Feeds

Googlenet dwarfs all but two of world's ISPs

The tier 1 network that isn't

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Google handles more internet traffic than all but two of the world's ISPs, according to data from network-security outfit Arbor Networks.

If Google were an ISP, says Arbor chief scientist Craig Labovitz, it would be the fastest-growing carrier in the world, and its size would be matched only by a pair of tier 1 providers, which Labovitz declined to name to The Reg, citing "commercial reasons". As of last summer, according to Arbor's data, Google was contributing about six per cent of all global internet traffic.

The difference, of course, is that tier 1 ISPs handle traffic from myriad sources, including, well, Google. The Googlenet merely handles Google traffic. "The story here is how quickly the nature of the internet topology and landscape is changing," Labovitz tells The Reg.

The report also says that 60 per cent of Google's traffic is now delivered directly to consumer networks. In addition to building out a network of roughly 36 data centers and co-locating in more than 60 public exchanges, the company has spent the past year deploying its Google Global Cache (GGC) servers inside consumer networks across the globe. Labovitz says that according to Arbor's anecdotal conversations, more than half of all consumer providers in North American and Europe now have at least one rack of Google's cache servers.

All that's left is for Google to bridge those last few miles to the end user. And that's exactly what it's doing with the ultra-high-speed fiber networks it's planning for certain select communities in the US. Google says that it will build and test one-gigabit-per-second fiber connections to at least 50,000 US homes, and that this trial could expand to as many as 500,000 homes.

"First, Google competed with videos and search. Then it built out its own infrastructure and its own data centers," says Labovitz. "Next, it interconnected directly with consumer networks to ensure quality and price and other sorts of performance and business objectives. Next, it's not just about interconnecting with consumer networks, it's about deploying boxes within the consumer networks. And if you take this strategy to its logical conclusion, it's building its own fiber networks directly to the consumer."

Google insists that its fiber networks are merely for "experimental" purposes and that it has no intention of competing with consumer ISPs. But Google's definition of competition doesn't always mesh with the view from the outside world.

Arbor's study is based on data from 110 ISP partners worldwide. Its data does not include internal provider services such as VPN or IPTV traffic nor data that comes from co-located caches. It merely measures the traffic between providers. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.