Vocus racks up $2m core network upgrade

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Vocus racks up $2m core network upgrade

Multiple 10 Gigabit links in operation.

Vocus Communications has completed a $2 million refresh of its core network that has increased link capacities from one to 10 Gigabits.

The wholesale IP transit provider said it had added "about 20" Cisco aggregation services routers - a mix of ASR1006s and ASR1002s - to the network edge.

It had also replaced "all medium-level Cisco switches and replaced them with [Cisco] metro Ethernet switches," chief executive James Spenceley told iTnews.

This was done because the metro Ethernet switches were specifically designed for a carrier environment, providing more advanced features such as dual power supplies.

The underlying transport network was based on Cisco's optical network system (ONS) dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) and synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) technology.

"We have three [Cisco] products in the network - ASRs, metro Ethernet switches and ONSs," Spenceley said. "That scales very well."

Although Vocus had hoped to grow quickly, it had been careful not to over-invest.

The company has gone from 70 customers three months ago to "just under 100" and was picking up a customer a week, Spenceley said.

Recent wins included AussieHQ and TransACT.

Traffic was said to be doubling "every couple of months", although Vocus declined to reveal statistics on network usage.

The result was a core network refresh after just 18 months of operation.

"Usually people refresh their networks every five years," Spenceley said.

The refresh took three months to complete but Vocus had to contend with a worldwide shortage of 10 Gigabit optical components, caused by the volume of service providers upgrading their networks.

"Most of the delay has been in the optics delivery," Spenceley said. "Some small components have held up the larger deployment."

Spenceley said the company would keep the medium-level Cisco switches superseded by the metro Ethernet switches, rather than re-use them in the network or try to sell them.

"We might just keep them for the lab. Customers also sometimes call [in an emergency] asking if we have a spare router so it's quite handy to have that stuff hanging around the office," he said.

Vocus was understood to be one of the largest ASR router customers in Australia.

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