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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Internet provision question... in Technical; We currently have a virgin/SWGfL 10Mb connection on a 10Mb bearer. Virgin are asking for a lot of money to ...
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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    Internet provision question...

    We currently have a virgin/SWGfL 10Mb connection on a 10Mb bearer. Virgin are asking for a lot of money to upgrade the bearer and we are not happy with SWGfL's filtering, so we are looking to do it ourselves. We have already had a proposal for a Palo Alto 3020 accepted.

    We have been offered a 1Gb connection on a 10Gb capable bearer from city fibre for far less a year than either Virgin or BT were offering a 100mb connection.

    The thing that is worrying me however is that in the terms for that 1Gb connection we get a continuous bandwidth of 20Mb and we pay a charge of 8 per Mbps per 5 minutes if we exceed the 20Mb continuous.

    City fibre are telling me that this is standard practice, and because our pipe is so big we should very rarely incur charges as downloads spike and complete quickly and do not cause continuous usage.

    Has anyone come across this before/does anyone else have terms like this, how are they going?

    The contract is for 6 years to get the price down and I don't want to burden the academy with something that proves to be expensive. We have been offered a month where they will waive excess usage fees to allow us to set up traffic shaping/management on the Palo Alto.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Surely if you're paying for a 1GB connection you should be able to use this as you see fit, unless I am misunderstanding? I've never heard of such a clause with our connection. Have you asked other companies about this just to get a general idea?

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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    Our major problem is that no-one else can offer us the same connectivity at a comparable price... Virgin can only offer us 100Mb for a comparable price, and that does include a similar clause, but that includes 50Mb continuous and its 8 per 30 mins. We can get 1Gb from Virgin but we have to pay for some sort of network extension that they have quoted at 18,000 one-off and then 21,000 per year for a 1Gb connection, which is more than twice what we are being quoted for the city fibre connection. BT can't offer us 1Gb for less than 25,000 a year with 8000 installation, but for that 25,000 we do get unlimited, uncontended access, but then you'd expect that, for that amount of money.

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    I'm probably being simplistic here but could you not put in a virgin 20 meg business line? Or even 2 if you need more bandwidth...

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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    as we only have a 10mb bearer we have to pay to upgrade our bearer, and the costs associated with the upgrade to the bearer are almost as much (within 1000) as the entire years basic charges for the city fibre connection...

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    My thought would be - control your bandwidth usage internally - ie. throttle it on your edge firewall. That way, you won't get any extra bills, unless you allow it.

    However, I've not come across these sort of packages before. All the prices we've ever been given are for uncontended fibre lines - which are expensive, simple as. (19kpa for 100Mb, 38k for 100Mb on 1Gb)

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    We had a new line put in by Virgin ... cost us 99.00 ... Its currently 20 meg but will I'm told carry a lot more .... It was easy as we already had the trunking in from the box in the road outside ....

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    They are selling you a contented 1Gbit connection hence the usage clause. If you're fine with that, go ahead.

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    Just a thought have you tested to see what your actually using? I did at a primary and it was never more than 3 meg ... Ive just checked our specs and the virgin line will carry up to 100 meg so theres plenty of elbow room. Ive been monitoring my other primary where we did the same project last year and the service has been a consistant 19 meg.

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    When i was looking at changing ISP for our school, i too found that Virgin, RM and BT were quoting a lot more (just as you have found out for yourself.)

    We ended up going with The Networking People (apka LUNS) with 100mbps Uncontended Line.
    TNP Ltd. The Networking People - Home

    Another ISP that were (nearly) as competitive were M247
    M247 | M247 | Web Hosting, Dedicated Servers and Colocation, Broadband, High Bandwidth Connectivity, Data and Network Security, Scalable Cloud Solutions

    The key thing with both of the above ISPs was 'fixed' costs, none of this additional charges for Mbps over your allowance!

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    6 years is a long time for a contact. Not even BT go that long.

    Our stats show that an average secondary schools with 1300 pupils do an average of 43Mbit per day. This is only going up and up though at the moment.

    We do put some schools on a 1Gbit bearer with 100Mbit as standard. I'd recommend all secondary schools bar small ones to have 100Mbit.

    FYI you should be paying about 6,600pa for a 100Mbit/100Mbit leased line on Virgin and about 8,495 for a 100Mbit/100Mbit on a BT based line.

    We of course do them so feel free to get in touch if we can help. I was just speaking to another potential customer and he was quite surprised at the good pricing we could offer him.

