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Thread: What is Tier-1?

  1. #1

    Question What is Tier-1?

    I have some non-tech suits always quoting Tier One to the customers...example, we're colocated at a Tier-1 facility, implying that we're at a top/best breed colo, versus tier 2 which is less desirable.

    In my knowledge i hear and know about tier-1 internet backbone providers...like uu, at&t, sprint..but what the heck does it mean to be a "TIer-1 Colo"?

    Is there a list of criteria or table ot definitions someone can point me to? thanks.

  2. #2
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    INTERNAP is tier2, peer1 is tier2

    ill let someone else desribe the tiers

  3. #3
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    To be a tier-1 carrier means to be transit-free. In other words, you are not a customer of any other carrier, you have peering relationships with all other transit-free networks. Sprint doesn't buy transit from anyone, and that's why they are referred to as a "tier-1" backbone. The same applies to others like AT&T, MCI/UUnet, Level(3), ATDN, Verio, GBLX, C&W, and (usually) AboveNet.

    "Tier-1 datacenter" doesn't mean a damn thing. When you see that in someone's marketing materials, or hear it from a sales person, just ignore it.
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  4. #4
    it bothers me that they are ALWAYS saying "...we are at a Tier-1 datacenter.." especially the CEO and President. Damn no one can explain what the heck that is.

    tierOne backbone i understand as jsw6 explained...but the datacenter part really dumbfounds me.

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    Tier 1

    Take a look at this site, these companies are all Tier 1.

    www.internethealthreport.com

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    Re: Tier 1

    Originally posted by bscotti99
    Take a look at this site, these companies are all Tier 1.

    www.internethealthreport.com
    No, they are not. Internap's business model is based on buying transit, and Cogent is not transit-free -- they utilize transit to reach ATDN at minimum. Wiltel buys transit from UUNet. Please don't spread your baseless assumptions on a forum where people will take them as fact.
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  7. #7
    http://www.upsite.com/TUIpages/white.../tuitiers.html

    from looking at the explainations in the above link(around the middle), saying a colo is Tier-1 might be detrimental...its the lowest, least robust model. Tier-IV is the best, faulttolerant etc...

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    I think GBLX and Above.net buys peering to get to ATT. Would that drop them from the list?

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    Originally posted by Mfjp
    I think GBLX and Above.net buys peering to get to ATT. Would that drop them from the list?
    I wouldn't remove them from the list, because purchasing customer routes from someone still makes the purchaser a topological peer of the peered network, although not a settlement-free peer. You could make the case that ATDN does not have settlement-free peering with Level(3), as AOL/TW buys substantial dial access service from Level(3). I don't think that has any relationship to the network topology, though, just as monetary settlements for the traffic doesn't impact the traffic patterns.
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  10. #10
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    From Wikipedia:


    A Tier 1 carrier is a telco or ISP that is at the top of the telecommunications peering and settlements food chain. Although there is no formal definition, the following statements generally hold:


    Tier 1 operators typically have operations in more than one country
    Tier 1 operators own and operate their own physical networks, and either own or part-own their international submarine cable links.
    Tier 1 operators have revenue-neutral peering agreements with other Tier 1 operators, and generally do not pay for transit.

    The following are Tier 1 ISPs (in alphabetically order):
    AT&T
    BBN/Genuity
    British Telecom (BT)
    Cable & Wireless
    Connect Internet Solutions
    German Telekom
    Global Crossing
    Level 3
    NTT/Verio
    Optus
    Qwest
    Sprint
    Telstra
    UUNET/MCI
    Williams Communications

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by esh
    From Wikipedia:
    The following are Tier 1 ISPs (in alphabetically order):
    AT&T
    BBN/Genuity
    British Telecom (BT)
    Cable & Wireless
    Connect Internet Solutions
    German Telekom
    Global Crossing
    Level 3
    NTT/Verio
    Optus
    Qwest
    Sprint
    Telstra
    UUNET/MCI
    Williams Communications
    Just a quick correction, BBN/Genuity is owned by Level 3, so no need to list them seperately. How about MFN/Abovenet? Also, never heard of Connect Internet Solutions, if I haven't heard of them, doubt they're Tier 1, same with Optus. Being the largest provider, etc. in a certain country does not make you a Tier1. I think Tier 1 has more to do with peering and relationships with other providers than your own network, etc. It just happens that you need a good sized network for people to peer with you. You'd need a majority of your traffic to be transit-free, the actual amount is up for debate, to be Tier 1, imho.

