Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2015

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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56 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 BROADBAND APPS center, ITS Fiber now ofers an ever- increasing range of data center, business applications and disaster recovery services. Its customers include far- away companies that want to locate disaster recovery sites where they won't be afected by any weather events that knock out the companies' primary sites. Dozens of small private and municipal ISPs own or share ownership in carrier condos that connect local networks to the Internet, and many of these facilities have expanded their services by turning rooms full of customers' computers and routers into true data centers with computers leased to a myriad of customers and used by the centers to ofer backup and other services. Another option is for an ISP to rent space and computer services from a major data center provider, such as Amazon (the industry leader), Google, Microsoft, IBM, HP, or AT&T; at the data center of an application provider whose services it is reselling; or at local data centers it uses for connections to the Internet. Allied Fiber started its fber trunk build up the Atlantic coast in Florida with fber confgurations that encourage establishment of local data centers. Along with hardware and software, outsourced data centers increasingly ofer specialized expertise and services that smaller organizations cannot hope to match. Tese include the following: • Software-defned networks . SDNs can use inexpensive, fast- evolving commodity hardware with ever-improving software, but the devil is in the details. Te network operating systems and standards enforcement (Ethernet, GPON, IPv6 and so forth) increasingly will be distributed among all the network equipment, such as routers and switches, rather than being run from separate computers. Juniper is fairly far along in this technology, Cisco has made announcements, and HP is promising more details of what it calls "Te Machine," a rethinking of computer architecture that combines CPU and memory to gain speed, energy savings and compactness – potentially reducing data centers to refrigerator-sized objects. • Security . Cloud systems attract cybercrime just as banks attract robbers. Tat's where the money is. Te world is moving to an interconnected Internet of Tings that will feature more reliance on electronic transaction processing; more use of big data by organizations trying to exploit wrinkles in customer demand, patterns in disease spread and efciency of courseware; and more complex interactions between energy distribution and consumption. Successful cyberattacks could bring these activities to a standstill. Tere's a shortage of skilled cybersecurity personnel and a growing realization that small companies that buy ready- made security solutions are going to be vulnerable. • Infrastructure as a service . IaaS goes beyond mere software as a service or platform as a service (renting computer hardware together with solution stacks). A small ISP is unlikely to be able to take over and run a large company's entire computer system, but it certainly DATA CENTER STANDARDS If you work at an ISP, you may be surprised to know that you are probably already running a Tier 1 data center as defned by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). You might just call it the "server room." TIA is only one of many standards-setting organizations that defne data centers, but its four-tier system (ANSI/TIA-942, Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers) is the most commonly cited. Others, including Telcordia (GR-3160-CORE, Generic Requirements for Telecommunications Data Center Equipment and Spaces), Uptime Institute's Tiers, and the Open IX Association all take their swings at it. All the standards and recommended practices call for increasing levels of redundancy with regard to cooling, power, security and protection against location-specifc natural disasters such as earthquakes, foods and hurricanes. The TIA standard is summarized as follows: • Tier 1 requires dedicated data center space with uninterruptible power supplies and generators for equipment power and for cooling. • Tier 2 is similar but requires redundancy for power and for cooling. • Tier 3 adds systems that continue operating during scheduled maintenance or while upgrades are installed. • Tier 4 data centers keep running during failures or catastrophes that damage the power and cooling systems. The Uptime Institute adds reliability standards and other details to the TIA tiers. A Tier 1 center should be available to serve customers 99.671 percent of the time, and a Tier 4 ofers at least 99.995 percent availability. That sounds close, but over a year, the diferences are substantial: Level Expected availability Annual downtime minutes Annual downtime hours Tier 1 99.671% 1729 29 Tier 2 99.741% 1361 23 Tier 3 99.982% 95 1.5 Tier 4 99.995% 26 0.5

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