Data Center Connectivity

Connectivity is a critical component of any data center or colocation opportunity. Connectivity is what transforms a data center from an island into an active part of the Internet – which, after all, is the point of it all.

As a data center owner and operator, DWDM fiber network owner and operator, fiber network construction company, expert in Internet routing and traffic management, and data center tenant, AiNET has a unique perspective on data center Connectivity.

Given this perspective, a data center’s Connectivity must be Reliable, Cost-Effective; and it must provide Meaningful ISP Choice. (click for a list of our available carriers).


Understand the underlying security, redundancy and physical diversity of your connectivity. Be aware of the physical fiber routes into the data center – are their conduits diverse and encased in concrete? Also note that it’s common that multiple carriers “enter” a data center in the same conduit, sometimes as separate circuits or wavelengths on the same fiber. This may be manageable if other diversity measures are in place, but it is something you should know and understand.


Generally speaking, the cost of Connectivity has three major components: i) Your cost for Internet bandwidth, often stated in $/Mbps or $/GB if rated or $/month for an unrated connection, ii) Your cross connection fees to reach your providers, iii) Your internal costs to manage your bandwidth.

Which of these items dominates your costs largely depends on your traffic volumes and your particular business considerations. For example, some organizations consider the third item a given in their business and only considers the first and second ones. Costs for organizations whose traffic volumes are measured in Gbps tend to be dominated by bandwidth costs. Correspondingly, if traffic volumes are measured in Mbps, then cross connection fees come into play, especially as you must diversify your providers.

Meaningful ISP Choice

At hand in meaning carrier choice is how many Internet Service Providers can be reached cost-effectively, and whether the available providers are meaningful and adequate for your needs. On the latter, having a choice of 20-30 Tier 1 and Tier 2 providers is probably a sufficient number to foster competitive pricing and enable you to create a good blend.

AiNET and Data Center Connectivity

As a data center owner and operator, DWDM fiber network owner and operator, and expert in Internet routing and traffic management, AiNET offers multiple Connectivity options:

• Reach ISPs of Choice via In-Building Cross Connections.
• Reach ISPs of Choice via Inter-Building Cross Connections.
• Use a Single In-Building Cross Connection to Reach an AiNET-Managed Blend of ISPs.

Reach ISPs of Choice via In-Building Cross Connections

This option is the (only) one commonly available at data centers. It can work in many instances, although its limitations include the cost of multiple cross connections and whether the ISPs available are suitable for your needs.

Reach ISPs of Choice via Inter-Building Cross Connections

AiNET uses its owned and operated, redundant DWDM fiber network (discussed below) to provide cross connections to a very large number of ISPs in major carrier hotels in Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Cross connections are available to the wavelength level. This option provides an outstanding number of ISP choices and is an excellent option for a high-volume organization.

Use a Single In-Building Cross Connection to Reach an AiNET-Managed Blend of ISPs

This is a very-attractive option for organizations with low to medium (low Gbps) volume organizations. It is reliable, diverse, cost-effective, and offers an outstanding level of Internet Access quality. The single in-building cross connection provides Connectivity to multiple ISPs in multiple locations. This option is included in AiNET’s all-encompassing SLA, meaning that a Connectivity outage equates to a data center outage, and are addressed as one in the SLA.

The AiNET Redundant, DWDM Fiber Network

AiNET owns and operates a fiber network consisting of thousands of fiber miles in the Washington, DC region. The network serves AiNET data centers and provides connectivity between them and major carrier hotels in the region. Currently, it is being extended throughout downtown Washington, DC.

This state-of-the-art DWDM (Dense Wave Division Multiplexing) network signals at over 1.6Tb/s (terabits per second) per fiber pair. It features full Bellcore/Telcordia physical separation of all redundant network elements. Access to data centers is diverse with conduit protection provided by concrete encasements.

Fully managed, equipped and supported by AiNET personnel, this network provides the highest level of response and availability. Data flows are monitored by a sophisticated network of switched hardware which provides real-time trouble detection and resolution. Each network connection is monitored over 1400 times daily to ensure precise availability data at all times. Customer equipment is monitored on a 24/7 basis per customer requirements. Both active and passive uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) and conditioning systems are on site to ensure the utmost in reliability.

AiNET’s 100% uptime and 100% availability service level guarantees (SLA) protect customer applications and data.