OT: cheap colo space in Southern Germany/Munich

Garry Glendown garry at nethinks.com
Sat Nov 24 22:27:22 CET 2012

On 24.11.2012 20:18, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> Whether you have to fire 99% or 98% of your customers is not 
> really going to save your business.
Just wondering - have you already started looking for a new power
supplier, seeing that most/all German power companies are increasing
prices come January 1st? What about cost of living - have you already
started looking for a new place to live to reduce your hourly costs? ...

Sorry, but customers have gotten much to used to prices for technology
only going down. Pushed by big players like DTAG and others' dumping
prices for Internet access, selling to end customers at prices well
below what they are charging other ISPs. Instead of charging prices that
cover for both operation of current infrastructure as well as improving
and advancing their technology, they have reduced their support and
services to a bare minimum, ignoring necessities of the future. Like
IPv6. After all, there is lots of time, and sooo many addresses still left.

And what do the customers do? With the oh so coveted "Geiz ist geil"
mentality (sort of "greed is terrific"; an advertisement slogan of a
German electronics chain) customers flock to the cheapest provider, even
if they only save a Euro or two. Oh sure, things go wrong, their lines
get disconnected, they don't get decent customer service, bills and
account drafts may be wrong, they complain and write about the trashy
providers. But they still stick to the cheapest place they can find. I
bet if you go through the list of active v6-providers, most of them (at
least in Germany I suspect) are smaller and regional providers. And
quite a few of them probably already had v6-addresses on 6bone before
official v6-addresses were distributed.

Of course end-customers aren't the ones that should be driving the new
technology. Providers ought to, as they understand (or should) the
implications of the technology. So we did. Having v6 in our backbone for
well over 6 years, we ran a series of articles in our customer
newsletters, explaining the technology and reasons (in layman terms),
offering support in planning and implementing v6, the whole 9 yards.
Given that we mostly provide services to business customers, most of
which are using v6-ready equipment, one would expect it should result in
several customers go and get v6-ready. Especially as some of our
customers have production, suppliers and customers in the far east as
well as Australia.

Total number of responses, even after talking to some of them on
occasion: 0. Zero. Null. Zilch. Oh, except for one customer that asked
us to get some v6 PI as soon as it was available. Not that they actually
wanted to roll it out, but just to not have to renumber at some point in
the future. But they also ordered that about 2 or 3 years ago.

Of course, apart from the hen and the egg, there's also the dinosaur (of
cause everybody except GOPs know there actually was a predecessor of the
hen), namely the hardware suppliers. You can't blame only the customers
or the providers without putting blame where blame is due. E.g. $C has
been big in talking about putting out v6-capable hard- and software. To
a point. Sure, our old 7206's already had a v6-capable IOS, and even
their SOHO routers work fine with it. And they have for many years. But
even such a big proponent as they is only doing at best a half- at ssed
job. I'm not deep enough into the RFCs etc. to conclusively state how
well v6 is implemented in their mainstream software, but apart from
basic routers, the rest is more or less crap. Or completely missing.
Sure, rudimentary v6-support is present, but come on - selling brand new
datacenter switches without full v6 features (or any, for that matter).
Other vendors aren't any better, especially in the consumer area one
must wonder how come companies that must sell quite a decent number of
device to the far east markets could wait so long before offering
v6-capable devices. If they even do already. I dare to say that v6
deployment may have looked a lot better if every router sold over the
last 3 years had been fully v6-capable. And came with a big warning
sheet, stating for the customer to kick his provider's behind if they
didn't supply v6 addresses to them. Without that, big providers just
shrugged their shoulders - no demand, no v6. Why spend money if nobody
except geeks can run it or want it?

But I reckon I'm preaching to the choir here. Apart from maybe a select
few who'd rather fix the v4 problem not by using a working solution
which may cost some money, nor by paying more for v4, but by suggesting
a new solution which doesn't exist, won't work (or at least won't
scale), and will cost money. Most likely more than the first two solutions.

As for the cost of IPv4 addresses - I dare to predict other providers
will follow suite. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not (yet) next year. But
they will. If the resource is dwindling, prices increase. That's regular
market regulation. Supply and demand. So if you believe switching your
provider will keep your rates down - go ahead. And be prepared to do so
more often. But I guess you'll get experience in migrating your hardware
to a new place, renumbering your servers, updating your DNS entries
(some of which may be controlled by your customers), ... by the time
you've switched for the fourth or fifths time, you may have your
workflows down to the point that the time spent will only equal to two
or three times of what you save in the few months you stay with that
provider, until he also charges for the IPs you use.

In short - if a euro or two for an IP is breaking your business model,
you don't have a viable one. And if you can't pass the cost on to your
customers, they're too cheap for decent service.

Just my 0.023€ (prices do go up everywhere ... ;) ) Time to get off of
the soap box ...

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