alan at gi.net
Fri May 10 03:09:17 UTC 1996
Pondering many things.
Namely, the evolution of the Internet. Without respect for the
many NAPs popping up (which is good), without respect for the lack
of available bandwidth (which is bad), I am concerned about the
evolution of our business.
I'll state the obvious to establish a direction. In the beginning
there were researchers, and they were good. They built a network,
and it was extended to include core groups, and they also found it
to be terribly useful.
This was extended to Beta in the form of the NSFNet, managed by our
friends at ANS and Merit, which gave rise to my neck of the woods,
MIDnet, which provided me a passion and livelihood. Off goes the
funding, off goes the backbone topology. Enter NAPs, and peering
problems. Version 1.0. Oh joy.
In the past, we were (excuse the metcalfesque) centrally managed,
and issues of peering were resolved by one body.
As we examine peering, we happen upon an inquisition into desire,
and motivation. NSPs [Network Service Providers] (defined as
anyone who is paid to connect some entity to another entity) found
that they could go to a NAP or Meet Point, and gain access to
I can think of smallish turf battles, the CIX silliness, and the
quarrels over what it really meant to be "on the Internet". At
one point, it meant just to BE at the NAPs, as being at the NAPs
implied that you could talk to everyone there.
And then, just like Babylon, people stopped talking to each other.
And so I view the future, unless things change. That's not to say
I'm armageddonish, or even diluvian, just observant of the
significant dynamic changes this is currently wreaking.
So, WHY would an NSP enter into a peering agreement with another
person? Why, to profit from the one side of the connection, to
enable an entity [labeled A] to talk with some other entity [labeled
B]. In most cases, NSP1 had as customer A, and NSP2 had as customer B,
and obv. it was in their best interest to meet somewhere to talk
to each other. NSP1 added value to A, by providing a path to B.
NSP2 added value to customer B by providing a path to A.
So, comes my curiosity, and my puzzling thoughts about the current
state of the net. Why is it not in my best interest to talk to
NSPX at a meet point? Why, when it is in MY customer's best
interest to talk to EVERYONE, would I not converse, and share
knowledge and invitations about my customer base?
My thought, conspiratorally, is that larger folks (NSP4) could
care less about talking to NSP3's p% of the net, when there is a
lower cost involved in talking to NSP4's q% of the net,
assuming q >>> p.
And yet, I fail to grasp why it is not in their best interest to
still include that group located in p%, NSP3's customers. Perhaps
because they'd rather have the customers?
I'd appreciate hearing the rounds of explanation why larger NSPs
don't want to talk w/ smaller NSPs.
Just because someone has 30% of the internet, they still have an
interest in connecting their 30% of the net to .1% of the net, no?
Perhaps the geographic cost investment in transit to far-reaching
customers is sufficient. Somehow that doesn't answer the question
I'm not talking about transit, I don't think it's necessarily in
NSP3's interest to carry NSP4's traffic to NSP1. But NSP3-NSP4 I
can see as beneficial, w/ no dalliance.
"baring my heart for the wrath of all"
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