News

Routing Policy Change for AS20115 Charter/Spectrum

With the activation of the Hurricane Electric POP in Reno, NV the time has finally come to turn down our transit connection to AS20115 Charter/Spectrum. We’ve given our required 30 day termination notice to Charter/Spectrum effective today, April 9, for a end of service date of May 10, 2019.

In the meantime, our routing policy for AS20115 will change to that of a local peering type connection for data collection purposes. We’re curious how much utilization we will see if we restrict it for its last month. Incoming announcements from AS20115 will be filtered with an as-path-access-list of “permit ^20115$” and outgoing announcements will be tagged with community 20115:666 (Do not advertise outside of Charter AS). We will also move the physical connection away from the border router where our policy is one provider per router – a role now assigned to Hurricane Electric on that router – and over to our core peering router. With these filters we only expect to see about 2700 IPv4 prefixes. Charter’s IPv6 BGP session is broken again, but it’s not worth the fight to fix it so this exercise will be IPv4 only.

While we would like to maintain a regional peering connection with Charter/Spectrum, our previous account reps were not able to understand our needs (and our customer’s needs) to successfully negotiate a renewal for interconnection and peering over simply “buying internet”, the latter of which is no longer interesting to us as a colocation datacenter operator.

UPDATE: Effective 4/10/2019, AS20115 has been moved to our core peering router where it will remain until it’s shut down for good.

Checking DNSSEC Domains

Recently we’ve started to receive support requests about DNS problems that turn out to be broken DNSSEC. Unfortunately we can’t fix DNSSEC problems on external domains, but you can run the following tests:

These tools will also show if a domain does not have DNSSEC. Running DNSSEC checks is particularly handy when using another tool that is not DNSSEC aware. Test tools that are not DNSSEC aware may return false positives when validation is broken.

Recent GDPR Stuff

Since everyone and their dog have been posting GPDR updates, we should probably say something about it too.

In a nutshell, Roller Network has never collected or used customer’s personal information. We do not require any personal information to set up an account beyond an email address, and we have never monetized any information. We’ve never had any advertising hooks in our systems whatsoever. We do not have any third party affiliates and we do not engage in data sharing. Information required in the account control center to use a specific service is limited to the scope of that service, and anyone can readily add or delete information as they see fit using it. Realistically, we’re a small company and don’t care about “big data” analytics.

On our colocation side of things, because we don’t offer “cloud” hosting services, our systems do not contain customer data. That’s one major benefit of colocation over cloud: your data and your hardware is yours, it’s not subject to the whim of a larger companies’ policies which – and be honest – can’t to be in your favor because they need to track and monetize your usage very closely.

We also don’t have a default contact preference when signing up for an account: an account can’t be created without choosing one of the three contact options. This means we can be 100% sure that everyone’s contact preference was made intentionally. There’s no check or uncheck the box with confusing wording kind of trickery here that other companies engage in so they can sell your email address with third parties.

Ironically we do occasionally get complaints about having pay for services or why our free accounts are slowly going away. This is why: because we don’t have any other money incoming except customers paying for services. For anyone who does want their personal data shared and monetized to get “free” services, Roller Network is not the place for you, and we’re not planning on changing that.

What we have done is enabled some cookie warnings since it’s harmless, and annoying at worst. We’re also no longer using Google Analytics on our main website and removed the Facebook integration from the Newspipe. We will continue to use Twitter since it is actually useful.

Hurricane Electric POP (2018 Update)

We’ve been talking about the Hurricane Electric POP for a long time now… too long really, but often some of the most difficult things to achieve are the most rewarding.

In summary, a lot of time was spent trying to make Zayo work because at the time, only Zayo could provide an east facing wavelength (cost effectively anyway) to give the HE POP east-west diversity. While the status quo locally has been to backhaul things out of California, doing so increases exposure to the risk of California earthquakes impacting connectivity in an undesirable way. For disaster planning an east facing path is extremely desirable.

The good news is that during all of the time spent working on Zayo, a second option, Verizon, actually improved and is now able to offer an east facing path option to Denver instead of the originally planned Salt Lake City. This is what’s in process now: Zayo is out and Verizon is in. Salt Lake City is out and Denver is in. It’s still going to take a bit more time for Verizon to do the thing they do for long haul, but statistically speaking the number of successful Verizon orders at our facility is significantly higher than successful Zayo orders, so we have a higher confidence level that this is the light at the end of the tunnel.

Hurricane Electric will bring 1Gbps and 10Gbps access ports and PTP transport to their other POPs at prices never seen before in Reno, plus peering at TahoeIX with their famously open peering policy that has made Hurricane Electric one of the top peered networks in the world. Roller Network will be the first neutral colocation facility in Reno a to have a carrier POP* – a real one with peering – not “backhauled bandwidth” or transport to a “city with a router” (for example, all AT&T here goes through a router in Sacramento). We here at Roller Network are excited to be the catalyst for this step away from the status quo.

*Yes, we know there are other bigger fish nearby, but Rollernet is actually in Reno, NV in Washoe County. The others are not, so when we say “Reno” we truly mean within Reno city limits, not somewhere nearby that will never be in Reno. We’re technically correct, the best kind of correct.

Q&A for Mining Colocations

We’ve been receiving a lot of requests for colocating mining hardware lately, so here’s some of the common questions we’ve seen to help speed things up when you contact us.

Do you allow mining in your colo?

Yes, we allow mining hardware in our facility.

Mining doesn’t really need internet, just a 1Mbps connection.

While we understand that mining doesn’t need much internet access, physical ports can’t be shared and require us to support it the same as any other customer, so there’s no cost discount for bandwidth use (or lack of). On the contrary, customers normally expect large amounts of bandwidth for little cost, so we’ve worked hard to make sure bandwidth is only a minor component in the price. As such, there’s no discount by only using a small amount of bandwidth. We also don’t have any NAT in our autonomous system, so each customer uses an IPv4 /30 subnet at minimum, and it some would argue that IPv4 addresses are more valuable than bandwidth.

I only need this for X months.

We only offer term agreements for colocations between 1-year and 5-years.

I only have a small amount of equipment, why do I need full racks?

Only full racks are allowed to colocate pure computing loads. Half racks and shared space are not designed for “density” computing loads. Even if your full rack is mostly empty, it’s the heat footprint that counts.

Furthermore, all mining colocation power will be limited to 5kW per full rack for term lengths less than 3-years. This means if you need more than 5kW you’ll need to spread the load across multiple full racks. We unfortunately can’t allow short term customers to exceed 5kW per full rack.

I only need utility power, can I get a discount?

No, there’s no option for “utility only” power. Our prices include premiums for cooling and backup power (UPS and generator), plus maintenance and testing of those systems.

Why can’t you offer special rates for mining hardware?

Roller Network does not specialize in colocation for mining hardware, we are a general purpose colo facility. We understand there are places offering fixed pricing per physical miner, but we’re not built out to be that kind of place.

How much will it cost to colocate X machines? I don’t know the power.

Our rates aren’t per machine, so you have to know how many kilowatts you need.

Do you charge per kilowatt hour?

No, we don’t offer kWh metering on power at this time.