What’s an RTD without an RFC?

Low latency networks are critical to the electronic trading community… How do you ensure you’re getting what you’ve been promised before it’s too late? The Answer…ask for an RFC report that will back up the RTD claims.

Providers are continually competing to offer the lowest latency routes, firing out numbers left, right, and centre. Sometimes it feels like you’re caught in the middle of a bidding war at an auction. But how can you trust the integrity of these numbers?

After all, you wouldn’t buy a house without fully surveying the entire building down to the last detail – why should buying connectivity be any different?

Proving latencies is simpler now than ever before. RFC-2544 testing is the industry-standard service activation test (SAT) used to measure not only real-time latencies but also overall network performance. A standard RFC-2544 test will tell you:

  • Throughput
  • Frame loss rate
  • Burst tolerance
  • Packet Jitter
  • Latency
  • Reset recovery

All providers are required to provide an RFC test post-sale but very few are willing or able to provide one pre-sale. Surprisingly, fewer than 20% of telco companies are able to provide an RFC test as standard upon delivery. Only a select few elite connectivity providers can offer performance testing pre-sale upon request. Marketlinx can help you identify the which ones…

What is there to hide?

One of the primary reasons for not providing RFC tests on-demand is a lack of required equipment and/or resource. Carrying out an RFC test either requires engineers to be on location at both ends of the network or for sophisticated equipment to be in place at either end of each cable system to carry out the tests remotely.

Carriers leverage the latest equipment to perform testing via Ethernet to confirm that the circuitry provided is performing at the expected speed with no packet loss, its latency is within the outlined parameters, and there are acceptable or limited amounts of jitter across the whole network.

If customer experience is important, the ability to be able to prove the quality and performance of the network should be considered an essential part of the sales process. After all, without proof in the numbers, what is there to sell?

The value of integrity

Some providers are providing more and more network test results to clients prior to on-boarding and, for existing clients, at the start of a new project.

When you are delivering premium high capacity networks, there is a need to demonstrate that it’s fit for purpose at the outset and that you have an assurance model that can support that service through its lifecycle.

The next time you hear an RTD which sounds too good to be true, remember, an RTD without an RFC really is just a number.