s a really good reason for that -it’s so much better than those Victorian copper pairs that you are relying on for broadband. A business fibre ‘leased line’ really is an investment in the same way as is investing in your staff. You don’t just look at what an employee’s salary is to decide if they are going to help your business grow – do you? So why do it with fibre? (and by the way fibre is usually cheaper and less hassle than a member of staff!). I don’t usually enable the comments feature on my blogs but I’m keen to hear from businesses on this one. Have you recently moved to a fibre line? What difference has it made? Have to looked at the costs but not seen the benefit? Let us know! (If you have come here from Twitter, welcome!)

Anyone for a piece of Raspberry Pi?

Posted in Tewdric, nsuk on February 29th, 2012 by GilesP – Comments Off

If you’ve failed to be caught up in the techno hype of Raspberry Pi then here’s a quick summary:

Credit card sized computer built on LINUX costing $25 to encourage an increase in computer programming, which we appear to be losing through schools and Universities. It’s a project supported by Cambridge University.

This morning, at 6am the first batch of 10,000 went on sale and was scooped up in seconds, crashing the website with the number of hits. Fans of the Pi then went onto forums such as Twitter- which also was struggled under the deluge.

But why so much interest?

For me, it was about returning to the skills I learnt on my first BBCMicro home computer and at university. I wanted to see what I and my colleagues could programme. I am also still keen to get hold of some for local schools.  The Raspberry Pi charitable organisation is certainly right that schools don’t go far enough with computing skills. Knowing how to create a formula in Excel is NOT IT. Pupils and students need computers to ‘play’ with, to investigate and problem solve.

I just hope the next batch won’t be too far behind whilst it has the hype.

Apple may lead the technology market in status but to retain our computing skills I’d rather have a Raspberry Pi.

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