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10Gb Intercity Transport

Looking at options for 10gb wave transport between STL (Walnut) and PHX (PNAP). Both are pop's for lots of carriers, i have relationships with several, some direct and some through the channel.

Centurylink Telia Zayo

Cogent and HE.net both do Ethernet transport which would be an option as well, and wouldnt be taken down by a single fiber cut.

3 year pricing for he.net for the Ethernet transport and wave cost from zayo are pretty close at right around ~$18xx.

I hear Telia can be super competitive on wave's, waiting to hear back on that.

Anyone have price comparisons for long haul? Experiences with any providers listed (or others?)? Any thoughts on wave vs Ethernet? Obviously wave is guaranteed capacity and Ethernet could technically not be.

12 comments
84% Upvoted
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level 1
Network Engineer7 points · 8 days ago

As an engineer for a service provider that mainly does L2 transport, go with the wave if the price is competitive. Get protected if it is mission critical, and you have the budget. Negotiate an SLA that is clear, and has teeth.

We have multiple waves and EVPLs/EPLs with all of the above listed providers (only 40G transit w/ HE, no l2transport from them), and they each come with their own issues. CenturyLink will make turn-up a massive PITA (old L3 techs always, ALWAYS plug their NIDs in backwards, without fail, every circuit we turn up for them). Zayo will screw you over on cost, and support. We have three sites on Zayo DF that we can never do maintenances on, because they always steal our maintenance window the night before. So infuriating.

Can't give you exact costs, because I don't serve the PHX/STL area, but if you are getting close prices between HE/Zayo, I'd say you've got a great deal on the Zayo lambda service.

level 1
2 points · 8 days ago

We use Wave out of PNAP via XO. Generally, across the nation, we have better uptime with our XO wave service than our identical CL service. Be aware, however, when comparing Wave with Ethernet Transport, that Wave will have significant downtime. "Fiber breaks" are common and you will lose your link regularly. If uptime is an issue, make sure you are comparing similar SLAs. Among our 7 XO wave circuits, we have at least one downtime event per week. CL is slightly higher and tends to go down in geographic pairs.

We use carrier-redundant Wave for DCI, so the breaks aren't terribly disruptive in our case, and the reduced latency is worth it.

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 8 days ago

Thanks for the input. I didnt necessarily think of XO, wasn't sure how feasible or good they would be to work with post Verizon acquisition.

As for the downtime, obviously i was aware of the possible downtime, i suppose that will vary a lot based on the route, how "good" it is, distance, etc, but with only 7 waves and one outage peer week that sounds pretty high.

This would basically be DCI for replication and a few other things. We replicate now via vpn over the internet, but obviously speeds/latency/etc constancy can vary.

I suppose if cost is the same, and one trusts the provider/SLA regarding performance/over subscription, then clearly ethernet transport would be the better choice due to reliability?

level 3
2 points · 8 days ago

with only 7 waves and one outage peer week that sounds pretty high.

If I remember, I'll run the numbers at work next week, but that's off the top of my head. Mind you, these those links are 1,100-2,800 km in straight-line distance, so I assume a fair bit of equipment is involved.

I suppose if cost is the same ... then clearly ethernet transport would be the better choice due to reliability?

If reliability is your #1 concern, then yes.

level 4
Network Engineer2 points · 8 days ago

Honestly, I'd say a wave would be more reliable, especially if it is protected. We run our Ethernet transport over the top of alien waves. When you've got purely L1 (barely L2) equipment, it tends to be pretty reliable, as long as the population of rogue augers isn't too high in the area :)

level 4

It all really depends on what you are willing to pay for transport. Your wave can be protected so that the chance of a fiber cut causing an outage is minimal. It will most likely be more expensive than just ethernet, but a wave offers you a bit more flexibility on how you can use it.

level 3

XO is hands down the worst carrier Ive ever used in the last 20 years. By way of reference I manage about 100 circuits.

level 3
1 point · 6 days ago

Ran an uptime report for all of July including 7 XO Wave links and 7 CL Wave links, covering almost identical routes. "Downtime" is reported via UDP Jitter IP SLA running on both ends of the link. I picked this range because, during this period, our notification system was broken, and no tickets were placed for these outages--meaning the fix time was completely determined by the carrier.

XO: 5 downtime events:

  1. no downtime

  2. no downtime

  3. no downtime

  4. 0:08

  5. 14:48

  6. 4:38, 0:06

  7. 4:37

* Link 6/7 share a termination site, where a single major fiber cut caused both ~4:30 outages.

CL: 13 downtime events:

  1. 0:09, 0:03

  2. 20:43, 1:20

  3. no downtime

  4. 4:42, 11:17, 0:01

  5. 7:37

  6. 0:08, 0:01, 0:37, 20:08

  7. 5:15

* Link 2/6 share a termination site, where a single major fiber cut caused both ~20:00 outages.

Out closest link to your PHX-STL route is link #2

level 1
I break things, professionally.1 point · 7 days ago

My company has presence in both Netrality buildings in St. Louis (and one in Philly too). Feel free to PM me if you want to chat about transit or transport.

Specifically for your case: we use Level3 and Zayo. We’ve had the best results by far with Level3. This might not be a thing for Zayo anymore, however, for a period of time they had us last mile on Windstream and it was epically terrible. When dealing with them make sure you get really clear language about delivery.

level 1

If you're already a Zayo customer they have a cool thing in their portal for getting an instant quote for different kinds of service between locations. Makes it easy to have a budgetary price without getting a sales person interested.

level 2
Original Poster2 points · 7 days ago

Yep already spent time in there and talking with our rep. Usually quotes through the portal are really competitive for "hot" spots, such as cermack/stemmons/etc, but for lesser places, such as STL, not quite as much and it may require work with the product folks. However it is cool to mess around with for sure.

level 3

I don't have any wave circuits - but am paying about $1700 for a Zayo 1g L2 circuit from 350 Cermak to ATL.

This was a contract from about 4 years ago though, so newer pricing might be more competitive. I'm seeing $1200 or so as market for 1g, and 10g in the 1900s.

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