AOL & Cogent

Leo Bicknell bicknell at
Mon Dec 30 14:50:40 UTC 2002

In a message written on Sun, Dec 29, 2002 at 10:32:25PM +0000, Paul Vixie wrote:
> there we go again, talking technology and making the technological kind
> of sense.  peering isn't a technology decision, it's a business decision.

This depends on how you define business decision.  I view a business
decision as one where a company selling a product gets to make
choices about that product - but, and this is a big part - remains
in business.  Having the product work in the first place is a
business requirement.  I don't buy into the logic that making a
(known) broken product is a business decision, as no one makes a
business decision with a known, up-front outcome of failure.

A business decision is something like choosing to put cheap plastic
trim in a car and sell it cheap, or the best Italian leather and
sell it for a lot of money.  Building a car that doesn't break down
every 10 miles and needs to be towed back to the garage isn't a
business decision, it's a requirement to be in the car business at

Similarly to peering, a base amount is required to make this crazy
thing we all run work.  As we've seen with companies like PSI,
those who terminate, or loose significant peering generally end up
dead.  So there are really two things to talk about.  From a
technological point of view what's the minimum amount of peering
necessary to make things work, and then from a business perspective
what further optimizations can be made to make your customers more
happy, or reduce your costs, or both.

Trying to make it all a business decision is as wrong as trying to
make it all about technology.  Looking at only one side gives you
have the picture.

In a message written on Sun, Dec 29, 2002 at 09:12:16PM +0000, Paul Vixie wrote:
> least you know they are paying SOMEBODY, thus supporting the market
> you want to be in.  you can then compete in that market.  if everybody who
> could peer in N places worldwide could just get peering, then all kinds of
> per-bit revenue for "high tier" network owners would turn into per-port
> revenue for exchange point operators.  where's the market in that?  how
> could a "high tier" even exist in those conditions?

Argument #1, don't peer with the little guy because it takes revenue
away from ISP's in general.

In a message written on Sun, Dec 29, 2002 at 10:32:25PM +0000, Paul Vixie wrote:
> as a local operator myself (ISC), i know that i should not expect peering
> other than if someone wants their customers to have better access to the
> f-root server or the ftp server or whatever.  it's actually
> easier for me, as a nonprofit, to attract what mr. bill calls 'content
> peering' relationships, since i don't compete with the folks i peer with.

Argument #2, it's easy for me, a little guy to get peering because
I don't compete with the ISP's, I just buy from them.

So which is it?  Do you peer with the little guys who don't run
networks because content peering is good, or do you not peer with
them because it forces them to buy from somebody, and if everyone
does that it's good for ISP's in general?  It seems to me you want
to have your cake and eat it too.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at
Read TMBG List - tmbg-list-request at,
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