We live in a culture that is obsessed with traffic information. Every morning TV news show devotes significant air time to letting us know what local traffic conditions look like so we can plan our commute accordingly. Cable networks often have channels dedicated to traffic cameras, and state of the art GPS navigation systems look for real-time updates to route you to your destination in the most efficient fashion.
Yet despite this obsession with traffic information, we blithely go ahead with our daily lives using an Internet that has infinitely more traffic and congestion than any surface road, shrugging off performance issues and problems with an offhand “oh, the Internet is slow today” comment.
Well, cloud service and Internet service provider Internap has had enough of that, and has introduced their version of an updated Managed Internet Route Optimizer (MIRO) service to provide real-time updating to Internet traffic routing.
In most cases, Internet traffic routing is a lot like the highway system; it uses established paths and once those paths are created, no end user at the end points gives a lot of thought to how traffic travels between points A & B. Traffic routing has used a series of protocols that establish how and where data gets routed, and those paths tend to be fairly static. The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) uses a metric that determines, ideally, the shortest path between endpoints, but the determination doesn’t include the actual performance of the route.
With MIRO, Internap is looking to change that. By constantly gathering data and examining how traffic is proceeding, MIRO makes changes in the way the traffic is routed to constantly optimize data flow. While datacenter operators can manually make changes to the way that traffic is routed, MIRO uses measurable information — such as latency, packet loss, and route stability — to make intelligent decisions as to how data should be routed between the datacenter and the customer.