June 1, 2009 – Network Update

In May the Engineering team was able to accomplish several steps towards the goal of an upgraded

core network infrastructure at PEAK. These activities will continue in June as preparations are being made for new equipment to be installed in the coming months.

Below is an outline of the sub-projects within this whole process of upgrading our network this year.  I’ll be updating the blog occasionally so you can stay up to date on our progress.

Pioneer Gigabit Ethernet Circuit

The first actual upgrade will occur in July and will affect the Pioneer Telephone Internet customers.  Currently, we use OC3 (about 130 Mbps) ATM circuits to transfer bandwidth between PEAK and Pioneer.  As we planned for further bandwidth needs, it was important that we consider the ongoing exponential growth that is occurring in bandwidth usage.  So, instead of adding additional OC3 circuits it was decided that we would use a Gigabit (GigE), or 1000 Mbps, circuit between the two networks. This should allow a good amount of growth potential and add capacity for extreme peak usage times.  The use of the Gigabit circuit will require different equipment than what we currently have in place and explains the need for an upgrade.

New Internet Border Router in Corvallis

The PEAK Internet routing infrastructure has equipment in our building in Corvallis and in Portland where our upstream providers reside.  In Corvallis, our current core equipment is connected to a Northern route in Portland and to our Southern route through Eugene.  We will be upgrading this core equipment with two exact devices to add redundancy to the setup.  In Portland, where the routing is less complex, we will be using one redundant device to aggregate our Northern and Southern routes.  Both all of these devices are significant upgrades and will add to the already outstanding service level that PEAK is able to provide.

New Internet Border Router: Portland

The infrastructure in Portland routes traffic of our Top-Tier upstream providers down to our Corvallis office.  This device functions a border router and will be getting an upgrade in July along with the other network segment.

New Core Routers – Occurring Now

Over the past month, we have been busy implementing new dual routers to our network core in Corvallis.  These two devices site at the center of the PEAK infrastructure and are responsible for routing Internet packets to their destinations.  They are setup in a redundant configuration to prevent outages.  So, if one fails the other can affectively do the work of the other.  This upgrade is being made in conjunction with the border router upgrade being made in July and upon completion will yield a redundant and fault tolerant network to keep your service running.

As High-Speed Internet usage becomes more pervasive and web sites like YouTube or Hulu become household names, the requirements of Internet provider networks increases exponentially.  At PEAK our experience is no different, where we have noticed significant growth in bandwidth consumption over the past two years.  This round of network upgrades and investments is being made to ensure our network will be to provide reliability and speed for our customers as the Internet continues to grow and expand.