    I'll send you a PM.

    Dave



    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktech View Post
    We currently have a virgin/SWGfL 10Mb connection on a 10Mb bearer. Virgin are asking for a lot of money to upgrade the bearer and we are not happy with SWGfL's filtering, so we are looking to do it ourselves. We have already had a proposal for a Palo Alto 3020 accepted.

    We have been offered a 1Gb connection on a 10Gb capable bearer from city fibre for far less a year than either Virgin or BT were offering a 100mb connection.

    The thing that is worrying me however is that in the terms for that 1Gb connection we get a continuous bandwidth of 20Mb and we pay a charge of 8 per Mbps per 5 minutes if we exceed the 20Mb continuous.

    City fibre are telling me that this is standard practice, and because our pipe is so big we should very rarely incur charges as downloads spike and complete quickly and do not cause continuous usage.

    Has anyone come across this before/does anyone else have terms like this, how are they going?

    The contract is for 6 years to get the price down and I don't want to burden the academy with something that proves to be expensive. We have been offered a month where they will waive excess usage fees to allow us to set up traffic shaping/management on the Palo Alto.

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    Apologies for digging an old thread, but thought I may be able to add some insight into the idea behind this - it comes from the way connectivity is provided within datacentres - you buy a connection from a supplier, and pay per megabit on a 95th percentile basis - the amount you agree to use is termed the committed data rate, above this, you pay an excess charge. To be honest, it doesn't suprise me that most companies won't offer this - they make a lot more money out of saying "you have a 100Mb pipe, you can get 100Mb data at all times" then laugh all the way to the bank when 95th-centile you only use 20Mb. If you have cacti available (or some other long term monitoring) check out what your 95th centile is on your internet connectivity, you'll be surprised how low this is (consider the fact that from say 4pm til 8am the traffic will be very low level, unless you're using online backup facilities). 20Mb does seem quite low on a 1Gb connection, but consider, it's 6.5TB over the course of a month...

    The excess charges do seem somewhat high, but it is good that they do it in short timespans. It may also when entering into this kind of agreement see if there is the possibility of increasing the CDR you have agreed later in the course of the contract, and closely monitor what your external connectivity is using.

  13. Thanks to Willott from:

    Oaktech (4th September 2013)

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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willott View Post
    Apologies for digging an old thread, but thought I may be able to add some insight into the idea behind this - it comes from the way connectivity is provided within datacentres - you buy a connection from a supplier, and pay per megabit on a 95th percentile basis - the amount you agree to use is termed the committed data rate, above this, you pay an excess charge. To be honest, it doesn't suprise me that most companies won't offer this - they make a lot more money out of saying "you have a 100Mb pipe, you can get 100Mb data at all times" then laugh all the way to the bank when 95th-centile you only use 20Mb. If you have cacti available (or some other long term monitoring) check out what your 95th centile is on your internet connectivity, you'll be surprised how low this is (consider the fact that from say 4pm til 8am the traffic will be very low level, unless you're using online backup facilities). 20Mb does seem quite low on a 1Gb connection, but consider, it's 6.5TB over the course of a month...

    The excess charges do seem somewhat high, but it is good that they do it in short timespans. It may also when entering into this kind of agreement see if there is the possibility of increasing the CDR you have agreed later in the course of the contract, and closely monitor what your external connectivity is using.
    We've spoken to them, and we've been told we are stuck with the CDR the way it is and it's associated charges for the first year, but after that we are free to renegotiate up.

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    Have you got cacti or anything monitoring your network ports? Fortunately internal filtering/caches can help with data - not sure what the palo alto has on it - smoothwall due to having squid onboard will cache data (1.5GB set on mine). If you don't have smoothy and palo alto doesn't cache, may be worth sticking a squid box on your network to cache at least some requests (ie the google/bbc/etc homepage images which will be loaded a quadrillion times a day by teachers and students) and reduce potential data usage to reduce CDR. According to cacti, my 95th-centile is at around 8Mb (100Mb connectivity, limited speed through smoothwall to approx 60Mb, just increased to roughly 80Mb), so 20Mb may be fine, it's not as though your teachers/students will be torrenting/downloading movies!

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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    palo caches 1gig at a time.

    The palo has traffic shaping that we have set to exactly sit with the CDR rules in as much as any given request consuming more than 20mb gets squashed to 19mb after 4 minutes, we've watched the graphs and it's working out at the moment!

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