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Jun 13, 2013

CCP Games achieves high availability with Internap’s Flow Control Platform (FCP)

Ansley Kilgore

Flow Control Platform (FCP)Gaming companies that develop massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) require highly reliable connectivity for a consistent gaming experience. To meet consumer expectations and avoid outages, game developers must have an IT Infrastructure in place that allows them to assess network availability and performance across multiple carriers. The ability to deliver your game across the optimal network path helps reduce the risk of disruptions and slowdowns that would otherwise result in lost gaming subscribers and lost revenue.

CCP Games is one of the leading companies in the field of massively multiplayer online gaming. But when subscribers began reporting issues with inconsistent performance and outages during game play, CCP Games needed a way to quickly identify and resolve network problems. With a large global subscriber base and game play that involves integrated voice and chat features, the end user experience relies heavily on the ability to automatically route traffic across the best network path.

With Internap’s Flow Control PlatformTM (FCP), CCP Games can prevent network problems from affecting the experience of their online gamers. FCP provides the ability to analyze IP network-bound traffic in real-time, identify which networks to send traffic by measuring round-trip times and bandwidth usage and optimize all traffic for performance and high availability.

Real-time visibility – FCP provides visibility into performance and network availability across numerous network and carrier providers and then analyzes the data to automatically route traffic across the most optimal network paths.

Management and reporting – FCP delivers insightful metrics and reporting tools that can be used to understand the condition of providers’ networks at any time. This can significantly reduce the need for manual troubleshooting.

Automatic traffic routing – Instead of waiting up to several days for network engineers to address issues with poor performance, FCP automatically detects network problems before they affect the customer. The result is higher availability of CCP Games’ platform and increased customer satisfaction.

For online gaming companies and other industries that rely on optimal online performance, having the ability to automatically navigate around network trouble spots is critical. All carriers experience outages, and a solution like Internap’s FCP helps alleviate these problems without manual troubleshooting. Whether your goal is to maintain competitive advantage, improve customer satisfaction or grow your business, you need a consistent, reliable platform that end users can trust.

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Jan 11, 2013

What’s in a name? And, why are they called AgileSERVERS?

Ansley Kilgore

AgileSERVERSIt’s always interesting to be asked why a product is called what it is called, but I’ve come to expect it when travelling and meeting new people. However, I didn’t expect to hear it in the office the other day, and that has led me to write this post.

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet” Romeo and Juliet, 2.2.47-48

We don’t sell roses, but we do sell AgileSERVERS.

So what is an AgileSERVER? What makes our servers so agile? What makes our servers so grandiose that we feel the need to overcapitalize them? All good questions…

What is an AgileSERVER?

An AgileSERVER is a dedicated server that resides in the Internap datacenter and is available on an hourly, monthly, or annual basis. This is a good option for Internap customers who use our world-class datacenters for Colocation, but also need a solution for flexible infrastructure on potentially a short-term basis. While many service providers offer hosted servers on a monthly basis, offering them on an hourly basis provides our clients with increased business agility to align their IT costs and capacity needs in near real-time.

What makes our servers so agile?

Providing flexibility to pay for dedicated servers on a granular level is just one piece of the puzzle. The servers have to provision quickly so that the infrastructure is available when needed, so we offer some “instant config” servers that can be online in less than ten minutes. If your application requires a different configuration, this can be ready in a matter of hours. This rapid provisioning creates IT agility to provide infrastructure to your end-users and brings cloud-like instant gratification to dedicated servers.

What makes our servers so grandiose that we feel the need to overcapitalize them?

The server hardware is another piece of the puzzle, but the network speed and quality are as important as the hardware. AgileSERVER is paired with three unique network agility benefits.

  1. Managed Internet Route Optimizer™ (MIRO) technology – Built on Internap’s patented route-optimization technology, each AgileSERVER will automatically deliver traffic over the lowest latency path available and avoid carriers with bottlenecks or disruptions.
  2. Global Content Delivery Network (CDN) – Internap also includes a transparent caching CDN that can be used to reduce the amount of infrastructure required to deliver web content to remote end-users while simultaneously reducing loading times.
  3. Cloud Hybridization – Since not every workload requires a full server, Internap enables bare-metal and cloud instances to coexist in the same logical network. This allows for optimizing costs by not over-provisioning resources, and enables creative solutions for burst capacity.

So why do we overcapitalize our AgileSERVERS? Because they are so much more than just servers. They bring billing flexibility, instant provisioning, and include performance-enhancing network technologies while offering the isolation of a dedicated server and the full performance of hardware without any hypervisor penalty. So while AgileSERVERS could be effectively used for agile development sprints, agility is not limited to developers (or acrobats).

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but an AgileSERVER is so much sweeter than just any old server.

To learn more, please read our AgileSERVERS data sheet.

