IP Network

The IP Network for Voice Business

Simon Woodhead

Simon Woodhead

22nd January 2013

In our recent QoS white-paper, we explained how most IP Transit was ‘best-efforts’, giving no priority to voice and how congestion is routine (and commercially necessary) on commodity networks. We also tried to explain how paths across the Internet were not equal so a voice-wholesaler who doesn’t run a suitable network, or who doesn’t handle your media is exposing your calls to variable paths which can affect quality.
Simwood network map
By contrast, we own our network and 90% of the traffic across it is voice. It is distributed across 4 sites for redundancy and availability and we have a pathological hatred of congestion – if a link is routinely more than 20% utilised we upgrade it. We’re present on two of the world’s largest Internet Exchange Points (LINX and AMS-IX) and peer with hundreds of global ISPs there meaning 70% of our traffic flows directly over un-contended links to our peers. We’re also present on LonAP and IXManchester, two smaller IXPs, which ensure that regional traffic is handed to other ISPs locally. Lastly, for the minority of traffic we do not deliver directly we use two of the world’s best tier-1 networks in Level 3 and TiNet, from 3 of our sites.

If you use Simwood for voice in or out you will have a stable IP path to us because we always proxy the media. We control that path and as we probably peer with your ISP or co-lo provider it will usually be direct and plentiful.

Even if you do not use Simwood for voice we believe we are ‘the’ network for voice business. Other voice wholesalers with networks (many simply use commodity co-location whatever their website may claim) have become distracted with the allure of commodity Internet access or built their network only as necessary. Simwood is quite unique in scaling the network out specifically for voice business. Co-locating with us or using us for connectivity should lead to shorter, more stable paths to both your customers and your suppliers, over a network built for voice. Further, unlike most IP Transit offerings we will prioritise your voice and recognise your QoS markings to ensure it takes precedence over other incidental traffic you may pass.

Whilst we have 4 sites we strongly recommend Equinix Slough. International customers can consider it London West as it is under 1ms from our Telehouse site in London East. However, it is 27 miles away and just outside the M25 which is considered the boundary to London, i.e. far enough away from likely terrorist targets or inner city disruption. It is independently connected to both Telehouse and up to our Manchester site as well as directly to Level 3. One of our BT interconnects enters there as well.

All our racks there enjoy optional dual A-B power feeds of up to 26A each (i.e. 52A per rack) and we aim to make you as independent as possible by deploying racks with lockable quarters (you can have independent unescorted access without risk to other customers) and IP switchable PDUs (you can control your own power cycles). Space is available in quarter, half and full-racks.

Every rack connects back to our core with multi-tenant racks enjoying a 10Gb connection to a dedicated Brocade top-of-rack switch. Customers may take fibre or copper in 100Mb to 10Gb port size for IP Transit and/or ethernet connectivity to any other site, including out to your customer offices using our Carrier Ethernet product.

Further, whilst some virtualisation providers crow about unifying ‘the cloud’ and traditional co-lo, we have always done it that way. If you co-locate with us you’ll have a VLAN present in any rack and any virtualised servers on the same site. You can mix physical and virtual completely transparently at no extra cost. That VLAN can be extended inter-site using our VPLS product.

We do not offer commodity connectivity or commodity hosting as we remain very focussed on voice. If you are looking for a home for your voice equipment and services on the only network built and kept especially for voice business please get in touch.

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