Linode NextGen: The Network

March 7, 2013 1:24 pm

This is the first of a series of blog posts about an effort we’re calling Linode: NextGen. In the coming days, we’ll tell you about other improvements and changes, but today we want to let you know about network upgrades.

We’re spending $1 million making our network faster. Way faster. Cisco Nexus 7000 routers. Cisco Nexus 5000 switches with Nexus 2000 Fabric Extenders. Linode outbound network cap increased 5x. Outbound monthly transfer quota increased 10x.

We’re upgrading our entire network, in all six datacenters.  Everything is being replaced, from top-level routers right down to the switches the host machines connect to. We’ve been able to do this with zero downtime, and expect to complete the upgrades within the next few weeks.

Why do all of this?  Quite simply, we’ve outgrown our old network architecture and needed something that could:

  • deal with our scale;
  • greatly improve throughput;
  • decrease latency; and
  • add redundancy at access/host layer

We chose the Cisco Nexus 7000 series routers because these are the only devices Cisco offers that have large enough MAC address and routing tables to handle our requirements.  For our new access layer switches, we decided on Cisco Nexus 5000 series switches with Nexus 2000 series Fabric Extenders for top-of-rack connectivity.

Linode-NextGen-Network

The entirety of our network stack in each datacenter has redundancy built in, from top to bottom. Each host is connected to two separate fabric extenders with bonded gigabit links. This not only provides redundancy in the case of a NIC failure, but traffic to the host is load-balanced across its NICs.

Each fabric extender is connected to a pair of Cisco Nexus 5000 switches using 10 Gbps links, load-balancing its traffic to each switch. The load-balancing here means that the effective throughput between the pair of fabric extenders and pair of switches is 40 Gbps.

Each pair of 5k switches is connected in a similar fashion to our two routers in the datacenter: four 10 Gbps links between them, load-balanced, again with a total of 40 Gbps of throughput. Finally, each router has multiple 10 Gbps links to our upstream provider, also is capable of failover and load-balancing.

We’re using the best switching equipment Cisco sells.  The larger network capacity greatly increases our resiliency to DoS attacks, and the load-balanced and redundant configuration means hardware failures won’t affect connectivity.

We’ve also upgraded the default outbound Linode network limit from 50 Mbits to 250 Mbits/sec.  All you need to do is to reboot to receive this five-fold increase.  Remember that this is a limit on outbound traffic only.  Inbound is not limited.

To top things off we’ve increased the amount of outbound transfer included with all plans by 1,000%.  That’s right, 10 times the included transfer!

  • Linode 512 upgraded from 200GB to 2000GB (2TB)
  • Linode 1G upgraded from 400GB to 4000GB (4TB)
  • Linode 2G upgraded from 800GB to 8000GB (8TB)
  • Linode 4G upgraded from 1600GB to 16000GB (16TB)
  • Linode 8G upgraded from 2000GB to 20000GB (20TB)

As before, all inbound transfer is free.

In the next few days we’ll tell you about parts 2 and 3 of Linode: NextGen. We think you’ll find them just as exciting.  Enjoy!

141 Responses

  1. Wow, this made my day. Low transfer caps was my only gripe with Linode before, but not now!

  2. Yes!!
    I have been hoping that Linode would do something like this soon. Linode has sort of been stagnating lately, but I had a feeling you guys were working on something big. THANKS!

  3. oh my god
    •Linode 512 upgraded from 200GB to 2000GB (2TB) WOW
    thank you 😀

  4. Linode > *

  5. Motherofgod.ico

    10x increase in allocation AND 5x increase in speed!? Linode, you just blew my mind.

  6. Awesome! WowwwwwwwwwwwWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!

    thank you 🙂

  7. Wild!

  8. Wow. Thank you!

  9. 10 times? Really! Amazing!!

  10. Great news 🙂 thanks

  11. Its times like this I really know choosing linode as my host was the best idea ever 🙂 Thanks a lot for this upgrade!!

  12. Makes my transfer usage bar when I login to my linode look even worse:
    http://i.imgur.com/1an4auM.png

  13. Damn. My ISP could learn from you.

  14. I can’t tell you how happy I am about this, I was just about to cancel my account in favour of a company offering more transfer. I was filling in the cancellation form when I saw the Facebook post, so glad I spotted this in time!

  15. This is exciting news. I’m glad to see Linode isn’t resting on their laurels.

    I’m crossing my fingers that one of the future announcements you mention has to do with storage, and particularly I/O performance. I want to move the rest of my company’s servers to Linode, but for a couple of applications in particular, we need faster I/O than the nodes we tested could provide.

    That said, your product is fantastic, and I never hesitate to recommend Linode to other people. Keep up the great work.

