Exchanges that matter...

Danny Stroud dannystroud at
Wed Dec 4 18:41:00 UTC 1996

Good point on the CO issue. I was not suggesting that the telco CO was a 
direct analog for Internet exchange points. I might not have made my point 
clearly. Let me try again. What I meant was that the demand for traffic seems 
to be growing faster than technologies ability to deliver it. Even with the 
planned *new* technologies, I am predicting that there will be a point where 
the traffic of the exchange points will need to bifurcate simply to be able to 
process the load, i.e. more *smaller* exchange points all running at top 
capacity of the available technology.  It's not exactly the same analysis of 
costs for the final mile that drove the telco CO deployment, but the idea is 
the same: sometimes available technology defines the strategy.

Any better? des

From:  owner-nanog at on behalf of Todd Graham Lewis
Sent:  Wednesday, December 04, 1996 3:46 AM
To:  nanog at
Subject:  RE: Exchanges that matter...

On Tue, 3 Dec 1996, Danny Stroud wrote:

> Actually, I think the issue is not about moving. It is more about developing 

> *new* facilities now to handle the forecasted demands.

Certainly a valid pov.

> As the Internet becomes 
> more pervasive and the expectations of the users (and investors) become 
> higher, we (the Internet access provider community) will need to have 
> cheaper, faster, more resilient, etc. etc. networks.

Yep, uh huh.

> I find it hard to fathom 
> a completely pervasive network routing through a few exchange points.

Why not?  More below.

> As the 
> national telco infrastructure evolved over the last few decades (with CO's 
> just about every corner) so will go the Internet.

But with most of the major backbone providers we're rapidly approaching
POPs in every city as it is, and any finer granularity really doesn't make
much sense, except maybe in the mega-cities. 

Exchange points are not analogous to COs; major routing problems ensue as
the number of exchange points increase.  E.g., if there were three EPs per
continent, and if each major network connected to these three EPs, and a
requirement for connecting to the EPs was that you have a fully redundant
backbone, what would be the problem?

> I admire the foresight of 
> those attempting to develop new exchange points. I do not envy the uphill 
> battle they have before them. des

I don't envy them either, but I'm beginning to question the "a chicken in
every pot and a NAP on every corner" approach to network design.  Of
course, I don't strictly have to worry about these things; that's why I
and AOL and most network operators have upstream network providers.

Todd Graham Lewis             Linux!                 Core Engineering
Mindspring Enterprises  tlewis at   (800) 719 4664, x2804

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