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New Plusnet Broadband Network

  • Be3G
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« on 17/12/2010, 22:38 »
Earlier today, Plusnet made the following announcement on the Community site:

Over the past few months we’ve been working hard to build a brand new broadband network. We currently operate three different networks:

  • 21CN for ADSL2+ and fibre customers which uses 1Gbps hostlinks
  • Our first 20CN network for some Madasafish customers which uses 155Mbps pipes
  • Our second 20CN network for everyone else that uses 622Mbps pipes

Our new network replaces all of the above with four 10Gbps host links (and we have two more 10Gbps host links on order).

Over the next 6 weeks we will be trialling the new network by moving a small number of customers to it. 20CN customers will be moved dependent on the realm they connect with;  the realm is the part of the username after the @ symbol.  Most of our customers use the plusdsl.net realm which will be moved in a couple of months time.

The first realms to be moved were plusdsl2.net and metro2.net, this happened successfully yesterday. The migration of all our 20CN customers is expected to take around 4 months including the initial trial period.

21CN customers don’t need to be moved using their connection realms. Instead we will periodically move customers over when they start a new connection over the next 6 weeks. Our first batch of 21CN customers connected on the new network on Wednesday. Once the trial period has ended we will move all customers across to the new network.

We will try and ensure a minimum impact on customers during this work, however some customers may be disconnected briefly as part of the move. We will post details of any expected or possible disconnections on our service status page.

The new network has a number of advantages. With four 10Gbps host links available we have a significant amount of capacity in reserve which can easily be increased with only a few days notice and makes it much easier for capacity planning. It also makes it easier to manage and keep the network in balance.

Our intention is to have moved all of our customers onto the new network by the middle of April in order that we can decommission the old networks. We’ll post regular updates to say how the migration is going over the next four months.

Dave Tomlinson

Plusnet plc

Please use this thread to discuss any comments you have about the change.
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« Reply #1 on 17/12/2010, 22:44 »
I'm surprised that no-one has commented on Dave's blog post - perhaps more people come straight in to the forums without looking at the Community home page. I made this post earlier, but now Thomas has very kindly started this topic I'm moving what I said here.

The most significant thing for people stuck on 20CN exchanges is that they will be moved across to connect via BT's 21CN network and the 10Gbps pipes using IPSC.

I've been on this since late yesterday afternoon and after a couple of early minor glitches it's looking good.

I think anyone who took part in the RIN trial and used to use the username@plusdsl2.net can get on to the new connection by changing back to that login; but be aware that there are no static IPs on that realm so if you have a static IP it will be temporarily lost. Once plusdsl.net is moved across we will be able to go back to that and regain our usual static IP.
« Reply #2 on 18/12/2010, 09:53 »
On dear oh dear. This is what Enta did a couple of years ago, causing me to leave them at the time. Basically ALL traffic from Scotland (- down to -  Newcastle/York) is piped through ONE connection in Edinburgh. What this meant then was that at peak times our speed was at DIAL UP speeds. Doesn't matter if you are on a business or a residential line same slow down.

Well one more reason to look for a new provider if PN suffer the same issues. We had lots of outages and slowdowns then. And this extra £5 PN want from me is making me look seriously at moving.
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« Reply #3 on 18/12/2010, 10:01 »
That's the danger with jumping into a brand new product pretty much as soon as it is released as Enta did.  IPStream Connect has been around for a couple of years now.  Plusnet have trialled it previously, and as can be seen from Dave's blog post people are being moved over pretty slowly.  If any cracks start to show then there is the opportunity to review.

« Reply #4 on 18/12/2010, 10:07 »
So where are these 10Gbit connectors being located and what happens if one goes down - do Plusnet lose 25% of available capacity instantaneously
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« Reply #5 on 18/12/2010, 12:50 »
They would, but as peak total traffic at the moment is about 20Gb down and 3Gb up, would we notice if one failed and we only had 30Gb available?
« Reply #6 on 19/12/2010, 10:10 »
You would if you were on the affected node. Unless they have fall-backs (which they didn't have last year)  then ALL traffic on that node would be down, similar to the Edinburgh outage earlier.
I remember the Manchester node went down taking the West of the country out for nearly a week until they fixed it.
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« Reply #7 on 19/12/2010, 10:31 »
We're not talking about nodes we are talking about the pipes that come in to Plusnet from the nodes. Although exchanges will connect to a particular node, coming in to Plusnet it can be over any of the pipes, BT will allocate to each of the pipes in turn to balance the loads.

What would happen would be exactly the same as happens when one of the current 622 pipes goes down, people lose their connection and in the vast majority of cases their router would automatically attempt to reconnect and they would come in on one of the other three.

My concern would be the load on the radius servers as up to 100,000 people tried to re-authenticate at the same time!
« Reply #8 on 20/12/2010, 11:45 »
Although there are 4 10GB pipes I'm guessing the actual amount activated will be limited. Have more users been moved across? Last night it didn't seem so good:

(click the graph for a larger version)

It could of course be exchange contention although mine is showing green at present.
« Reply #9 on 02/01/2011, 09:19 »
The fastest fibre-optic link that is readily commercially available operates at 10 Gbps.  That's giga bits per second and would use one wavelength down a fibre capable of carrying tens of wavelengths simultaneously.  If so its either all activated or nothing.  If the infrastructure is older, the pipes might use four wavelengths at 2.5 gbps each,  in which case the capacity could be activated in 2.5 gbps chunks.     
« Reply #10 on 11/01/2011, 23:18 »
Have more users been moved across?

We moved more customers across today, however more capacity was lit a while back to as per the announcement here.
« Reply #11 on 21/03/2011, 20:22 »
Could we please have a progress update on the transfer of us onto the new network?
Has it slowed down, or is it on track for us all to be on it by April ?
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