T3 or not to T3

Stephen Stuart stuart at pa.dec.com
Mon Jul 22 16:08:22 UTC 1996

> On Sun, 21 Jul 1996, Stephen Stuart wrote:
> > At Digital's Palo Alto IX (URL as Michael said above), we view the
> > exchange point as a place where peering relationships are implemented.
> > Web farmers who are not ISPs (I'm not trying to start a debate on
> > what-is-an-ISP) can only peer with ISPs at the GIGAswitch if the web
> > farmer is able to find an ISP that wishes to provide connectivity in
> > that manner. I would hope that they wouldn't.
> You sound overly negative here. I understand that you see a BIG difference
> between a web server hooked up to a Gigaswitch port and a web server in an
> ISP's rack getting to the Gigaswitch through the ISP's FDDI or 100baseTx
> or whatever. But potential users of the XP location don't think that way. 
> If you want to see what your bosses are advertising, read the press
> release at http://www.ix.digital.com/press.html

I certainly wasn't trying to sound negative; I know what the press
release says, having reviewed it before it went out. The press release
doesn't talk about "connections to the IX" are implemented.

This is an implementation issue; if a web farmer wished to create a
topology where they were speaking BGP to ISPs with whom they arranged
connectivity, I would not stand in the way. There are benefits to that
topology that require a level of sophistication that some of the web
farmers to whom I've spoken are prepared to implement and maintain.
Many are not, though. I hope to see topologies matched to customers in
a way that gives all customers the level of flexibility and autonomy
they desire. I'm not the only voice in the design of such topologies,
though, and my opinion is not necessarily The Truth. The ISPs and the
web farmers are the customers, and at the end of the day, I hope to
have done what produces the most customer satisfaction.

> > Should
> > the web farmer purchase connectivity from other ISPs, their purchases
> > can be implemented as cross-connects to ISP routers (assuming the
> > address space can be advertised, the topology of the web farmer's
> > network can handle it, etc., etc., etc.).
> This is the key thing here. You are providing the physical facilities to
> locate the servers as well as the wiring required to get any sort of
> connection desired to the ISP's in the same building including zero-mile
> T1's and DS3's. And you are promoting this service. This is what is new
> and I expect that either Digital will do a few more of these in other
> locations and/or other XP locations will also expand their facilities to
> do this. Over the next 5 years XP's like this will be found in every major
> North American city and the big content providers *WILL* have resolved
> some technology that allows them to serve content from the topologically
> closest server.

We are in agreement here.

- -----
Stephen Stuart				stuart at pa.dec.com
Network Systems Laboratory
Digital Equipment Corporation

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