Who are they?
Community Network Center Incorporated (CNCI) is a local Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Japan, which offers telecommunication services, cable television broadcasting and redistribution to businesses and consumers in the country. The company was founded in 2008 and is based in Nagoya.
Connecting to global content providers
As a local ISP, CNCI sought to have peering arrangements with major content providers based in the US, which would let it deliver traffic to its customers at a low cost. However, this presented two key challenges – first the need to have a physical connection to the US, and second the uncertainty over the volume of traffic pulled once peering took place.
“For us to connect to the US content providers, we would need a Japan-US Internet circuit, a local data centre and Internet exchange port arrangement,” said Shuta Obinata, CNCI peering manager. “This requires investment in hardware and networking equipment, and not knowing how much traffic we would get makes it harder to provision the right bandwidth. It also requires us to pay in US dollars, which translates to foreign exchange risks.”
Flexible, cost-effective connectivity
CNCI wanted to peer with US content providers to provide a fast and reliable online experience for its customers, while also reducing its IP transit costs. After discussing its challenge with the Telstra team at the Peering Asia 1.0 conference, CNCI was introduced to the Telstra Programmable Network (TPN) and how it could be used to reach US-based Internet exchanges, such as CNCI’s preferred partner Any2.
As the world’s first international software-defined network, TPN makes it possible to build on-demand, high-performance networks with near real-time connectivity to clouds, data centres, security, application services and a partner ecosystem. Easily configurable networking, automated provisioning and flexible consumption models provide organisations with the agility they need to adapt to changing business needs.
Even though Telstra didn’t have a direct interconnect relationship with Any2, the team was able to overcome this challenge by creating a bespoke off-net local loop service for CNCI. CNCI started a five-month trial of a 5Gbps link to the Any2 Internet exchange. “As TPN is a usage-based product, we were able to conduct a short-term trial to explore the possibilities with minimum budget and determine the transit levels we need to cater for,” Shuta said.
“Telstra helped us set up TPN and also advised us on how to connect to each Internet exchange and content provider, helping us avoid contractual complications in dealing with our US partners.”
“The Telstra Programmable Network has given us a highly flexible, scalable and cost-effective platform with expansive reach to major global Internet exchanges.”
Community Network Center Incorporated
Better customer experiences, lower operating costs
The trial showed that TPN could provide CNCI with flexible, low-latency connectivity without the need to host any physical equipment in the US. CNCI could use TPN to peer with several content providers via Any2, and reduce its existing IP transit traffic.
“Because we were able to procure the necessary bandwidth only when it was needed, TPN helped us deliver a better experience to our customers, and has reduced our transit costs to a low monthly fee,” Shuta said.
“We have been so pleased with the trial’s outcomes that we committed to a 10Gbps link on a multiple-year term.”
Looking to the future with more connectivity options
The peering arrangements in the US are just the first phase of CNCI’s plans for TPN. “We are planning to connect to more locations in the US and Europe, and peer with content providers there to continue serving the demands of our customers,” Shuta said.
Further, TPN offers CNCI the potential to connect directly to cloud platforms such as AWS and Azure, opening up possibilities for CNCI to offer new services and products to customers. CNCI is also considering tapping the advantages of TPN’s network function virtualisation, particularly virtual routers and virtual firewalls.
“The Telstra Programmable Network has given us a highly flexible, scalable and cost-effective platform with expansive reach to major global Internet exchanges,” Shuta concluded. “We also enjoyed dedicated support by local Telstra staff who spoke the same language, and so look forward to continuing this relationship for a long time.”