    Note: I actually believe I have heard of the two companies I listed as not knowing, still wouldn't consider them Tier 1's though.
    Last edited by KarlZimmer; 04-07-2004 at 09:23 PM.
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  12. #12
    datacenters have classifications as well, with class A being the best. different classifications have a different set of requirements with respect to redundancy, security etc. search the nanog archives, this was referred to at some point.

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  13. #13
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    as i said i was just posting that from wikipedia

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    Tier 1 = Settlement-Free *and* Default-Free.

    This means that a true Tier 1 network does not pay to exchange traffic with any other provider's network, PERIOD.

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    Originally posted by esh
    as i said i was just posting that from wikipedia
    That's why I kept the "From wikipedia" part on there :-)

    As for Tier-1, I'd still consider a company Tier-1 if they are being forced to pay for more capacity with the likes of AT&T....
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  16. #16
    Originally posted by rusko
    datacenters have classifications as well, with class A being the best. different classifications have a different set of requirements with respect to redundancy, security etc. search the nanog archives, this was referred to at some point.

    paul

    any link?

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by esh
    The following are Tier 1 ISPs (in alphabetically order):
    AT&T
    BBN/Genuity
    British Telecom (BT)
    Cable & Wireless
    Connect Internet Solutions
    German Telekom
    Global Crossing
    Level 3
    NTT/Verio
    Optus
    Qwest
    Sprint
    Telstra
    UUNET/MCI
    Williams Communications
    In addition to the list of corrections posted by Karl Zimmerman and others, I'll note that Deutsche Telekom (DTAG / German Telekom) is not transit-less, nor do I believe that BT, Connect Internet Solutions (are these the people who hosted MSIE downloads back in 96?), Optus, and Telstra; and most certainly Williams is not transit-less. Wikipedia is evidently not a good source in this instance. They also forget ATDN, Abovenet, and GBLX, all of whom are at least peered to the transit-free group, if not in a settlement-free manner. Good luck getting authoratitive information on the settlements, as it's all NDA'd up, and sales people just lie about it because they either understand it doesn't matter to customers, or just repeat what they are told.
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  18. #18
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    >>Although there is no formal definition

    yes there is - *settlement free transit*

    >>typically have operations in more than one country

    since the *initial* copncept of tier1 telecoms was interconnects at the 8 defalut free zone points, coments about multiple countries is b*llocks

    >>operate their own physical networks, and either own or part-own their international submarine cable links.

    if they want to

    >>revenue-neutral peering agreements with other Tier 1 operators, and generally do not pay for transit.

    dunno who writes this rubbish but teh definitions are *much* more simple than this ...


    tier1's dont pay for transit and peer to improved performance
    tier2's pay for transit and *generally* try and peer to reduce costs
    tier3's utilise (or resell) tier 2 connectivity

    >>The following are Tier 1 ISPs (in alphabetically order):

    most of that list are tier2 as they *pay* for things ...
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  19. #19
    Then where does TimeWarner Telecom fit in then?

    <<CL Note: Please set up your signature in your profile>>
    Last edited by Akash; 04-09-2004 at 05:00 PM.

  20. #20
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    Pretty sure TimeWarner Telecom would be Tier2, can't imagine their network is established enough to have free peering with all the big players. With the purchase of C&W's assets in the US, has Savvis moved up from a Tier2 to a Tier1? I'm not sure one how the peering agreements have transfered, how far the C&W deterioration had gone, etc. I've never worried about either company since I've never considered either due to price :-)
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  22. #22
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    Time-Warner Telecommunications (AS4323) is part of the AOL-TW family, yes; however their backbone is independent of their other network assets. They are certainly not transit-free.
    Jeff at Innovative Network Concepts / 212-981-0607 x8579 / AIM: jeffsw6
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  23. #23
    Hi,

    My understanding of Tier 1 colo is that Tier 1 you are a direct customer of the Data center.

    Tier 2 colo you are a customer of a tier 1 customer , and so on.
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  24. #24
    Originally posted by slycat
    any link?

    http://www.nanog.org/ I believe
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  25. #25
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    My understanding of Tier 1 colo is that Tier 1 you are a direct customer of the Data center.
    Tier 2 colo you are a customer of a tier 1 customer , and so on.
    There are various "classes" of datacentre I to IV I believe, and I is the *LOWEST* quality/service/facilities, no such thing a tier "'n" DC though - thats just sales boll*x to con you into something ...
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  26. #26

    Re: What is Tier-1?

