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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    * Datacenters that have dark fiber connection to each other?

    This may sound stupid but I'm not really sure to express it any other way.

    For a across datacenter high availability cluster, I *think* at least 2 datacenters should have dark fiber connections to each other.

    The idea here to get a VLAN setup across the dark fiber and run BGP to have floating ips.

    Are there any datacenters that are close enough together and have this setup available for end users?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Re: Datacenters that have dark fiber connection to each other?

    Typically, dark fibre wavelengths are very expensive. On top of that, they present a problem for billing and rate limiting. If a DC had dark fibre, you'd be leasing DWDM wavelengths and paying the associated portion of the link cost plus margins and management fees.

    What would more regularly happen is that a bandwidth provider would offer QinQ (double dot1q tagging) and you would trunk your vlans via already established L2 inter-dc path. This is usually billed on circuit speed and is dedicated, therefore also quite expensive.

    Other options include EoMPLS circuits from a provider or l2tp/gre/OTV amongst other L2 tunneling protocols. These utilise L3 services to encapsulate L2 frames but require very careful bandwidth management as L2 circuit overloading with cross site HA solutions can result in some very bad behaviour.

    Finally, have you considered a direct L3 tunnel adjacency between the DCs (using your choice of gre/ipsec/etc) and running iBGP over that for route synchronisation?

    EoMPLS and some QinQ configurations are available from your provider so I would approach them first, finding a DC which offers this would be difficult if at all possible, and DWDM service is very expensive.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Vancouver, B.C.
    Most companies will not sell you dark fiber, as they would prefer to split a pair of dark fiber into multiple wavelengths using WDM. They could sell transport over the same dark fiber to up to 80 different customers. Actually, they could even take one of those wavelengths and put switches on both ends, and sell transport to several different customers on that level as well. Even if you were willing to pay them enough to allocate you a dark fiber pair for yourself, they may be concerned that you will offer wavelengths to others and end up in competition with them. If all you need is to run a VLAN between the two data centres to connect them together, all you need is transport of some kind.

    Any company that owns two different data centres should be able to provide you transport between the two locations. However, for better redundancy, you're most likely better off using two different companies altogether as financial troubles could mean the shutdown of both locations if using the same company for both. In which case, you should be able to find transport through a 3rd party company that specializes in it. This may be a company that offers metro transport circuits, or some IP Transit providers also offer MPLS as well, so you'd just need to find two different data centres that both use said provider.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Washington, USA
    Depending on how close you want the datacenters, check with Equinix. They can provide cross-connects between datacenters that are near each other.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Digital Fortress may be a good option for this, they have Dark Fiber between their Seattle and South Seattle facilities.
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  6. #6
    Cogent has multi point to multi point a Layer 2 transport which is still expensive, but would work better than similar product of Equinix, because Cogent is presented in more data centers. You should also check similar products of other carriers. All depends of your locations and data centers.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Arlington, VA
    Many companies offer it as an more affordable alternative to colocating in a big data center like Equinix. The customer will colocate in a smaller data center, but still have access to all the networks in the larger data center nearby, via dedicated fiber and DWDM gear. It's like they're colocated in the large data center, since they have dedicated bandwidth directly to that facility and can cross connect to any network in the remote location. I know for sure in the Ashburn area, Equinix has dark fiber running in and out to nearby locations.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Typically any real DC has dark pairs or a dark provider in the facility. Billing is no issue as it is a MRC on the fiber itself. CoreXchange in Dallas has their own and has InnerCityfiber & Zayo in their facilities. I know Viawest has Zayo, InnerCity and a few others. Be prepared if you get dark it is truly dark you will need the equipment to go the distance.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by serverian View Post
    This may sound stupid but I'm not really sure to express it any other way.

    For a across datacenter high availability cluster, I *think* at least 2 datacenters should have dark fiber connections to each other.

    The idea here to get a VLAN setup across the dark fiber and run BGP to have floating ips.

    Are there any datacenters that are close enough together and have this setup available for end users?
    If your going to go through the time and expense of doing this you do not want the same DC company managing each end nor would you want them close enough for dark fiber without regen. The exception to the distance is if you have to use sync mirrors between the DC's and have to keep the latency low enough to not kill performance, but you still want to different companies/networks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Boston, MA
    CoreSite has it in LA between 900 N Alameda and One Wilshire. Also in NoVA between 1200 Sunrise Valley Drive and 1275 K St. You will pay a premium for the carrier hotel side.

    Digital Realty is also putting this in place in every major market.

    Not familiar with any of the options noted above but sounds like some good variety. For the two I noted you don't need DWDM gear the data center manages it.

  11. #11
    I've been told that Hurricane Electric will give you dark fiber between DC's. Another idea, although won't provide you the same bandwidth, is to look into using microwave units between two DC's, we did this with a couple of DC's within 3 miles of each other.

  12. #12
    I would not get stuck on the colo have access between them as if they don't you just need to find a common carrier between them so they are both ONNET. That being said Telx, Equinix, Coresite, and quite a few others have fiber in place and will offer customers a XC charge to get to any of their data cenetrs in a particular market. Equinix calls it IBX. Compare what the colo provider charges and then look at what the carrier will charge and compare costs.

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