If you see a network engineer pat him on the back and buy him a beer – Olympics good job #LINX78

I’m at LINX78 the latest quarterly meeting of the London Internet Exchange. This meeting is particularly interesting because it comes immediately after the Olympics and its attendees represent the vast majority of UK internet access networks. In other words the people responsible for making your web browsing experience a good one during the Olympics were all here.

This community of engineers should stand up and take a bow as part of the team that made the event a total success. Whilst there will be the odd exception and glitch the network of UK plc performed incredibly well. From a personal perspective although I was on holiday I kept in touch with the office from time to time.  The level of support calls in to the Timico NOC was as we would normally expect and we got the additional network capacity planning just right which is hugely satisfying.

CEO John Souter described the “Olympic  effect” seen at LINX in the run up to the games. Since LINX77 in May the exchange has seen a 20% increase in traffic capacity growing from around 5Tbps to 6Tbps. In a single month over 60 10GigE ports were installed as part of a capacity growth that month of 800Gig (including the first 100Gig port connected by BT).

The rush was prompted by a June 19th cut-off date for new capacity needed before the 14th July Olympic change freeze at LINX.

If you need some perspective consider that the average UK broadband speed is less than 10Mbps. The 6Tbps capacity is the equivalent of over 600,000 broadband connections running flat out. It’s not really a good way of looking at it as there are many other factors that need to be considered – networks have alternative routes to the internet , broadband connections not running at capacity to name but two. However it is a testament to the efforts made by the UK network operator community to ensure that their contribution to the Olympics was a success.

Note I’m told that the Dept of Business Innovation and Skills (Vince’s lot) asked for a daily report on how the LINX network was performing – such is the critical nature of this infrastructure. LINX is going from strength to strength. The exchange currently has 431 members with 64 having joined this year (that’s up on the 49 new members for the whole of last year).

If you see a network engineer pat him on the back and buy him a beer (several beers knowing the engineers I know).

Published by Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of trefor.net, writer, poet, philosopherontap.com

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7 Comments

  1. Considering Beijing 2008 was IPv6-enabled four years ago I was disappointed to see London 2012 was IPv4-only. No doubt something to do with BT being involved.

  2. They deserve it, I know the planning that went into it on our side, not just for the streaming from the CDNs, but 8k video SHV streams to Bradford, Glasgow, the US and Japan. This stuff doesn’t “just happen,” it takes a lot of work. Well done to everyone involved.

  3. As much as the IPv6 statement is valid, I think its fair to say that no one really cared during the games about a lack of IPv6. In the end everyone got access to the content.

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