What is internet Backbone
The Internet backbone refers to the main "trunk" connections of the Internet. It is made up of a large collection of interconnected commercial, government, academic and other high-capacity data routes and core routers that carry data across the countries, continents and oceans of the world.
The resilience of the Internet is due to its core architectural feature of storing as little as possible network state in the network elements and rather relying on the endpoints of communication to handle most of the processing to ensure data integrity, reliability, and authentication. In addition, the great degree of redundancy of today's network links and sophisticated real-time routing protocols provide alternate paths of communications for load balancing and congestion avoidance.
The Internet "backbone" consists of many different networks. Usually, the term is used to describe large networks that interconnect with each other and may have individual ISPs as clients. For example, a local ISP may provide service to individual homes or business using bandwidth that it purchases from another company with a backbone network. Backbone networks are usually commercial, educational, or government owned, such as military networks.
Internet BackboneThe National Science Foundation (NSF) created the first high-speed backbone in 1987. Called NSFNET, it was a T1 line that connected 170 smaller networks together and operated at 1.544 Mbps (million bits per second). IBM, MCI and Merit worked with NSF to create the backbone and developed a T3 (45 Mbps) backbone the following year.
Backbones are typically fiber optic trunk lines. The trunk line has multiple fiber optic cables combined together to increase the capacity. Fiber optic cables are designated OC for optical carrier, such as OC-3, OC-12 or OC-48. An OC-3 line is capable of transmitting 155 Mbps while an OC-48 can transmit 2,488 Mbps (2.488 Gbps). Compare that to a typical 56K modem transmitting 56,000 bps and you see just how fast a modern backbone is.
Today there are many companies that operate their own high-capacity backbones, and all of them interconnect at various NAPs around the world. In this way, everyone on the Internet, no matter where they are and what company they use, is able to talk to everyone else on the planet. The entire Internet is a gigantic, sprawling agreement between companies to intercommunicate freely.
In 2009, the 10 billionth Internet user logged on to the World Wide Web. Hundreds of thousands of new users log in for the first time each week. It is estimated that the 20 billion user mark will be reached in less than 5 years from now. There is no question that the World Wide Web is growing and becoming more important each day.
More than ever, individuals and companies rely on the stability of the Internet for a constant exchange and display of important information. Virtually every financial institution in the world stores information on and uses the Internet to shift commodities and allow customers access to their funds. Millions of businesses rely on the web as their lifeblood and direct connection to their customer base. Critical information is exchanged between institutions of higher learning, hospitals, and research facilities. It is indisputable that the importance of a redundant, reliable Internet is crucial in modern times.
The Internet backbone is a conglomeration of multiple networks, routing facilities, and servers that provide a multiple redundancy approach to keeping information online available and secure. Simply put, it enables back up networks to take on the load of a failed network or multiple failed networks.
Each ISP (Internet Service Provider) is equipped with its own contingency backbone network or is at least equipped with an outsourced backup. These smaller networks are interlinked and intertwined to provide the multi-faceted backup redundancy needed to keep the web intact in case of partial failure through peering and transit agreements.
Peering is the term assigned to the sharing of Internet traffic and users voluntarily by multiple networks, typically privately owned by companies. Peering typically refers to these networks being shared with no monetary gain being obtained by their owners. Rather, an agreement is made between multiple parties to handle each other's traffic in times of need, with each network gaining its revenue from its own customer base. A transit agreement is a particular type of peering arrangement between ISPs that may contain a monetary agreement. Generally larger ISPs will create multiple transit agreements with smaller ISPs that are in need of additional facilities than they possess.
With each passing year, the importance of the World Wide Web and its contents increases exponentially. As more users log on each day, the need for a worldwide redundant communication and storage network becomes more imperative to effective and reliable commerce and stability. The backbone of the Internet will continue to evolve and progress in relon to increased needs of the world economy and inter connectivity of its users.
Major Internet ISP (Major Internet Backbone MAPs)
This page links to the major pieces of the Internet's infrastructure.
This page is used during my customized, onsite courses such as : "What Every Internet Employee Should Know about the Internet"
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