Here are 10 key considerations to help you make an informed decision when sourcing IP Transit:
1. International Internet Backbone – A highly interconnected, expansive IP footprint that spans primary exchange points, customer and private peering ports, and major access and content networks throughout the world enables you to gain greater reach to more destinations, directly. The less hops your data must take over redundant paths and resilient network infrastructure to reach its destination, the quicker and more reliably the traffic will reach the intended consumer. High-performance international Internet backbones also eliminate latency, packet loss, jitter and chronic outage concerns.
2. Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) services – Accessibility to specialized routing options are critical in helping companies identify the shortest autonomous systems (AS) path for reduced network hops and faster traffic delivery.
3. AS ranking – based on TeleGeography’s recent AS rankings, the top three IP Transit providers maintain direct connections to between 4,200 and 5,589 ASs. Consider the AS ranking of your IP Transit provider; the more unique AS connections maintained by your single, global provider, the simpler your global routing, provisioning and service will be.
4. Wide range of connection speeds – Providers with core routers featuring a combination of backbone circuits, exchange ports, and private peering connections as well as a variety of connection speeds ranging from Ethernet, to Gigabit Ethernet (GigE), 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GE), and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GE) ports are capable of handling even the most bandwidth-intensive traffic needs.
5. Flexible billing – Your pricing structure should depend on your business model and forecast. Businesses on the verge of rapid growth or those with fixed budgets require different billing options. Select a provider with easy to understand, single-sheet billing who offers both burstable (or 95th percentile) and flat rate pricing based on your unique needs.
6. Rapid turnaround capability and scalability – Where are your providers’ core nodes located? Are they easily reachable via cross-connects? Top IP Transit providers can bring you live within one to three business days, and have the ability to grow with your business as your needs change.
7. Port availability in key access points – A leading IP Transit provider maintains connectivity to major data centers and carrier Points of Presence (PoPs) around the globe for seamless accessibility and direct routing to key locations.
8. Jumbo frames – For higher data throughput, choose an IP Transit provider that runs its entire network with jumbo frame (9000 byte MTU) capability. Jumbo frames allow you to more easily attain higher data speeds for large data transfers between geographically dispersed locations when both locations use the same jumbo frame-capable IP Transit provider. Jumbo frames should be considered by users that have specialized applications such as database synchronization, high-speed, long-lived continuous streaming, big data, data warehousing, or site replication for disaster recovery purposes.
9. IPv6 and IPv4 capability – Some forward-thinking IP Transit providers are offering their customers dual-stacking capabilities, or IPv6 and IPv4 transit capabilities on the same connection.
10. Network monitoring – IP Transit providers that offer you access to advanced online tools such as a network Looking Glass enable you to have transparency into various aspects of your network, including connectivity, path, and routing information from various vantage points. In addition to having visibility into backbone routing and network efficiency, customers can also use these online tools to verify routing between providers.