North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Peering - Benefits?

  • From: Adam Armstrong
  • Date: Thu Oct 30 09:49:42 2008

HRH Sven Olaf Prinz von CyberBunker-Kamphuis MP wrote:
internet exchanges are not per-se "redundant"
they basically are a switch which actually, because of the many connected
parties, most of which do not have enough PAID transit to cover any
outages on it, causes more problems than they are good for.
(the amsix with their many outages and connected parties that rely
primarliy on it's functionality is a prime example here)
internet exchanges usually are some sort of hobby computer club, you
cannot rely on them to actually -work-, but when they do work that's
"nice" (always make sure you have enough paid capacity to cover for it
when they do not work however!)

peering on only one of them therefore does not make your network more
reliable in any way (it becomes a different story when you connect to like
10 or so worldwide).

as for "peering" agreements, just implement an open peering policy
(doesn't nessesarily have to take place over an ix, also applies to pieces
of ethernet running from your network to others).

those basically are contracts that force anyone who has also signed one to
peer with your network, wether they like you or not (saves the trouble
when you are a content provider and others do not want to peer with you
because they provide content too and you are a competing party etc).
Dear me, that smells of extreme ignorance of the design and management of the major exchanges.

LINX and AMS-IX for example go to great lengths to make sure their exchanges have high availability. I've had far fewer issues with individual exchanges with 100s of members than I have with single transit providers. The LINX for example provides TWO fabrics, and encourage members to peer on both of them. My transit providers have a single network which they break from time to time. It's far harder for an IX to break anything as they're less involved in the whole process.

It is true, of course, that there are tiny badly-run exchanges run as a hobby, but just as it's best not to buy transit from a bargain-basement transit provider, I wouldn't trust any important traffic to one of the tiny exchanges. I'd say that LINX/AMS-IX are amongst the most reliable places you can pass your traffic.

Since you bring up the "PAID" issue, as if to suggest that people who peer are cheap and don't care about their traffic, most organisations who peer do so to *improve* the performance of their networks. The cheaper route for me is not to buy a bunch of peering routers to manage 1000s of peering sessions, but I spend the extra cash to make the service I provide to my customers better. If you don't have the understanding or desire to provide the best service you can to your customers, perha1ps you'd like to become a politician?

Peering on one would make youre network more reliable if you have sufficiently burstable transit links. Only a fool would try to offload 180mbit of traffic via 100mbit of transit and 100mbit of peering. User stupidity isn't the fault of the exchanges and certainly don't diminish the viability of internet exchanges as a concept.

I think others have already rubbished your contracts nonsense, so I won't even bother.