[Semi OT] Redundant WAN Connections

Discussion in 'Cisco' started by Chad Mahoney, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. Chad Mahoney

    Chad Mahoney Guest

    Hi NG,

    I have a situation I wanted to ask the pros about. I live in South
    Florida and any carrier I wish to contract services through are going to
    run through some of Bellsouth/AT&T network, that is giving me a single
    point of failure at some point connecting to my carriers. I am wanting
    to get suggestions on some way I could have redundant WAN links, through
    multiple carriers but where I do not have the single point of failure at
    the BS/AT&T facilities. We are a small shop so cost is an issue, but
    after yesterday when there was an issue at BS/AT&T network that took our
    carrier offline for hours, that costed us alot of money.

    Also, with the increase of hurricanes down here, I do not want one
    BS/AT&T CO to get destroyed and I am out of business for many weeks....

    Sorry for the Semi OT post, but your responses will be appreciated!


    Chad Mahoney, Jun 12, 2007
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  2. Chad Mahoney

    Rod Dorman Guest

    Well the obvious alternative would be satellite.
    Rod Dorman, Jun 12, 2007
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  3. Chad Mahoney

    Scooby Guest

    Unfortunately, as it appears you have noticed, any time that you order
    services through the existing cables into your facility, you will ultimately
    have Bellsouth involved. Any of the other providers just lease the lines.
    Times are changing and other provides will now run cables in, if it is
    financially feasible. This usually means fiber and a fairly expensive
    service, to help pay for the cost of construction.

    There is a way that you possibly can get by without going that route. You
    can request redundant services through Bellsouth, stipulating that you want
    the second service to come from a different direction and a different CO.
    This may turn out to be a little more expensive, especially if it is a
    service that you pay for by the route mile. But, in the end, it is a
    reasonable solution. Call your Bellsouth rep and discuss the options for

    Also, depending on your traffic volume, consider using vpn for backup (since
    DSL would come from the telco, cable is probably a better choice - I like
    cable better, anyway). Much less expensive than a secondary circuit. You
    will most likely see a lesser service when the main connection is down, but
    the vpn could be enough to keep you going. ISDN is another possible
    solution. It all depends on what your usage, budget and expectations are.

    Just keep in mind that to really be sure that you'd never be down could be
    incredibly expensive. So, try to figure what the most reasonable
    cost/benefit plan of back is, and sell your execs on that.

    Hope that helps,

    Scooby, Jun 12, 2007
  4. Chad Mahoney

    Chad Mahoney Guest

    Thanks Jim, That was a great response...
    Chad Mahoney, Jun 12, 2007
  5. Chad Mahoney

    Chad Mahoney Guest

    Hi Rod,

    Thanks for the reply, I would rather stay away from satellite, if I am
    worried about a hurricane knocking out service, I would certainly be
    worried about a rain shower knocking out connectivity.

    Chad Mahoney, Jun 12, 2007
  6. Chad Mahoney

    stephen Guest


    Another poster suggested satellite - you could use that as a 2nd service.
    it is worth thinking about what you are protecting and relative risk.

    1 way to evaluate resilience is to treat it as insurance - for a given
    surcharge on my bills on comms then i get a reduction in risk and / or
    increase in capacity, availability and so on.

    That also gives you a start on cost benefit analysis - which you are going
    to need anyway when someone asks how much and why.........

    So - 2 diverse feeds protects your comms links (or those sections you choose
    to pay for resilience)

    but from the info in your post they are both going to feed into a single
    site - maybe you should think about resilience against local problems such
    as fire, power outages and flooding - typical ways to start are dual comms
    romms, server resilience and so on.

    the logical limit here is 2 sites, or a disaster recovery scheme that lets
    you migrate to another location during a major problem

    and if that is in a different telco footprint, then you may be able to solve
    your comms resilience issue as well as a side effect - as long as you can
    move services across easily.
    stephen, Jun 12, 2007
  7. Chad Mahoney

    Rod Dorman Guest

    I'd hazard a guess that the rain shower would end before the destroyed
    CO was rebuilt.
    Rod Dorman, Jun 13, 2007
  8. Chad Mahoney

    Chad Mahoney Guest


    Thanks Rod..... :)
    Chad Mahoney, Jun 13, 2007
  9. Chad Mahoney

    mvlbv Guest

    You may want to call fpl fibernet and see if they can offer a solution
    for you. If they do have something, i'm sure it's going to cost an arm
    and a leg.
    mvlbv, Jun 14, 2007
  10. Chad Mahoney

    nakhmanson Guest


    I'am also from south florida, and let me tell you - redundant CO will
    not help you. We had a redundant OC-3 from 2 Bellsouth CO's. and guess
    what - both CO's were down during Wilma - BellSouth did not have a
    enough generators. The best bet would be to put all the production
    stuff to colo-site (just make sure they have a DIRECT REDUNDANT fibers
    to other states/countries).

    nakhmanson, Jun 15, 2007
  11. Chad Mahoney

    rjhintz Guest

    Three approaches come to mind:
    --first, site the servers you use for testing customer facing
    applications at your business continuity site with current production
    instances of your applications, as a mirror or your production servers
    --second, if you can have your customer facing servers elsewhere, site
    them in some co-location space out of the path of natural disasters
    (can be combined with first approach)
    --third, if you *have* to have your customer facing servers on site,
    then get a second, non-phone company, diverse path, perhaps from
    someone like Level 3. Make sure you understand the diversity, from
    the building service entrance on.
    rjhintz, Jun 16, 2007
  12. Chad Mahoney

    stephen Guest

    your faith in direct fibre is touching, but might be misplaced.

    modern DWDM kit gives the most distance between PoP and powered devices like
    amplifiers - but 100 to 150 Km is all that is usually practical.

    Despite the way driver specs are given (ie 110 Km drive distance to quote
    one Cisco GBIC datasheet), the limiting factor is usually loss.

    You might get a bit more if you run the fibres slower than 10G, but it wont
    be a big improvement.

    even bleeding edge "tweaked" stuff (ie undersea / lake crossings where you
    really dont want to put amps underwater if you can avoid it) only gives you
    around 300 Km or so before you need amplification.

    The flip side is that if you are in a disaster big enough that it wipes out
    power and other facilities for 100 Km in 2 different directions - then you
    probably have more important things to worry about than whether your users
    can log in to get email.....
    stephen, Jun 16, 2007
  13. Chad Mahoney

    Chad Mahoney Guest

    Hi Roman,

    I was thinking about that, moving all the production equipment to
    someplace like the NAP Of the Americas in Miami.

    Thanks for the post!

    Chad Mahoney, Jun 18, 2007
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