[Nanog-futures] The Peering BOF and the Fallout?

Steve Gibbard scg at gibbard.org
Thu Feb 28 19:29:34 UTC 2008

I'm sorry to be a bit contrarian here, but...

Looking at the crowd that assembles for the peering BOF, it's clearly one 
of the more popular things on the NANOG program.  It may not draw the raw 
numbers of people that the general session does, but it does tend to pack 
whatever room it's in.  People in the room tend to be attentive and 
engaged, whether or not they have anything to do with peering.  It's a lot 
of fun, and it's clear to me that enough attendees want it on the program 
for it to be worthwhile.

That said, while the latest one struck me as a vast improvement over the 
last few, I can't say I've actually learned much from most of the recent 
peering BOFs or from the last few exchange point operator forums I've been 
to.  The agendas tend to strike me as entertaining but recycled filler, 
perhaps useful for getting people into a room and talking, but not nearly 
what they could be.

When I think back to the peering BOFs and exchange operator-sponsored 
forums of several years ago, I used to come out of them with some better 
understanding of how peering worked.  There were talks on things like how 
much of peering traffic was P2P back when that was new and scary.  Large 
parts of the program were made up of "peering personals," where I would 
learn who was looking for what sort of peers.  In addition, there were 
exchange operator-sponsored forums, in which people would give talks about 
peering-related issues they had faced and how they had solved them, 
observations about how peering worked in other parts of the world, views 
into highly secretive "tier 1" peering operations, and the like.

The exchange operator-sponsored forums are now gone, having been replaced 
by parties where the content consists of fake game shows.  The peering BOF 
content now consists of things like the "great debates," which while it's 
entertaining to to see people trying to justify extreme positions, never 
feel to me like they get anywhere close to establishing what the right 
answer to the question being debated -- presumably somewhere between the 
two extremes -- would be.

So, I wouldn't suggest that the current peering BOF or exchange 
operator-sponsored forums go away.  They're good fun social events and 
NANOG could often use more of those.  But I don't think we've run out of 
new things to say, or new issues to address, in the areas of peering and 
other forms of interconnection.  It would be nice if there were some more 
serious forums as well.

(And yes, I know, this counts as sniping from the sidelines.  The big 
impediment to what I'm asking for here is presumably having somebody step 
up and organize it).


On Sun, 24 Feb 2008, Ren Provo wrote:

> On behalf of the NANOG PC:
> Nothing has been submitted in the NANOG tool and nothing has been declined.
> The survey results from NANOG42 this week have not been made available to
> the PC yet.
> We would like to review community feedback on this topic.
> Hallway discussions this past week in San Jose suggest some would like to
> see a more diverse selection of topics at the very least.
> Bill was asked on Wednesday not to make commitments until we, the NANOG PC,
> are able to review feedback and perhaps expand the cramped format into a
> track.
> Thanks, -Ren Provo, NANOG Program Committee, Vice-Chair
> On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 8:00 PM, Patrick W. Gilmore <patrick at ianai.net>
> wrote:
>> On Feb 24, 2008, at 12:57 PM, Joel Jaeggli wrote:
>>> Chris Malayter wrote:
>>>> Would you ask the PC to release the minutes from the SJC nanog and
>>>> any
>>>> meeting since.
>>> Given that the pc last met on tuesday at lunch, I think the minutes
>>> when
>>> released will prove to be a poor source the sort information you're
>>> looking for.
>> Let's stop dancing around the issue.  There was discussion regarding
>> the Peering BoF amongst the SC & PC.  There is no reason to hide this
>> fact - just the opposite.  And there were at least some provisional
>> outcomes from those discussions.  I am unclear on why those decisions
>> are not being announced to the community.
>> The question is where we stand in the process.
>> If the PC does not have an official stance, then we should all stop
>> speculating until there is an official stance or (hopefully) an
>> official request for input from the community.
>> If the PC has an official stance, then the community needs to hear it
>> ASAP.
>> Either way, gossiping on a mailing list is not the right way.  We had
>> a revolution, let's follow our own rules.  As Randy like to proclaim
>> every 14 ms, let's have some transparency.  What was said, why was it
>> said, and what decisions were made?
>> SC / PC members, please step up, so we can all go back to arguing over
>> leaking deaggs. :)
>> --
>> TTFN,
>> patrick
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