Info on MAE-EAST

Paul A Vixie paul at
Thu Jan 16 05:45:29 UTC 1997

Brett writes:
> MAE-Houston, a small NAP in the scheme of things, but it makes for a good 
> example so we'll use it. $2000/month to get your foot in the door, then
> another large chunk of cash to connect to the Gigaswitch which all things
> considered, isn't really needed. Rather than waste their money on equipment
> that all in all just doesn't need to be there, why not make it more economic
> for local players to get involved and cross connect to eachother. In the end
> you not only save money by not bringing in useless hardware but you garner
> more customers by lessening the price of the private interconnect. 

Hmmm.  According to what I learnt in school, the cost of a connected network
like a GIGAswitch or Catalyst or DELNI with N participants is:

	(N x interface_cost) + (N x port_cost)

...while the cost of a connected network made up of wire peers is:

	(2 x sum(N - 1) x interface_cost)

"sum(N-1)" is an interesting function.  Here are some examples:

	% calc
	> define sum(n) = n > 0 ? n + sum(n-1) : 0;
	"sum" defined
	> for (n = 2; n < 20; n++) print n,2*sum(n-1);
	2 2
	3 6
	4 12
	5 20
	6 30
	7 42
	8 56
	9 72
	10 90
	11 110
	12 132
	13 156
	14 182
	15 210
	16 240
	17 272
	18 306
	19 342

That means with 19 ISP's in a GIGAswitch-free room, there are 342 FIP's at
a cost of, what, US$12000 each after discount?  I'll betcha I can buy quite
a few GIGAswitches for US$4.1M.  Oops, that's not a fair comparison, since
with a GIGAswitch I also need 19 FIP's.  Figure that a fully configured
GIGAswitch retails without discount for US$80K and that 19 FIPs are going
to run another US$228K.  That's still a *lot* less than 2*sum(n-1).

This also assumes that we all have VIP2 cards and want to burn 9 7513 slots
just on local peering, and it further assumes that a 7513 won't just simply
melt if all the interfaces ever get hot at the same time.

The breakeven is between N=3 and N=4.  On the Internet, N never stays small.

(And that breakeven assumes that the 4 people have to buy the whole
GIGAswitch with noone like MFS to underwrite the costs of the unused ports;
that means four people in a room together could SAVE MONEY buying the GIGA-


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