  16. Wow,thank you linode!

  17. I’m surprised that nobody mentioned that based on the diagram you run all of Linode on 6 hosts. Amazing job. 😉

  18. The best this is: I trust linode and I know they can deliver what’s promised.

    Other providers may offer stuff like this, but I doubt they won’t kick you out as soon as you start hitting those limits.

    I’ve been a costumer since Jan/2009 and I look forward being a costumer for years to come.

  19. I wonder why I was wasting my time and money to other hosting providers…
    One more thanks from me Linode!

  20. Awesome! We love Linode

  21. My February cap was almost exceeded (96% of my 200GB quota used), so this could hardly have come at a more opportune time. Thanks, Linode !

  22. Wow! This is why I’ve been sticking with you guys, there is nobody else that offers this type of service and constantly increasing features. Proud to be your customer 🙂

  23. Wow, signed up with you guys moving over from dreamhost and it has been a dream – so happy about all of this. thank you!

  24. Oh well there goes up my uptime! At least it’s for an awesome reason. Thank you Linode

  25. Thank you guys so much! Very exciting news, can’t wait for the other NextGen stuff.

  26. Amazing Linode! Thank you very much!

  27. Thanks, It’s wonderful.

  28. Hi Linode,

    please add the ability to provision bare-metal servers with fast disks attached. With such an hybrid setup you are going to dominate the market if you move FAST.

  29. WOW, this is amazing Linode! Thanks for this!

  30. Sick! Thank you Linode.

  31. This is super news! Thank you very much!

  32. “All you need to do is to reboot to receive this five-fold increase.”

    So… when can we expect these changes take effect? We need to schedule our downtime for those reboots. Yummy, yummy bandwidth… 🙂

  33. Well congratulations linode, you just won my business.

  34. You may want to double-check with your Cisco support engineer about those FEX-to-5k cross connects. They generally recommend the FEX’s connect to a single 5K. Also, the VCD configuration on the a pair of 5Ks can be a little wonky.

    Best of luck, looking good!

  35. Wow, this is really nice! Amazing 🙂 Good job Linode.

  36. Peter:

    We are actually using Enhanced vPC with our 5Ks and FEXes, which is a Cisco-supported topology. It allows us to connect each FEX to two 5Ks, as well as have both 5k-to-FEX vPCs and FEX-to-host vPCs.

    We’ve been using this topology since mid-2012 and it’s been working great for us. 🙂

  37. Thanks guys! Always had great performance and uptime with linode, and this is a very nice gensture.

  38. I am so happy I chose linode.

  39. Das is uber guten.

  40. Damn glad to be a Linode customer. Thanks and keep up the great work!

  41. Wow. Thank you.

    Good to be a Linoder

  42. Oh! Will be opening my account again then!

  43. Awesome news!

  44. Awesome, thanks for the additional xfer! As mentioned, hope it’s in preparation for something like an OpenStack Storage implementation for a CDN, err cloud offering but will also allow for creation of large (inexpensive) persistent and ephemeral disks for their nodes similar to EC2 and Google Compute volumes.

  45. This is incredible! You’ve just put money back in my pocket. It is totally unheard of for a host to do this. You have a customer for life.

  46. Once again I become very confused when people recommend anything but Linode for a VPS

  47. Linode, model VPS ever!

  48. Marvelous. A great move by Linode.
    Linode Nextgen Rocks 🙂

  49. Linode is a no-brainer now.

  50. I won’t get sold that easy… The truth us, bandwidth consumption is possible only when you offer extra cpu and extra memory… Without that, I bet you could offer 100x bandwidth and still no difference in the overall delivery.

  51. reaaaally great news Linode! Thanks a lot

  52. The homepage shows the blog post as “March 2012” 😛

  53. @ cralor – fixed, thanks.

  54. > Linode 512 upgraded from 200GB to 2000GB (2TB)
    Fantastic, great to see you passing improvements down to customers. I knew you guys had a good reputation (which is why I signed up with you) and now I’ve experienced why first-hand, brilliant.

  55. <3

  56. Linode you are awesome!!!!!!

  57. I recently scaled back my linode to a 512 and moved the main site to a Dutch VPS hoster that gave me 1GB ram for 1/2 of the 512 price. I loved linode, but its getting too expensive for hosting rails apps that eat memory.

    here’s one hoping for mem increasings, the service of Linode is unparalleld.

  58. *jaw drops*

    Way to go Linode!

  59. Interesting. Of course my linode64^Wlinode512 rarely gets to 5% of my current bandwidth 🙂

    I wonder if this new design will allow for FCoE or iSCSI based SAN environments in each datacenter. That could increase resilliency (atlanta47 dead? Migrate to atlanta53 with a flick of a switch!) and might let you scale disk storage (a repetetive ask in the forums; again not something my small needs care too much about).

