Looking to get some insight from guys in the service provider space. The question is straightforward: If you're in a provider environment, and lets say you have 10,000 customers, each with their own environment (say IaaS/racks in a colo) - How do you segregate all of those customers efficiently. Private VLAN's, mpls, etc etc..

The second part of the question from those with extensive SP experience, is is there a relatively standard way you see people doing this, or if there are a million ways to skin this cat is it really just a matter of opinion on how providers achieve the goal of managing each customer network.

  • Segregation happens several different ways, i.e. many ways to skin the cat – Mike Pennington Nov 28 '14 at 19:10
  • Hey Mike!! That being said, can you share some methods perhaps you're familiar with?? – A L Nov 28 '14 at 20:54
  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer. – Ron Maupin Aug 9 '17 at 18:52

When I worked for an early IaaS provider, we would provide a separate VLAN and associated /29 for a customer, with a dedicated BVI on the distribution router for their first server instance (or for each stand-alone server instance).

If the customer had several instances and wanted local-to-local (many customers did not care; their business model was local-to-internet only), we would combine their downstream ports into the same VLAN and pull that to the same BVI for their first L3 hop.

Since we metered traffic at the BVI, local-to-local was their business unless they impacted the infrastructure (in which case Abuse and the Network Architect talked to them) or violated TOU (in which case Abuse and Law Enforcement talked to them).

  • Hey DTK thanks for that input, did you guys have a strategy for when your customer base exceeded 4095?? Since that job have you seen better ways of handling large volumes of separate customer environments? I ask because the questions talks about 10k + volume of customers. – A L Nov 29 '14 at 8:35
  • Each north-south zone was isolated from the others, so the number of southbound BVIs was effectively limited by the number of Distribution and Access ports. Each site had multiple zones, each zone was one walled-off north-south partition. Site A had 2 zones, Site B had 3 or 4 zones, Site C had two zones when I left there in early 2007. – DTK Nov 29 '14 at 9:58

In our supplier, with around 1000 clients, segregation is done by VRF and MPLS, and in cases more specific by PVLAN. The bandwidth is controlled by Access Lists and QoS is applied to achieve adminsitracion traffic. But I understand that each provider segregates according to its criteria.

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