In today’s digital age, uninterrupted internet connectivity is crucial for both individuals and businesses, and Heartland Technology takes our purview seriously. Ensuring internet reliability often demands innovative solutions, especially when aiming for redundancy to avoid downtime.
This blog post shares how network providers working together makes for a more robust, redundant internet connection for our residential and business customers.
In our small town of Jesup, Iowa, the quest for a multi-homed internet service began due to the vulnerability of a single-legged system. The risk of an outage—whether due to a severed transport fiber or a router failure—was a concern that needed to be addressed, especially for a network initially focused on residential customers.
Enter the realm of dual-homed connectivity—a solution where redundancy and reliability become paramount. Setting up relationships with peers like Aureon and forming a partnership with another small provider, Independence Light and Power Telecommunications (ILPT), became pivotal steps toward achieving a more stable network infrastructure.
The partnership with ILPT allowed Heartland Technology to get 10GB bandwidth and share costs and connections with another provider. This served as a pivotal step in moving Heartland Technology to a more reliable network.
After a few years of partnering with ILPT, it made sense for each of us to go out onto our own networks. Usage in Jesup was ramping up, and we wanted to make sure we didn’t oversubscribe our bandwidth, so we got set up with our own 10GB line.
The Data Center
WIN Technology had their network equipment out in rural Iowa, so when we built our data center, it made sense for WIN to relocate their equipment to our facility. The Heartland Technology data center is a secured Tier III facility where WIN can feel confident in its network point of presence (POP).
We are continually looking for ways to improve our network, so shortly after WIN located in our data center, we added another 10GB line. The purpose of this wasn’t to make our network 20GB but to have two distinct lines that could run the full 10GB at any time.
We use a symmetrical link, and we don’t oversubscribe, so all our traffic can go on either line or be split between the two. This approach adds complete redundancy to the network so if one line goes down (which is rare), we can still support our full customer base without lagging.
While the two-line setup is very stable, it wasn’t foolproof. When the Derecho hit in August 2020, both lines went down—something unforeseen. All we had as a backup was a 1GB line with Aureon, so all of our traffic was trying to flow through that line.
After triaging and getting the network back up, we took lessons away from the experience. We added more redundancy in our network by peering with Tier 1 providers.
As previously mentioned, WIN has their equipment inside the Heartland Technology data center. Another provider, Aureon, does as well. Heartland Technology is part of both the WIN and Aureon rings in Iowa, which helps with our network and proves the strength of the data center for these providers to place their trust (and equipment) in us.
What’s the point of all of these network improvements? To help our customers in Jesup and Waterloo, Iowa, have trust in a reliable, redundant, fast network. We take fiber internet seriously, and our customers know that.
Interested in fiber internet or data center storage with a reliable local partner? Let’s talk.