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 🙂

Engineer internet

Submarine Networks and targeted marketing

Submarine Networks World 2012, Marina Bay Sands, SingaporeThere is a big pile of junk mail in my pigeonhole – downstairs behind reception. This morning I took the unusual step of looking at it. I have to do this once in a while because every now and again something turns up that is not junk. Very infrequently.

Today it was, as usual, junk. One flyer did catch my eye though. An invitation to “Submarine Networks World 2012“. I noticed it because I thought it was a wonderfully badly targeted piece marketing – a good subject for a blog post. Maybe they saw my piece on the Virgin undersea cable near the Isle of Man and figured I would be a good guy to have along.

The flyer arrived airmail from Singapore. Hmm, Singapore eh? I quite like Singapore. Before Timico I did quite a bit of globetrotting in my job and Singapore was a paradise in the Far East that one could rest at between visiting countries where the signs were totally illegible to the Western eye. I used to stay at the Hyatt Grand Regency on Orchard. Beautiful hotel, great bar, fantastic service etc etc.

So now I’ve changed my mind and I’d like to go to the conference. I don’t want it to cost anything mind you. Certainly not the S$4,190 it costs to attend or the business class airfare (it’s a long flight and I need to be in the right frame of mind when I get there). I don’t even want to pay the S$319 room rate at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel though I’m sure that’s good value for the quality of the accommodation.

In fact I’ve convinced myself that this is the one conference I absolutely need to attend in September 2012. If someone will stump up the cash – £7k will probably cover it – I’ll go. In return I promise to write a blog post condensing  my learnings into three concise, highly readable and absolutely on the money paragraphs  that will save you the effort of having to go (there could be a business idea here 🙂 ). The post will undoubtedly include pictures of palm trees and the Indian Ocean (Pacific?).

All that aside this is still not very well targeted advertising. This is surely a business model that needs to change.