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Re: Colo in Africa [ In reply to ]
The cross continent connectivity is not going to be particularly reliable. Prone to cuts due to wars and regional turmoil. And imagine how it takes to repair problems at the physical layer.

________________________________
From: NANOG <nanog-bounces@nanog.org> on behalf of Eric Kuhnke <eric.kuhnke@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2019 3:05 AM
To: Ken Gilmour <ken.gilmour@gmail.com>; nanog@nanog.org list <nanog@nanog.org>
Subject: Re: Colo in Africa

Without being more specific on what geographic region you want to serve, in terms of ISPs, it's hard to say.

For example:

If you look at submarine cable topology at layer 1, and BGP sessions, AS adjacencies between ISPs: Freetown, Sierra Leone and Monrovia, Liberia are suburbs of London, UK.

If you want to reach major things in the west african region the two best connected places are Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria.

On the other hand, if you put equipment topologically close to the cable landing station in Accra it will have rather poor connectivity to the east side of Africa. It's a big place and there is very little cross-continent connectivity that doesn't take the long way around via submarine fiber to Cape Town, and then up the east coast.


On Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 7:34 AM Ken Gilmour <ken.gilmour@gmail.com<mailto:ken.gilmour@gmail.com>> wrote:
Hi Folks,

I work for a Security Analytics org and we're looking to build a small POP in Africa. I am pretty clueless about the region so I was wondering if you could help guide me in the right direction for research?

The challenges:

1. Network needs to be able to receive millions of small PPS (as opposed to serving smaller numbers of larger files).
2. Can't be cloud (need bare metal servers / colo). We use the full capacity of each server, all the time.
3. Must have good connectivity to most of the rest of Africa
4. We can initially only have one POP

This is not like a normal website that we can just host on "any old provider", the requirements are very different.

Is there a good location where we could either rent bare metal servers (something like Internap - preferred) or colocate servers within Africa that can serve most of the region?

"Good" is defined as an area with stable connectivity and power, no legal restrictions on things like encryption, and good latency (sub 100ms) to the rest of Africa.

Our two closest POPs are in Singapore and The Netherlands, so I'd like something closer to the middle that can serve the rest of Africa. Middle East will be deployed after Africa.

I hope this is the right place to ask.

Thanks!

Ken
Re: Colo in Africa [ In reply to ]
On 17/Jul/19 17:04, Rod Beck wrote:
> The cross continent connectivity is not going to be particularly
> reliable. Prone to cuts due to wars and regional turmoil. And imagine
> how it takes to repair problems at the physical layer.

I think that view is too myopic... you make it sound like Namibia,
Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia are at war. Just like all other
continents, unrest exists in some states, not all of them.

For the regions the OP is interested in, there isn't any conflict there
that would prevent him from deploying network.

Terrestrial connectivity is not a viable solution because:

* It costs too much.
* Different countries (even direct neighbors) do not share social,
economic or political values.
* Most of the available network is in the hands of incumbents,
typically controlled by the gubbermint.
* It costs too much.
* There isn't sufficient capacity to drive prices down when crossing 2
or more countries.
* It costs too much.
* Many markets are closed off and it's impossible to obtain licenses
to compete.
* It costs too much.
* Much of the network is old and has barely been upgraded.
* It costs too much.
* For those bold enough to build, the terrain in some parts is not a
walkover.
* It costs too much.

Mark.
Re: Colo in Africa [ In reply to ]
Circuits linking Asia & Europe via Siberia have proven highly unreliable. Repairs are long and difficult. And arguably Russia is a better case scenario than Africa. More politically stable. Better finances. Better basic infrastructure.

________________________________
From: NANOG <nanog-bounces+rod.beck=unitedcablecompany.com@nanog.org> on behalf of Mark Tinka <mark.tinka@seacom.mu>
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2019 7:16 PM
To: nanog@nanog.org <nanog@nanog.org>
Subject: Re: Colo in Africa



On 17/Jul/19 17:04, Rod Beck wrote:
The cross continent connectivity is not going to be particularly reliable. Prone to cuts due to wars and regional turmoil. And imagine how it takes to repair problems at the physical layer.

I think that view is too myopic... you make it sound like Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia are at war. Just like all other continents, unrest exists in some states, not all of them.

For the regions the OP is interested in, there isn't any conflict there that would prevent him from deploying network.

Terrestrial connectivity is not a viable solution because:

* It costs too much.
* Different countries (even direct neighbors) do not share social, economic or political values.
* Most of the available network is in the hands of incumbents, typically controlled by the gubbermint.
* It costs too much.
* There isn't sufficient capacity to drive prices down when crossing 2 or more countries.
* It costs too much.
* Many markets are closed off and it's impossible to obtain licenses to compete.
* It costs too much.
* Much of the network is old and has barely been upgraded.
* It costs too much.
* For those bold enough to build, the terrain in some parts is not a walkover.
* It costs too much.

