How does Dreamhost connect to the Internet?
DreamHost is currently connected to the Internet via multiple 10 gigabit links, over multiple locations. We use a variety of carriers to ensure continued network connectivity. As of September 2012, we have connections to Comcast, Cogent, Internap, and Any2 in the Downtown LA data center (Any2 is a Peering Exchange where many providers can access each other via a shared backbone); as well as a separate infrastructure in our LAX data center that uses Cogent and Abovenet. We also have our newer data center in Irvine, CA, connected to the outside world via AboveNet, Level 3, and soon, TW Telecom. Our latest center in Ashburn, VA is connected over both AboveNet and Internap. The three centers in California are linked internally via private fiber optic data links using a diverse path.
What does all THAT mean? It means that we do not have single points of failure on our backbone infrastructure. It means we can afford to lose one carrier, or even two, and still service you without interruption - and pretty darn fast! Try this test: go to http://www.speedtest.net/ and chose the Los Angeles location. You'll notice that this location is hosted by DreamHost. Perform the test. Now chose any other location. How did we do?
We also keep our bandwidth unsaturated. We have plenty of extra capacity, with the option to quickly add more bandwidth or additional carriers. We use Cisco and Juniper switches and routers, and keep spare hardware on hand in the event of hardware failure.
We have provider independent IP space, allocated directly to us from ARIN (the American Registry for Internet Numbers).
Feel free to contact support or sales if you have additional questions about our network.
How can I check the quality of the network my site is on?
A good way to do this is to run "traceroutes" from lots of different servers around the Internet and see the sort of latency you get (lower is better!). Here's a pretty big list of places to try it from!
http://netmonserver.princeton.edu/traceroute.html (JVNCNet, Verio)
http://www.wurldlink.net/traceroute (ATT/ANS/AlTERNet/UUNet/Sprint) </FONT>
http://www.ripe.net/cgi-bin/looking-glass (Ripe NCC)
http://www.kawartha.com/cgi-bin/nph-traceroute.cgi (BellNexxia Net)
http://corporate.pacific.net.sg/serviceLink/tools.html (Pacific surf)
http://traceroute.hkt.net/cgi-bin/nph-traceroute (Hong Kong Telecom)
http://www.att-unisource.net/~netq/cgi-bin/traceroute (ATT Unisource)
http://www.unige.ch/cgi-bin/people/hugen/trace (University of Geneva, Geneva - English)