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Re: Private and Public Peering

  • From: Scott Marcus
  • Date: Mon Jun 19 08:51:49 2000

At 21:42 06/18/2000 -0700, Steve Feldman wrote:
>The closest to a real distinction that I've been able to come
>up with is whether or not a third party is involved
>*and* whether packets (or cells) are switched.
>For example, peering through a FDDI, Ethernet, or ATM switch
>is always called "public" (unless perhaps the switch is
>owned by one of the peers).  And peering through a wire or
>SONET/SDH circuit seems to always be called private,
>even though the data might pass through SONET/SDH
>multiplexers, cross-connects, and switches operated by
>a third party...

Steve, this happens to be true in most cases, but I would view it as being
sort of coincidental.

What most people term "public peering" is effected at a public traffic
interchange point, where many providers appear, or can choose to appear.
Note that the decision whether to interconnect is still, in almost all
cases, a bilateral business decision between each pair of providers.  The
word "public" is thus something of a misnomer.

It's usually implemented over FDDI, ATM, whatever, because the traffic
interchange point needs to implement any-to-any connectivity.  That's a
matter of engineering practicality, but the definition should not rest on it.

What most people mean by "private peering" is a direct interconnection
between two providers.  That's most often implemented over a circuit
between the two, without either deploying equipment to the other's
premises; again, however, that's simply a matter of engineering
convenience.  These connections are conceptually point-to-point.

Hope this was helpful,
- Scott