Oregon-based Canby Telcom has devised a compelling solution to a problem that just about all carriers are facing – how to provide good network performance while meeting customers’ burgeoning demand for bandwidth without breaking the bank. Canby’s solution targets two of the applications that are driving the greatest increases in bandwidth — specifically Netflix and Google — but also addresses overall Internet traffic.
Part of the solution was to establish free peering agreements with both Netflix and Google. “Netflix traffic accounted for close to 50% of our total downstream bandwidth during peak hours over the holidays,” noted Canby Telcom Vice President of Network Operations Brandon Zupancic in an email to Telecompetitor. “Google (You Tube) accounts for roughly another 10-20%. The peering relationships . . . have been very beneficial in helping us reduce the amount of bandwidth we have to purchase from the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Internet providers.”
Canby peers with Netflix and Google at the Northwest Access Exchange (NWAX) via a 10 Gbps connection. Previously Canby had a 1 Gbps connection to NWAX and peered with Google but not Netflix. By peering with Netflix and Google, Canby also minimizes congestion on the path between its customers and the content providers.
Additionally Canby has peering relationships with “several other entities, government agencies and several other network operators,” Zupancic said. Examples include the State of Oregon and the Linux Foundation, he said.
The second element of Canby’s solution is a caching service from Akamai Technologies that uses Akamai servers located in the Canby central office. The Akamai infrastructure keeps copies of frequently accessed material from Akamai partners such as Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and others and serves it up in response to requests from Canby customers. This approach minimizes the amount of traffic on Canby’s connection to the Internet by eliminating the need for content to travel from its point of origin every time a Canby customer requests it.
“Local transparent caching has reduced our total downstream bandwidth by about 10% on average,” explained Zupancic. “But there are times when that number spikes.”
He noted, for example, that traffic spikes when a large software company releases a major software patch.