North American Network Operators Group

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  • From: David Diaz
  • Date: Wed Dec 18 21:44:50 2002

I have to disagree with you. I dont think most of their customers are adult content or the likes looking for cheap transit. I think there model was to attract business users that wouldnt use the full pipe. They can burst but arent expected to saturate the pipe 24x7. It's not a bad model, but it would need time to develop. They did buy a lot of peering, but as we know, you cant really do that. Peering is not a permanent assignment.

What may have happened is that they did get a few content providers that then became a large amount of their backbone when looking at traffic levels, not number of customers. I do know they really tried to balance the outbound with significant inbound. They even went so far as to have all gigE sales have to get approved by engineering.

As for AOL, they have a lot of content or two way traffic, depending on who is on your backbone. They have a lot of hosting and content, and let's not discount peer to peer traffic. It was interesting to look at peering connections btw eyeball to eyeball networks. Shocking how much traffic there was.

The issue may have a bit to do with the fact they had a lot of different backbones they had to integrate and manage, many AS#s and different peering pipes and relationships. It was a complicated process and their peering people did a good job. But they let them all go. So ones the chef(s) were out the door, who maintains it? It's not exactly a status quo situation. It was treated in house as, well we have the peering so why do we need all these pain in the butt expensive guys? This is what I heard and it seems to be accurate.

In short order they started having traffic issues as well as peering relationship issues. To be fair, it's hard for engineers on the other side of the peering session to work with a blackhole. The stability of their network is depending on the quality of the engineers of their peers. Without those key people to work with at Cogent it seems some peers are deciding it's not worth the risk.

It is ashame because there are a lot of companies using cogent to build themselves backup in a bad market. The price was great and it was helping to revive a bad space. This just puts them into panic mode, and Im not sure they truly understand what the issues are. What they will do is call both cogent and aol and complain and feel bitter. Not exactly our finest hour. Another outage without prior warning.

At 21:17 -0500 12/18/02, Ringdahl, Dwight (WebUseNet) wrote:
 Thing is if your connection is completely full one way, it'll effect
 traffic the other way too.
My thoughts are Cogents primary customers are sites that are looking for
very cheap bandwidth, which most likely is adult content. Therefore they
would look more like a content provider than a transit provider.

My question, being a content network, is how would AOL expect them to have a
balanced pipe? AOL is all eyeballs, and really doesn't have much content
which is useful outside of their user base. Especially if you already peer
with Time Warner in other sites.

When ISP's peer I would have thought it is to prevent having to pay transit
companies like Level3 for the bandwidth. This leads me to believe there
might be something more to this, like maybe the spam spewed from the adult
sites. Just a guess, anyone have any hard data?