Mark.
Re: Colo in Africa [ In reply to ]
On 18/Jul/19 00:04, Rod Beck wrote:

> Circuits linking Asia & Europe via Siberia have proven highly
> unreliable. Repairs are long and difficult. And arguably Russia is a
> better case scenario than Africa. More politically stable. Better
> finances. Better basic infrastructure. 

Wasn't aware Russia was a continent...

Mark.
Re: Colo in Africa [ In reply to ]
Africa, Russia...

You can take as example Lebanon.
Capital and major city in tiny country, ~40km away from each other, and
only way you can get 2 points connected over microwaves(due mountains -
several hops), over "licensed" providers, DSP, who hook this points for
$10-$30/mbps/month. And many of them don't have support at evenings and
weekend. Of course, due crappy electricity in country and economical
situation, discharged batteries and outages at evening/night at
"licensed" DSP sites - common case.
The laws of the country are so cool, that it is even forbidden to lay
optics from the building standing next to other building, unless you are
government monopoly (and they don't sell fiber connectivity).

In Africa, many people do not have electricity at all and cook on open
fire, i imagine what difficulties they have with connectivity.
The last time when I worked with a team on study to invest in telecom in
Africa - results discouraged even trying to engage in telecom subject
there.
I think the only ones who are interested in decent connectivity there -
mobile operators. Maybe worth to find connections and talk to them.


On 2019-07-17 20:16, Mark Tinka wrote:
> On 17/Jul/19 17:04, Rod Beck wrote:
>
>> The cross continent connectivity is not going to be particularly
>> reliable. Prone to cuts due to wars and regional turmoil. And
>> imagine how it takes to repair problems at the physical layer.
>
> I think that view is too myopic... you make it sound like Namibia,
> Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia are at war. Just like all other
> continents, unrest exists in some states, not all of them.
>
> For the regions the OP is interested in, there isn't any conflict
> there that would prevent him from deploying network.
>
> Terrestrial connectivity is not a viable solution because:
>
> * It costs too much.
> * Different countries (even direct neighbors) do not share social,
> economic or political values.
> * Most of the available network is in the hands of incumbents,
> typically controlled by the gubbermint.
> * It costs too much.
> * There isn't sufficient capacity to drive prices down when crossing
> 2 or more countries.
> * It costs too much.
> * Many markets are closed off and it's impossible to obtain licenses
> to compete.
> * It costs too much.
> * Much of the network is old and has barely been upgraded.
> * It costs too much.
> * For those bold enough to build, the terrain in some parts is not a
> walkover.
>
> * It costs too much.
>
> Mark.
Re: Colo in Africa [ In reply to ]
On 18/Jul/19 11:04, Denys Fedoryshchenko wrote:

> Africa, Russia...
>
> You can take as example Lebanon.
> Capital and major city in tiny country, ~40km away from each other,
> and only way you can get 2 points connected over microwaves(due
> mountains - several hops), over "licensed" providers, DSP, who hook
> this points for $10-$30/mbps/month. And many of them don't have
> support at evenings and weekend. Of course, due crappy electricity in
> country and economical situation, discharged batteries and outages at
> evening/night at "licensed" DSP sites - common case.
> The laws of the country are so cool, that it is even forbidden to lay
> optics from the building standing next to other building, unless you
> are government monopoly (and they don't sell fiber connectivity).

There is no shortage of countries around the world that stifle the
development of their telecommunications industry because they don't
understand how different the Internet is from POTS.

Countries such as Djibouti land a tremendous amount of submarine cable
systems, and yet it makes very little sense to the average operator to
deploy meaningful network there. The Middle East, Asia, Europe and Latin
America all have their own examples of the same. North America is no
exception in some parts of those countries.

You need to remember that Africa is not one country. Observing an
assessment in one country has nothing to do with the the situation in
the other 54.

>
> In Africa, many people do not have electricity at all and cook on open
> fire, i imagine what difficulties they have with connectivity.

Cooking with firewood is not a linear basis for the depth of
connectivity in Africa. Traditional views don't always work, which is
how Africa is the fastest growing mobile phone economy in the world. It
shouldn't be, but it is.

You'll need to open your mind to how differently folk get by this side
of the world.


> The last time when I worked with a team on study to invest in telecom
> in Africa - results discouraged even trying to engage in telecom
> subject there.

I'm curious where this team was based...

We have no shortage of "consultants" that desktop Africa from an office
in New York.

I can send you my consulting contract if you like. I live in Africa :-).


> I think the only ones who are interested in decent connectivity there
> - mobile operators. Maybe worth to find connections and talk to them.

Perhaps it's time I went and got my mobile operator license :-).

Mark.
Re: Colo in Africa [ In reply to ]
You might want to consider attending AfPIF in Mauritius 20-22 Aug

https://www.afpif.org/


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