    Interesting, indeed!

  60. Great news, Linode latency was already away better compared to my DigitalOcean VMs. Now the 4x price tag is starting to look justified.

  61. Really stunning. We will move everything from ec2 to linode next week.

  62. Wo Wo Wo

  63. wow, 10x ! Perfect!!

  64. Is overage still $0.10 a GB or has that been lowered as well?

  65. WOW! The network is quite fast now!

  66. Great news! I’m glad to see that there are some big changes happening at Linode. Can’t wait for the other articles.

  67. Incredible changes, 10x! It’s awesome!

  68. Cool

  69. oh, my aws will be discarded.

  70. Pretty cool!

  71. Was wondering just yesterday, when do we hear about whats inside the big boxes that were delivered last month …
    now need to wonder, what do i do with this extra bandwidth..

    “wonder”ful linode..

  72. Wow. Thank you!, very good!

  73. Wow, I just made the move to Linode two days ago. I wonder what’s in store with Parts 2 and 3.

  74. -jaw drop-

    Thnx Linode

  75. *pats* I loves you linode *squeeze*

  76. “All you need to do is to reboot to receive this five-fold increase.”

    “In the next few days we’ll tell you about parts 2 and 3 of Linode: NextGen.”

    So, should I wait for parts 2 and 3 for the rest of the goodies to come out before I reboot my node? 🙂

  77. Good news , but I can not use more than 10% of my transfer 🙂

  78. so,amazing!!! love all your guys so much!!

  79. Great work guys!

  80. You guys are doing great. Great service backed up by awesome updates!

  81. I’m curious to see what happens after I reboot 🙂

  82. WOW!!!

    SO F***ING awesome!!!!!

    Great Job!

  83. Great ! 200 to 2000

  84. Wow!!! So proud of Cisco Nexus gear. Have you talked to any service providers using it???

    It’s buggy at best. Expect a random change to cause a spanning tree loop, which will take the entire network off line.

    The saying used to be “no one gets fired for buying Cisco”. That was before Nexus. We deployed it and it killed our entire networkore than once. We were wishing we would have gone with something else…Juniper???

  85. Shit! That’s fantastic!!!

  86. Staggering upgrade for customers – thanks Chris

  87. I was contemplating moving to a competitor and using an S3 bucket… not now, great work 🙂

  88. That is just great news. Keep going!!!

  89. Just guessing the Part 2 and Part 3… It is going to be RAM, Last RAM upgrades where in 2007 and 2010.. its 2013, so expect RAM to upgraded.. and as Storage was upgraded recently, their wont be much in it.. Additional functionalities and better Load Balancer..

  90. I just wish I could run FreeBSD on Linode.

  91. machbio, One of them will have something to do with the ability to have accounts without a linode as mentioned (rather hinted at) earlier. Only thing I can figure is that is a new service beyond the linodes. Otherwise no one would really have a need.

    The other is probably an upgrade to all resources (ram,cpu, and disk).

    Just guessing though

  92. Linode, this and stability is why your customers are so loyal.

    Fingers crossed for memory upgrades….

  93. You rock!

    Also, unrelated, would you consider spanning the private networks across datacentres?

    DR for Linodes would be awesome.

  94. I would love to see memory and increased io/shared disk

  95. Also, love Linode, they always impress me!

  96. Awesome!!
    Great Job!!

  97. Cisco Nexus 7000 routers? I only know Cisco Nexus 7000 series switches. And why chose Nexus? I think products of Juniper is better for High-End networks.

  98. Thanks. extra memory will be very nice!

  99. I still don’t see FreeBSD support, so what’s the point?

  100. +1 wow

  101. Well, THAT’s a nice day-early birthday present. Thanks!

  102. Pedantic mode: isn’t that a 900% increase, for a new total of 1000% of the original? Either way, pretty awesome!

  103. Bob, can’t you do FreeBSD using pvgrub?

  104. Wow, thanks!

  105. WP engine customer saying thanks and thinking it’s been a benefit me to. I have a friend that wants to upgrade shared hosting to something faster I’ve given him some decent alternatives and I’m wondering if anyone has any great ideas for under 20 bucks that somebody used to shared hosting could run?

  106. Wow.
    I love you, Linode.

  107. Wow! Very nice of you to do this for us. This reminds me of why I love Linode so much.

    @Shane (3/7)
    Yea… Mine looks nearly as bad.
    http://puu.sh/2eXtV

  108. I logged in to my manager and my jaw hit the floor when I seen the transfer. Awesome!!

  109. Linode! Can you please tell me why you are so awesome? Eagerly waiting for the next piece of the cake 😀

  110. Thanks a lot!

  111. Thanks for the upgrade!!

  112. Hi,
    Excellent upgrade! I’m looking forward to the next surprises!

    Blake

  113. This is really great! Thanks for the extraordinary Support Team who are always on top of the Support Tickets.

    Linode always has something to offer every other quarter. Part 1 of NextGen is awesome!