    Originally posted by slycat
    I have some non-tech suits always quoting Tier One to the customers...example, we're colocated at a Tier-1 facility, implying that we're at a top/best breed colo, versus tier 2 which is less desirable.

    In my knowledge i hear and know about tier-1 internet backbone providers...like uu, at&t, sprint..but what the heck does it mean to be a "TIer-1 Colo"?

    Is there a list of criteria or table ot definitions someone can point me to? thanks.
    Others have beat this into the gorund and someone placed a great list of the Tier 1's.

    But let me say this: Tier 1's are great. We all need them. They are the superbackbones as we all know. But for someone to try and sell something saying "this is a tier 1 colo" is a negitive point to me. What I read from that is that all your eggs are in a single basket. What happens when there is a Major DDOS attack on the Level3 network and your sitting in a Level3 Colo with Egrees only out the Level3 network? Your dead. Same with any other provider. Your Tier2 players are the ones who are able to roll up mutiple Tier 1 providers bandwidth into a truely redundant network. Take a provider who has a Level 3, UUNet/MCI and a Cogent connection. This Tier 2 provider is able to get the best route out each providers network where by they are able to provide a higher level of service. This is how a Tier 2 provider has been able to wedge themselves into the marketplace and do so well. In this Tier 2 provider network you are then "on Net" with 3 Tier 1' and able to stay out of the huge public peering points more. Meaning if you only had your Level3 connection in a Level3 Colo and you had bit's destined for an IP address not on the Level3 network you would be forced to either travel a private peer or likely your traffic would go thru a large public MAE like Mae Central, East or West. The MAE's are typically a slow place for your bit's to travel thru.

    Brian

    P.S. I am not picking on any of the above mentioned providers just using them for an example. =-)

  27. #27
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    Here is an interesting article........



    Neutral Internet Exchanges on the Rise.(Industry Trend or Event)

    http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m.../article.jhtml

  28. #28
    Originally posted by RajanUrs
    Here is an interesting article........

    Neutral Internet Exchanges on the Rise.(Industry Trend or Event)

    http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m.../article.jhtml
    No doubt. Great read for anyone wanting to understand yet another angle of this puzzle.

    And to the point. In that article you read about ISP's in PAIX buying bandwidth from mutiple vendors. That then makes that ISP a Tier2 provider even with Tier 1 providers in the same building.

    Still for my money if I was a customer who dident want to run BGP and have mutiple connections to mutiple Teir1 providers (and for the vast majority of you this is just not possiable cause of the CapEx cost) I would be looking for a Tier 2 provider.

    Thanks for providing the link RajanUrs

    Brian

  29. #29
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    The economics are better explained here by the company.

    http://www.equinix.com/prod_serv/economic/


    If they have excellent infrastructures and dedicated bandwidth there is an 100% tier 1 provider like facility. [I added "if" because we assume there is a dedicated level of honesty also from the provider]

  30. #30
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    Originally posted by RajanUrs
    The economics are better explained here by the company.

    http://www.equinix.com/prod_serv/economic/


    If they have excellent infrastructures and dedicated bandwidth there is an 100% tier 1 provider like facility. [I added "if" because we assume there is a dedicated level of honesty also from the provider]
    You may have noticed that their example Equinix Direct service costs $300/Mb+. The reasons to be at Equinix include reliable power, easy access to many transit providers, and paranoid security staff; however, most web hosts will not benefit at all from the Equinix Direct product. Anyone paying that kind of money for transit in an Equinix facility should look for a new line of work.
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  31. #31
    Originally posted by RajanUrs
    The economics are better explained here by the company.

    http://www.equinix.com/prod_serv/economic/


    If they have excellent infrastructures and dedicated bandwidth there is an 100% tier 1 provider like facility. [I added "if" because we assume there is a dedicated level of honesty also from the provider]
    Again we find ourselves in agreement. Equinix is providing a intresting service without a doubt. The problem comes in when someone in a location needs to have the type of connectivity that you could buy at Equinix but you either dont have the money to hire the staff to maintain the infrustructure going forward, Dont have the business model that includes the Networks staff and Cap Ex needed and really you want to stay focused on your business model. This is then where you look to a Tier 2 provider who's busienss model not only includes having a fully redundant network with mutpile Tier 1 providers and the Networking staff to keep it going. In that situation the customer then looks to a company like mine who provides them a switched port and basically a managed Network.

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