The NetworkThe Servers
Connected to Three Backbones
NETract Web Services servers are managed by LWH. The Network Operations Center, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is OnNet with GlobalCenter (GC), Qwest Communications and GTE through three separate bandwidth-on-demand connections that enter Baltimore
in the LWH building.
GC, a Tier 1 provider with a 13,000-mile fiber optic network and Dense Wave Division Multiplexing
(DWDM) technology that provides an enormous 460 gigabytes per second (Gbps) of capacity worldwide, has an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) fiber node located just a few floors below the
Qwest comes into Baltimore with an OC-12 line and plans to upgrade its connection to an OC-48 in the near future. Qwest also has an ATM fiber node just floors below the
NOC. Our Qwest connection enables NETract Web Services to offer additional redundancy and better routes to Europe, Latin America and Asia. With our carriers, our router has up to 150,000 possible routes to send each packet of traffic.
a division of GTE, is our third Tier One Internet backbone. Genuity provides excellent network performance as a result of high-speed peering arrangements with other Tier One Internet backbone providers. The GTE global network delivers customers directly onto the Internet via a high-speed connection to its private, super-capacity backbone, including 17,000 miles of fiber and OC192 capacity. It is comprised of more than 800 U.S. local access points and approximately 1,500 international local access points in more than 150 countries.
Furthermore, because of these unique connections, the servers do not need to link to the Internet through an OC3 or T3 Telecom circuit. Instead, independent cables run inside the building directly from the NOC to all three carriers' points of presence. These lines can handle the bandwidth of a T3 or an OC3 with
DWDM. Plus, they handle several times the bandwidth of an OC3. Whatever your bandwidth needs may be, we have the scalability to meet them.
The intelligent end-user routing software called Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) between Qwest, GC and GTE, which use the same protocol. BGP identifies which path is the most efficient for each data packet and then routes the packet to its destination on the fastest path. This increases the speed at which web pages sent from our NOC arrive at their destination.
Studies have shown that the most common reason for downtime is circuit failure on Tier 1 provider backbones, the major data highways. To guard against this potential problem, we have three Tier-1 providers. If one experiences problems, we can route traffic down another one. Furthermore, because we are OnNet with GlobalCenter, Qwest and GTE, we share their digital distribution architecture, which includes private peering network connections to major Internet carriers such as MCI, Sprint, UUNET, EUNET, AT&T, AOL, Best, Erols, @Home, IBM Advantis and others. These private peering arrangements allow the NOC to quickly and efficiently exchange packets of data with every major backbone carrier in a one-to-one environment.
In addition, GC has high-speed links to eight public exchanges including both MAE East and West and several NAPS. Through these public exchanges, customers have the ability to reach their sites, no matter where they are.
Industry analysis reveals that 70% of downtime of over 10 hours with any ISP is caused by telephone circuit failure. With NETract Web Services, circuit failure is virtually eliminated. That's because the NOC is in the same building as GlobalCenter, Qwest and GTE. There is no phone circuit between the NOC and these providers. Instead, there is a direct connection between our Cisco 7500 routers and theirs.
We also have peering connections with other major Tier 1 providers that allow traffic to be switched to alternate backbones should the need arise.
NETract Web Services recognizes that downtime is not an option for your servers. That's why we invest heavily in hardware and facilities that ensure that your clients are up and running on the web 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The NOC features raised flooring. This enables a constant flow of conditioned air and helps to maintain uniform room temperature at all times. In addition, raised flooring reduces static and ensures a professional, computer-grade environment for your servers.
The facility is equipped with a Raytheon fire suppression system, designed to immediately extinguish fire and protect equipment and personnel. The command center is controlled via automatic doors to further secure and protect the equipment.
Finally, the NOC is located in a secure, monitored, class A building with a minimum number of approved personnel allowed access to highly sensitive areas and equipment. A detailed record of employee and visitor entry is maintained at all times.
The ServersThe Network
Uninterruptible Power System
To guard against local power failures, there are two industrial-grade, three-phase Liebert UPS systems. These act as back-up batteries, maintaining uninterrupted power in case of surges or power outages. With these back-up systems in place, we can keep our network up and running indefinitely without relying on external power.
Industrial-Grade Air Conditioners
LWH's NOC has two Liebert 10 ton industrial air conditioners that condition our computer rooms and operations center. Air temperature is maintained at an optimal 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Custom Web Servers
Our servers are custom-built industrial machines designed for a 24/7 web serving environment. All servers are equipped with dual-redundant, 450-watt power supplies, hot swap Seagate Baracuda/Cheetah drives and force-filtered cooling systems. In addition, our NOC is equipped with an inventory of identically configured, burned-in standby servers.
Force Filtered Cooling
All of the web servers are equipped with a positive-pressure filtered-air system. Four large fans pull filtered air into each server's protective case, and the components within are cooled by fans that circulate this purified air. This constant introduction of clean air into the case creates a positive pressure environment ensuring that dust and particles remain outside the server.
Hot Swap Seagate Drives
The drives and drive bays of all servers are constructed from high-grade aluminum and rest in shock-mounted drive cages, which adds to the durability of the hardware. Our drives proudly feature the lowest failure rate in the industry.
Redundant Hot Swap Power Supplies
Each server employs dual-redundant hot swap power supplies. If a power supply were to fail, the server would continue running with power from the alternate supply. Meanwhile, alarms would alert a technician, who would quickly restore redundancy. In the meantime, servers and client sites would experience no downtime.
We keep spare servers online of all CPU configurations. If a server were to experience a hardware failure, we would turn a key, grab the handle on the drive, pull it out and insert it into an identical standby CPU. We would then reboot the second machine, and the server would be up and running again in a matter of minutes.