Engineer internet peering

Submarine cables at #euroix #ixp

Good talk at Euro-IX on submarine cables from Alan Mauldin of TeleGeography.

The world is still very much increasing it submarine cable capacity. Interestingly the drivers for new builds are not capacity exhaustion. It’s more likely to be down to a range of things including Route Diversity – new physical paths being valued, Cost Optimization – use of new technology may lead to long-term unit cost reductions, Competition — still room for new competitors in some markets where high prices persist, Build-vs-Buy Strategy – become an owner, not buyer, of capacity, Peer pressure, ego, national, & corporate pride and First cables (for some island nations).

I quite liked the national/corporate pride bit. It follows on from a chat I was having on the subject of size pipes during the break. In our internet world the capacity of your network connection(s) is a bragging point.

Chat up line of an internet geek: “Fancy coming back to my place to see the size of my pipe?

Timico customers are taking 10Gbps connections. I’m looking forward to our first 100Gbps connection.undersea cable capacity

I lifted this chart from Alan’s presentation (thanks Al). It shows that we, the world, currently have roughly 70Terabits per second of intercontinental internet capacity. Impressive. We aren’t using it all yet of course but the only way is up.

Interactive submarine cable map here. I think I may have linked to this before but no harm in doing it again.

Another interesting interactive map is of the world’s internet exchanges here. This shows you where the meeting points of the internet are. The places that ISPs connect to/at to carry your internet traffic. When you send an email or click on a web page the data will travel through one or more of these places.

It doesn’t cover private connections but these will largely be done at the same locations. That’s all.

Engineer internet

miscellany submarine cables and submarines – dive dive dive

submarine cable map courtesy of my old alma mater today, Bangor University. It’s nice to get invited. We are opening a new Laboratory and then the Annual Engineering Lecture. This year it is entitled “Submarine Engineering across the years”  and is to be given by Rear Admiral (retd) Paul Thomas CB, FREng, FCGI, FIMechE, Hon FNucI, Hon FSaRS. That’s more badges than most of us could possibly dream of!

The subject is quite convenient because some time ago I bookmarked a website thinking it was cool and would come in handy some day. Well now it has and whilst absolutely  nothing to do with today’s lecture it is fascinating to see where all the undersea cables are. The whole internet is underpinned by relatively few connections really.

If you click on an individual cable line it tells you who owns the cable, how long it is, when it was laid and where it lands. This is big business. Some of these cables are very long. SeaMeWe3 for example is 39,000km, stretches from Germany all the way to Australia and South Korea and is owned by a cooperative of 16 organisations.

Keeping it topical, some governments, ours included want to monitor the traffic running though these cables. When you look at the map it makes you realise how absurd this is.

I have visions of Rear Admiral (retd) Paul Thomas in his sub pootling along following the cables to find his way home – a bit like the pilots in their Sopwith Camels during WW1 following the roads and railway lines. Fiendishly clever. Splice the mainbrace, Klingons on the starboard bow, land ho, take her down number one, dive dive dive, etc etc etc.

I’ll let you know how the lecture goes 🙂

Business olympics

Global Business Summit at Lancaster House during London 2012 Olympics

The Gobal Business Summit at Lancaster House during the London 2012 Olympic games

me with old uni pal Dr Phillip Davies - MD of component manufacturer RakonI was very privileged to be invited to the Global Business Summit at Lancaster House in London on Friday. This was a showcase of the best of British Technology Businesses and the guest list was a mix of UK and overseas business leaders. It was one of a series of sessions promoting different UK market sectors and ours was the last one. Being right next to Clarence House security was about as tight as it can get. The cops here always carry guns. I had forgotten my passport at home but fortunately my driving license did the job for photo ID.

Vince Cable - click to see more of the VIP guestsWe were treated to a keynote speech by Vince Cable, UK government cabinet minister with responsibility for business and by CEO of Facebook EMEA, Joanna Shields. I won’t comment on the specific of the speeches by either of these two or by any of the other speakers in the morning and afternoon. They were all positive, upbeat messages from people involved in the technology industries of which we should be proud.

It must be said that we do know how to put on great events in this country. Obviously there are the Olympics which on the face of it are a huge success. This was very much a networking chatting with Vince cable and Colin Duffy, CEO of Voipfoneevent. As well as showcasing technology they were showcasing the best in British food and drink. We did our very best to sample it all – good manners and all that.

The food and drink was sponsored by the suppliers, I’m told. I’ll name a few: Bibendum, Nyetimber champagne (I realise we aren’t supposed to call it champagne but you may have noticed I’ve been feeling rebellious of late and it is just as good as the French stuff), Chapel Down and Primrose Hill wines – great I can recommend them.

The food was terrific – little bowls for lunch so that we could circulate and chat. Crab, braised beef, quail spring to mind. The canapes at the cocktail party after the talks were also very tasty – steak and chips, seared tuna, pea puree, amongst others. We had them with gin and tonics made with Tanqueray and Sipsmith gin and a cocktail called “English Country Garden” whose constituents I don’t totally recall (perhaps for obvious reasons) but which included Chase vodka and some kind of elderflower juice. I’ve included a short video of the Bibendum staff mixing the cocktail.

We aren’t supposed to take photos in “Royal residences” but everyone was doing so and the bar staff even took some of the shots for us. Also there were loads of official photographers clicking and recording away. No prizes but can anyone guess what the tapestry is behind the cameraman in the photo inset right. It’s quite famous. The artist’s name will do as an alternative.

Also click on the photo of Vince speaking to see some of the other guests – names? Finally who is in the photo of the panel? – click on it to enlarge and see more. As I said no prizes this time as I’m on holiday but lets see if anyone comes up with right answers.

can you name the tapestry behind the camera?

See ya…