Google chooses RouteScience Internet technology

Route control solutions provider RouteScience has signed up Google to its PathControl technology, which automatically determines...

Route control solutions provider RouteScience has signed up Google to its PathControl technology, which automatically determines the best path for Internet traffic and boosts the performance of ISP connections.

The move gives credence to the concept of route optimisation and may spark additional interest among companies running large Web sites.

PathControl routes and reroutes Internet traffic, on the basis of customer preferences, to a number of ISPs with which an enterprise may have service contracts.

RouteScience executives claimed the technology is especially useful for determining the best path possible to send traffic as dictated by the availability, congestion, and cost of any given ISP link.

Rob Pursell, director of corporate and product marketing at RouteScience, explained that Google initially used the PathControl device to understand how its traffic was being distributed by its four ISP connections. Based on that information, Google added four more ISPs.

"With PathControl, Google got performance visibility," Pursell said. "By distributing their traffic automatically to the best performing link, Google also got a cost benefit."

Google's goal was to address so-called Internet brownouts. During a brownout, load times slow because of packet loss or latency over any given ISP link. Latency can last anywhere from five minutes to several hours, Pursell said, and PathControl is capable of sensing the slowdown in real time and rerouting the traffic to another ISP link.

"The border gateway protocol, which we correct, can't sense packet loss," said Andy Gottlieb, vice-president of marketing at RouteScience.

"If UUNet, for example, had an outage or even overloaded link, the router couldn't detect it itself."

Urs Hoelzle, a fellow at Google, noted two benefits of route optimisation products. "They provide better routing and brownout protection," he said.

Hoelzle added that PathControl was good for faster network round trips, reduced packet loss and avoiding temporary ISP problems.

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