The CIX and the NSFNET regionals - a dilemma

Brian Lloyd brian at
Wed Feb 5 05:52:00 UTC 1992

> From: Martin Lee Schoffstall <schoff at>
> Subject: Re: The CIX and the NSFNET regionals - a dilemma 
> Date: Tue, 04 Feb 92 22:47:42 -0500
> I've deferred responding publicly to the com-priv message since I hoped
> others would.  But I will respond to this....
> there isn't a routing "problem".   there are gigapackets/month running
> through the CIX reliably, with little latency, and very inexpensively.
> What vaf wants is some tuning for the high bandwidth path that he and
> a very few others have by the grace of nsf and tax $'s.  it is a
> reasonable request given that people don't want to ante up quite yet
> for t3 cix interconnects.  This tuning to my knowledge is driven
> by a fairly small % of the total CIX networks (10 out of 500?).

Right now the performance of the NSFnet is pretty bad (even the T3
network performance is worse than a CIX provided connection) so you
are probably doing your customers a service by using the CIX to route
packets instead of the NSFnet.  But let's look into the future where
ANS finally gets its technical act together and the T3 NSFnet really
starts to hum.  Add in much greater use of the CIX and I can see an
inverted picture where the CIX is more of a bottleneck than the

Let me bring this closer to home for you.  The federal government is
paying to provide a T3 network for research and education.  I suspect
that NYSERnet is intended to be a beneficiary of this service.  I also
presume that PSI is still the carrier for NYSERnet (please correct me
if I am wrong).  In that case, by running traffic through the CIX you
are circumventing a federal resource.  Not a problem now but what if
the NSFnet gets its act together?  In that case you, PSI, will be
doing your clients who may legitimately use the NSFnet, a GREAT
disservice.  Were I them I would become POWERFULLY annoyed.  How are
you going to deal with the problem then?

Bottom line here Marty is that you and every other service provider
who carries both CO and RE traffic had better have a DAMNED good
answer to this problem.  I would recommend you begin to think about it
NOW.  I have been harping about dropping AUPs on the NSFnet but that
is unlikely to ever happen so we are going to have to live with the

Now one last item: don't get on Vince's case.  He has been tasked with
solving a problem and he is doing his best.  He has identified a
problem that clearly ought to be dropped in your lap (collective
"your" because I suspect that CERFNet and possibly UUnet/Alternet are
in the same boat).  Perhaps you ought to say "thank you" and work with
him instead of pooh-poohing his posting.

Brian Lloyd, WB6RQN                                     Lloyd & Associates
Principal and Network Architect                         3420 Sudbury Road
brian at                                         Cameron Park, CA 95682
voice (916) 676-1147 -or- (415) 725-1392

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