Exchanges that matter...

Wayne Bouchard web at
Thu Dec 5 23:38:47 UTC 1996

> Danny Stroud <dannystroud at> wrote:
> >So how do you reconcile the increasing number of private facilities? Although
> >not exchange points in the truest sense ala MAEs and NAPs, they do carry an
> >increasing percentage of cross-network traffic. The number of these types of
> >facilities will grow. Maybe our difference here is that I count these and
> >others do not. des
> Er. Private exchanges are there only because public exchanges are running
> out of gas.  They have the same problems with routing as public exchanges do.

Actually... many of the private exchanges are there for several other
reasons as well. First, it can be convenient to set up a connection
with a net you're passing lots of traffic to so you can go direct to
them instead of through 7 or 8 odd routers outside your
net. (obviously)

Second, it can be significantly cheaper to split the costs between the
participants and not have to pay a third party for access to the
exchange. (heck of a lot easier too..)

Third, and going along with the first point, private exchanges can
help to more geographically orient your local corner of the
network. That way, to get across town, you don't have to go to
mae-west, over to denver, and back down to phoenix to travel 6 miles.

This also serves to take a little traffic AWAY from the public NAPs
and can help reduce congestion and problems there.

The principle disadvantage of lots of small exchange points, as far as
I see it, is that there may well be potential for A) many more paths
to get from A to B, meaning that each router will hold that many more
BGP entries and B) possibly a greater potential for route flap.


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