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Monthly Archives: October 2010

25
Oct
2010

NatNet News: We’re Going Social

by Administrator

Going Social HeaderWe are happy to announce the development of our latest project: NatNet News. It’s been a busy year since we moved into our new Data Center, and we couldn’t be happier. It seems that everyday we are taking steps to improve not only how we do business, but how we interact with our employees and most importantly, our customers. To read the newsletter, click here.

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19
Oct
2010

IPv6 – What It Is and Other Fun Facts

by Administrator

You may have heard that the Internet is quickly running out of IP addresses. If you’re even slightly technical, you have probably also heard that a new IP numbering scheme called IPv6 is on the horizon and it will solve all of our IP address issues…but will it? The short answer is yes, but like everything else in life, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Let’s start by discussing our current IP address scheme – IPv4. IPv4 is expressed in 4 octets, for example 192.168.1.1 (say it like 192 dot 168 dot 1 dot 1) where each number between the dot is an octet. When this addressing scheme was created in 1980, it was the fourth revision in the development of the Internet protocol and was the first version to be widely deployed. By using these 4 octets it gave IPv4 the ability to have 4,294,967,296 IP address. At the time this was deployed the engineers nodded their collective heads and agreed that 4.2 billion IP addresses would be more than enough and we would never run out. Unfortunately, what they could not foresee was the Internet boom nor the fact that so many devices today utilize IP addresses besides computers, routers and servers. With the explosion of smart devices, including TVs, appliances (does my toaster REALLY need an IP address?) and especially cell phones, IP address usage has skyrocketed. In February 2010, the International Telecommunications Union announced that the number of cell phones worldwide is now over 4.6 billion with “smart phones” (phones that run an operating system and require an IP address) making up a larger and larger chunk of that number. Smart phone usage is growing by leaps and bounds. In the first half of 2010 vendors shipped a total of 119.4 MILLION smart phones, an increase of 55.5% over the first half of 2009.

Now we see the issue… IPv4 space is running out and at an extremely quick rate. Estimates of how long we have before we run out of IPv4 space range from 200-400 days.

So why don’t we just roll out IPv6 space immediately? Unfortunately it’s not as easy as flipping a switch. In order to fully roll out IPv6, EVERY device in the WORLD that utilizes an IP address has to support IPv6 or they won’t be able to access the Internet. There are still many routers, PCs, and servers that are just old enough that they don’t have support for IPv6. Many cable and other Internet providers (ISPs) are looking at doing major upgrades to make sure they can supply their customers with Internet access. NationalNet has worked closely with our providers and are doing both IPv4 and IPv6 with all of them at this time. We are also running IPv6 internally on many devices and are in full readiness to move everything to IPv6 when the time is right.

So, after all of this, are we sure that we have enough IPv6 IP addresses? We certainly don’t ever want to be in this predicament again. When the engineers rolled out IPv4, they didn’t anticipate the issues we have now with IPv4, so did they plan correctly this time? Just how many addresses are there in the IPv6 implementation? Well, that’s easy – it’s 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 IP addresses.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking…that number is too big for you to even get your head around, so let’s say it in words. It’s three hundred forty undecillion, two hundred eighty-two decillion, three hundred sixty-six nonillion, nine hundred twenty octillion, nine hundred thirty-eight septillion, four hundred sixty-three sextillion, four hundred sixty-three quintillion, three hundred seventy-four quadrillion, six hundred seven trillion, four hundred thirty-one billion, seven hundred sixty-eight million, two hundred eleven thousand, four hundred fifty-six.

Yes, I know – that makes it even harder to understand, so Tomas, our Director of Technical Services, broke it down for me. When we received our IPv6 allocation a few months back I was trying to figure out how many IP addresses we had. I knew we had 79,228,162,514,264,337,593,543,950,336 IPs in our allocation but that’s a hard number to wrap your head around so here’s what Tomas told me.

“If you remember, I said that Internet had about 4 billion IPs, so NationalNet’s IPv6 allocation is equivalent to 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 copies of the current Internet.”

OK that number was still too big…so Tomas broke it down even further. “If NationalNet decided to give a copy of the current Internet to everyone on the planet out of our IP space, we could give each person 3,074,457,345 internets a piece.” Now that’s a LOT of IP space. Based on the allocation we have, which is just a small fraction of the overall space, I would say the engineers got it right and we shouldn’t ever run out. Also, if you’re testing IPv6 at home with your current ISP, we do have an IPv6 web site at Also, if you’re testing IPv6 at home with your current ISP, we do have an IPv6 web site at http://ipv6.nationalnet.com.

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15
Oct
2010

Featured Employee: Brad, Director of Engineering

by Administrator

Employee Highlight - NationalNet - BradBrad is head of all things network, peering and engineering related for NationalNet. He joined us in 2008 after his employment with WV Fiber, Inc. in Nashville, TN. His extensive knowledge in the field made it a no brainer for our team to woo him away to help us grow.

Brad plays a major role in the Internet world by his involvement in organizations such as ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers), NANOG, Equinix Peering Forum, AID Phone and Part 15. Recently, Brad spoke to network operators from around the globe as Atlanta played host city for NANOG-50, the 50th meeting of the North American Network Operators Group. His presentation centered on the enormous task of upgrading the entire internet (yes, the whole thing) from IPv4 to IPv6 over the coming months and years. Aren’t you glad his expertise is housed within NationalNet? We sure are.

In the past, Brad has volunteered his services to help those in need, including serving two months in the flood ravaged city of New Orleans following the Katrina disaster to rebuild network services in the region. He continues his philanthropy in a personal way as well, by serving on the board for his HOA and as the Chair for the Security Committee.

Brad and his wife have four furry pugs, named Jacob, Madeliene, Gilbert and Stanley. They continue to support the Music City Pug Foundation in their home town of Nashville, TN.

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05
Oct
2010

NationalNet: A Step Toward Sustainability

by Administrator

NationalNet is proud to join the ranks of other eco-friendly data centers by installing an Eaton Energy Saver System. The new system is built to run our UPS units more efficiently and cut down the amount of unused power. This is a common problem with data center structures, and Eaton has developed a way to minimize the loss; which translates into 99% of usable power. NationalNet - green web hosting, green datacenter

In an excerpt from their case study, “Eaton is changing the game with the revolutionary Energy Saver System. UPSs equipped with this technology deliver 99 percent efficiency or better without sacrificing reliability… The intelligent power core continuously monitors incoming power conditions and balances the need for efficiency with the need for premium protection, to match the conditions of the moment.” You can read more of their case study here.

So, that’s all fine and dandy, but how does it translate to the green initiative? By following the logic of increasing our own power efficiency from 94% to 99%, a data center critical load over 2,000 kW, there is a five-year energy savings (kWhrs) of more than 8,897,000. That equals saving 6064 metric tons of CO2 over a five-year period, or taking more than 1897 cars off the road for a full year!*. Now, that realization is impressive. And as we continue to grow, we will consciously be minimizing our carbon footprint and doing what we can to improve the environment in the data center scheme of things.

This eco-conscience step for NationalNet is one of the biggest that we’ve taken so far. With a history of green internal practices, such as recycling plastics and using high efficiency chillers for our air conditioning units, installing Eaton’s new program just makes sense.

*Figures used in study have been extrapolated based on Eaton’s Energy Saver System report

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