 

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Oct 23, 2012

Appterra faces a global interconnectivity challenge head-on

INAP

Apterra global connectivityAppterra is a SaaS global B2B solutions company.  We focus on enabling inter-company transactions between commercial trading partners. Our solutions are cloud based and enable mission-critical multi-company business processes for enterprises in the global supply chain for the manufacturing, distribution and energy industries. As a managed service SaaS solution, uptime is critical for our customers. Simply put, if we are down, they are down and we are out of business.

Over the past several years we have seen substantial growth of our company’s user base within the Asian marketplace; specifically in China. Our global trading hub allows businesses to interconnect with one another and share documents such as purchase orders, shipping details and invoices.

We are committed to a 100% uptime standard as our customers rely on our systems to keep their factories and supply chains smoothly moving forward. With a few rare exceptions, we have achieved an average of more than 99.999% availability. We are also continually monitoring connectivity from locations all over the world including North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.

Earlier this month, we had a number of Chinese trading partners that were unable to access our system.  At the time, we were 100% up and all data reflected that we had an excellent response time with connectivity in all locations throughout the world with the exception of some users in China and, specifically, on one particular telecom provider. What this meant was that these companies, because they had chosen an internet provider that was not reliable, ended up being unable to conduct business. They could not retrieve purchase orders, create invoices nor could they receive any other information that related to their services. This truly highlights the importance of not being reliant upon one telecom service provider for your business. All of those businesses had only one provider and when it went down, they were down.  As a result, commerce with our primary customer, a global enterprise relying on the timely placement of these orders, suffered critical delays in their supply chain.

This is exactly why Appterra chose Internap for our IP services, with its Managed Internet Route Optimizer™ (MIRO) technology, because if one provider has a problem then we are able to seamlessly transition to another provider and our customers never experience an issue.

As we all become more dependent on reliable and 100% available Internet connectivity for our businesses, I recommend that anyone in business today demand a 100% uptime commitment from their Internet connections. Your customers won’t care if your internet provider was down, as far as they are concerned, you are down.

Because everything that Appterra does is mission-critical to their customers, Internap’s 100% uptime guarantee is a massive risk-reducer. This case study further illustrates the challenge and solution.

Guest blogger: Charlie Alsmiller, CEO of Summa Technology Group | Appterra

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Jun 14, 2011

Q&A: Boost Your Multi-Homed Network for Optimal Availability and Performance

INAP

Last week, we held our webcast on how to boost the availability and performance of your multi-homed networks using Internap’s Flow Control Platform™ (FCP) intelligent route optimization appliance. As such, we wanted to share the Q&A here.

Multi-Homed Network for Optimal Availability and PerformanceAs a reminder, the FCP sits in your multi-homed network environment and performs three essential functions:

  • Monitors your networks to identify network issues
  • Automatically performs routing changes to route your traffic across the most optimal path to your end-user
  • Provides extensive network reporting and simulation functions for a full view into your multi-homed network environments

 

Questions & Answers (Q&A) from the Webcast

“Does the FCP sit in-line to the network and if so, does this represent a Single Point of Failure (SPOF)?”

FCP does not sit in line of your network traffic. Your traffic flows through the same chain of equipment as it did previously. There is no Single Point of Failure risk to your network.

“What performance improvements have your customers experienced through implementation of FCP?”

Internap has a very broad set of customers using FCP – Financial, Online Trading, Online Retail, Gaming, etc. The feedback we get is that companies see up to a 40% improvement in performance through the reduction of latency they were previously experiencing.

“How does the routing change downstream traffic?”

FCP’s traffic routing is done at the point of egress. FCP looks at end-to-end traffic performance to your destination and the quality of this link to make a determination as to the best carrier and path to route your traffic.

“Does the FCP optimize incoming traffic?”

No. The FCP optimizes your outgoing traffic across the network.

“Do you offer a class of service for different providers?”

FCP does have configuration options that allow companies to route traffic across their chosen carriers based on performance or cost or a combination of the two characteristics [FCP provides the ability to configure policies in its FlowView Manager panel].

Our Performance IP™ service allows customers to leverage our Managed Internet Route Optimizer™ technology to route their traffic across a broader set of carriers that Internap connects to via our Private Network Access Point (P-NAP®)architecture.

“How much capacity can FCP handle?”

Flow Control Platform is a scalable solution. FCP comes in two configurations, the FCP-GigE and FCP-10GigE. The FCP-GigE can support up to four GigE connections and 4Gbps. The FCP-10GigE can support up to two 10GigE connections and up to 20Gbps.

With their companion Flow Control Remote (FCR) devices, the FCR-GigE and FCR-10GigE, the solutions scale in increments up to 4Gbps and 20Gbps, respectively, for each additional FCR unit deployed.

“Can you use FCP with your Performance IP connection?”

Absolutely. You can optimize FCP within an existing Performance IP connection. This is the best of both worlds in that customers can leverage the greater diversity of carriers for traffic routing that Internap is connected to. This is not a requirement for using FCP.

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