Q3 2021 Technical Update

Q3 2021 Technical Update

You will find below a summary of the technical activities that have taken place at France-IX during the third quarter of 2021:

General news

  • P router

2021 is the year of the introduction of P routers into France-IX’s network infrastructure. P and PE functions were historically centralized into the same routers. This scheme is simple to build and operate, up to a certain scale. With time, the number of individual backbone links exploded and made combined customer+backbone router migrations very tricky. We decided that handling future growth, while keeping operations manageable, required dedicated Core routers to handle all interconnections. Optimising the cost of backbone ports was also one of the reason to move to this architecture.

We launched last May an invitation to tender to select new hardware for this purpose. Four vendors were compared, based on our usual criteria. We focused on stability and cost-effectiveness of the solution, but this time, power efficiency was also a game changer. At the end of this process, we selected Cisco’s offer featuring the 8201-FH router. It offers 32 line-rate 400GE interfaces in a compact, 1RU form-factor. The proof of concept is ongoing in our lab, where we integrated the new device into a standard topology, including a model of every router we have in production. Testing includes traffic generation, putting the device in critical power of cooling conditions, and so on. A definitive decision will be taken at the end of this PoC period and deployment will start shortly after.

This project also brought us to consider 400GE as a metro transport optimization, able to suppress the OTN muxponders in our architecture. We are closely investigating the introduction of 400GE ZR/ZR+ optics by major vendors and equipment providers.

  • Telehouse 2 – Léon Frot – Private Room

In line with what previous QTRs mentioned, we are still investing time to push our private cage to production at the new Telehouse 2 – Léon Frot datacenter.

This new location is a unique chance for us to make a full greenfield deployment. Telehouse 2 – Léon Frot will become a new “Core” PoP with regards to its proximity to Telehouse 2 Voltaire. This deployment was the opportunity to redesign our rack layouts, aiming at evolving easily with the addition of new capacity and/or new services in this location. For instance, we are now proposing a physical transport service “PNI-Wave” that can act as a PoP redundancy option for customers present in only one location and needing edge router diversity. This service is fully integrated into our racking scheme, allowing future growth of the number of circuits provided.

Telehouse 2 – Léon Frot will gradually benefit from a completely redundant design, featuring two “P” routers, two “PE” routers, two Huber+Suhner LISA optical distribution frames, and two different stacks of optical transmission.

Installed PE routers are 400G capable, and our 400G access port offer is now available! We propose different sub-commits to suit everyone’s needs, starting at 100Gbps, all the way up to 400Gbps full-rate. Feel free to contact us for details!

In this room, the structured cabling system has been taken to new grounds. LISA optical distribution frames were installed, in order to be able to setup, maintain, and scale the number of physical connections in the room, while keeping the best possible quality of service.

The room is now live with the majority of our backbone transmission capacity migrated from legacy Telehouse 2. We also carried out a maintenance in early September when we migrated half of the 100Gbps connected ports in Telehouse 2 to the new PE in Léon Frot. Future operations will include the installation of P routers, and subsequent backbone migrations ; and the migration of half of the 10Gbps ports in Telehouse 2 to the new devices. Stay tuned for more information!


A few figures about Q3-2021:

  • New customer ports (including upgrades)
    • 10G: 18 ports
    • 100G: 6 ports
  • Availability during Q3-2021 & NOC service
    • Paris: 100%
    • Lyon : 100%
    • Marseille: 100%
    • NOC tickets handled: 53
  • Outages
    • No outage during Q3-2021

Upcoming projects and operations

  • Introduction of P-routers in Paris architecture to optimize interconnection capacities ;
  • Introduction of 400G in more PoPs ;
  • Migration of Telehouse 3 and DATA4 PoPs to a denser 100G and 400G ready platform.

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