Sometimes Avoiding London is Good

Tower Bridge, LondonLots of hosting companies boast about how much uptime their networks have. They talk about the huge numbers of interconnecting paths leading to their servers. It's comforting to think that, should someone slice through a piece of fibre-optic cable, the show will still go on because of all these fail-safe multiple links.

But the industry hides a dirty little secret.

You see, things aren't always as they seem. When the smiling salesman tells you that you can host your live site in London and your backup in, say,  Glasgow, it sounds very comforting. If anything were to happen to the London network, Glasgow would take the baton and your site would remain available to the world. All very reassuring. But take a peek at the network diagram that they don't want to show you. The one that's not in the glossy brochure. You'll notice something odd. Chances are, Glasgow shunts all its traffic back to London. So if London's down, then so is Glasgow. Sure, the servers will be up and running, but the backhaul to London means the resiliency is destroyed. You'll be surprised how many large and otherwise reputable companies fall short in this respect.

Positive Internet doesn't rely on backhauling anywhere, or on any single geographical location. We own and operate our principal UK datacentre, Positive Park. It connects through resilient, independent fibre pathways to our London and Manchester points of presence. These, in turn, connect to one another completely independently of Positive Park. Each POP makes further connections to multiple high-capacity transit providers. We've set this up so that there is no bottleneck or single point of failure. Each site can operate completely independently and does not rely on the others.

Getting all this working properly takes a surprising combination of network infrastructure and geographic attention to detail. For example, almost all UK Internet transit providers involve the London Docklands at some point. This means that if there's a problem in that area (less than a square mile), then most of the UK's Internet will simply stop operating. Bearing this in mind, we have selected transit providers from our Manchester point of presence that completely avoid London, even for transatlantic traffic (if you're interested in the details, it routes across the northwest to Southport, over to Ireland and across the Atlantic to New York and the rest of North America). This means that your clients, wherever they are located, will be able to access your sites hosted with Positive Internet.

Sometimes it's the boring technicalities that make all the difference.