    What will be even more awesome in NextGen Part 2 & 3?
    – Bigger Plans with More Cores/CPUs (today its at 4)?
    – SSD Drives for better IO?
    – More RAM?
    – Built in Firewall?
    – Elastic IP / Global Load Balancer across the DCs?
    – and may be pre-configured MySQL like DBs for HA n Replication

    Would be really great to see Digital Ocean like hardware specs/configurations – specifically CPUs & SSD drives.

  114. Cool! I wish they also increased the amount of RAM included in each plan 🙂

  115. Awesome! Love Linode.

  116. This is great – well done linode!

  117. I’m running the exact same configuration in my data centers and it’s been very reliable. Just make sure you pick a good code base and have all the EPLD updates done before you go into production.

    I’d be interested in learning what you’re using for a border router.

    Thanks!

  118. woah! Great! Linode is really always on top of the line. keep it up!

  119. Gonna be very hard filling up this bar 🙂 http://i.imgur.com/1bazgLG.png

  120. Solid improvements Linode, very happy with service so far… keep up the good work and you’ve got a customer for life!

    Thanks,
    Paul 🙂

  121. I guess the next part maybe upgrading the hard drive to hybrid type (HDD+SSD).

  122. Nice move! Great thanks folks! 🙂

  123. When part 2 & 3 would come??

  124. You guys are the BEST! Thanks!!

  125. i bought 512mb ram plan for one year. using it almost for one month. everything was good until yesterday. starting to saw sudden crashes and server totally stops responding until initiate reboot.

    i was just thinking to move mediatemple vps because they are offering 2x more ram with same price but unfortunately their servers are located only in us.

    also saw the commercials for digitalocean ssd for storage and again looks cheaper but their promises looks very unrealistic to me. i think i should wait and see how serious they are.

    in a nutshell, i would love to see some RAM upgrade and probably bandwith was not the main concern for majority of users.

  126. Linode rocks.

  127. I’ll have to second the opinions of many commenters here and say that RAM is probably more of a concern for many of us (including myself!).

    I’m having to spend ‘extras’ each month just so that I can configure a good server, I hope to see RAM increased in the near future to match the competitors.

    In my eyes this is the only think that’s niggling me at the moment with Linode…

    Thanks,
    Paul 🙂

  128. You are the best! Thank you!

  129. Out of curiosity, do Linode staff actually read these comments? Paul 🙂

  130. Paul: Yup.

  131. Crossing my fingers, hoping the next free upgrade involves storage 😀

    Go Linode!

  132. I never understood the RAM and Storage ‘extras’ from a customer view. It is cheaper to upgrade to a larger Linode. It requires a reboot/resize either way.

  133. Great work linode! You guys are great!

  134. Great news ! thanks a lot 🙂

  135. Linode, this is insanely sick!!!! You just equipped superman with the Iron Man Suit. UNBEATABLE!!!

  136. I rarely have to log in to linode as the service is soo rock solid I rarely need to.

    However I was actually checking as I am going to change how I use my VPS and feared my Linode will not be able to handle it… I am blown away by your free upgrade (which will indeed handle what I want to do) and all I can say is WOW! Thank you, I get to stay!

  137. Amazing!!, that´s why I moved all from GoDaddy to Linode…you rock guys!!!

  138. Linode is the only serious player in the market, you certainly beat everybody else. Thanks!

  139. Linode Team – Just sending you guys some love – you’re so awesome.

    Thanks for such a great service – you’re an example to others of how to get it right….

  140. Wow, Made my day. Love it Thank you guys for being awesome 🙂

  141. @Dash, I looked at the offerings on DO, Ramnode, SSDVPS, lowendbox..

    These folks are running RAID10 on Intel 520 SSDs (consumer grade SSD or equivalent), I don’t think that’s a very good idea, I don’t even run RAID0 on my HDD setup (I run RAID1).

    The prices there are rock bottom but I guess I’ll find out why when an entire host goes down from multiple SSD failures (If I hosted with them I’d be sharing a VPS with write-happy people), and I have to tell my client has been down for 3 days because I can’t get ahold of anybody.

    They also seem like they’re almost fly-by-night, but at least DO seems to be totally domestic and has photos of their peeps.

    SSD for caching I like, such as with ZFS l2arc; but as the main drive, and shared with other people? NOOOOOOOO, just mho

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