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What's the meaning of virtual POP ?

Different providers use the term with different definitions, but this is how we use it:

At Level 3, a VPOP is a POP that we operate under someone else's license.  For example, we have VPOPs in a number of markets throughout the Asia Pacific region, including countries like China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and others.  We are buying a service from a partner that has an operating license in that country where they provide routers, entrance facilities, colo and other related infrastructure items, but we otherwise operate it as a full POP.  It's in our OSS/BSS systems like any other location.

As far as our customers can tell, there is nothing virtual about it.  It looks like any other node on our network, so the distinction is purely internal to our company and how we have to manage support for the site.


-----Original Message-----
From: NANOG [mailto:nanog-bounces at nanog.org] On Behalf Of Mark Tinka
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 2:58 AM
To: Yucong Sun <sunyucong at gmail.com>; Rod Beck <rod.beck at unitedcablecompany.com>; William Herrin <bill at herrin.us>
Cc: NANOG <nanog at nanog.org>
Subject: Re: What's the meaning of virtual POP ?

On 24/Aug/16 01:20, Yucong Sun wrote:

> Thanks for the explanation.
> I understand on layer 2 or like william point out (on anything other 
> than
> IP) it make total sense.
> However on layer 3, with existing transit bandwith with said provider 
> it would be redudant. (Assume The one you wanted peer at site b is 
> already peering with your provider).

The term "virtual PoP" is more commercial than it is technical.

As William mentioned, you are providing services via someone else's infrastructure. It is between you and that other network to determine how much of their infrastructure you will depend on.

But ultimately, the objective is for you to reduce your exposure in what you would consider a new venture that still needs some proofing.