David Diaz techlist at
Thu Nov 14 18:52:21 UTC 2002

At 18:31 +0000 11/14/02, E.B. Dreger wrote:
>DD> Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 10:22:09 -0500
>DD> From: David Diaz
>DD> 1) Long haul circuits are dirt cheap.  Meaning distance
>DD> peering becomes more attractive.  L3 also has an MPLS product
>DD> so you pay by the meg.  I am surprised a great many peers are
>DD> using this.  But apparently CFOs love it
>Uebercheap longhaul would _favor_ the construction of local
>Let's say I pay $100k/mo port and $10M/mo loop... obviously, I
>need to cut loop cost.  If an exchange brings zero-mile loops to
>the table, that should reduce loop cost.  Anyone serious will
>want a good selection of providers, and the facility offering the
>most choices should be sitting pretty.

This is an interesting and good point, but any carrier hotel provides 
the same thing.

>Likewise, I agree that expensive longhaul would favor increased
>local peering... but, if local loop were extremely cheap, would
>an exchange be needed?  It would not be inappropriate for all
>parties to congregate at an exchange, but I'd personally rather
>run N dirt-cheap loops across town from my private facility.
>Hence I refer to an "imbalance" in loop/longhaul pricing; a large
>proliferation in exchanges could be precipitated by _either_ loop
>_or_ longhaul being "expensive"... and it seems expensive loop
>would be a more effective driver for local exchanges.

Tried this.  Yes you are right, problem is local loops are sometimes 
extremely difficult to get delivered in a timely manner and upgrading 
them can be an internal battle with the CFO.  To solve this, we 
deployed the Bellsouth mix.  I actually came up with the idea while 
have a terrible time getting private peering sessions up while at 
Netrail.  6months was a ridiculous timeframe.  Bellsouth liked it and 
deployed it, eventually.  So now you have a distributed optical 
exchange where you can point and click and drop circuits btw any of 
the nodes; nodes were located at many colos and undersea fiber drops. 
Theoretically this meant the exchange was "colo" neutral.  With flat 
rate loops it meant location wasnt important.  Each node also allows 
for hairpinning so you could do peering within the room at a reduced 
rate (since u werent burning any ring-side capacity).

The neat part was that customers would be able to see and provision 
their own capacity via a login and pwd.  Also, with UNI 1.0, the IP 
layer would be able to upgrade capacity on the fly.  No one has put 
that into production but real world test have worked.  In reality a 
more realistic scenario was the ability of a customer to upgrade from 
an OC3 to an OC12.  The ports were the same so it was just a setting 
on the NMS to change.  It was a nice feature and meant engineers did 
now have to justify ESP feelings on how traffic would grow to a 
grouchy CFO.

>DD> 2) There is a lack of a killer app requiring peering every
>DD> 100 sq Km. VoIP might be the app.  Seems to be gaining a
>By the time IP packets are compressed and QOSed enough to support
>voice, one essentially reinvents ATM or FR (with ATM seeming
>suspiciously like FR with fixed-length cells)...
>DD> great deal of traction.  Since it's obvious traffic levels
>DD> would sky rockets, and latency is a large concern, and there
>DD> is a need to connect to the local voice TDM infrastructure,
>Yes, although cost would trump latency.  Once latency is "good
>enough", cost rules.  Would I pay a premium to reduce latency
>from 50ms to 10ms for voice calls?  No.

I agree.  A couple off-list emails to me did not seem to understand 
this.  Just because we post something does not mean it's our personal 
pref, it's just we are posting the reality of what will likely happen 
in our opinion.  If there is not a competitive advantage, backed up 
by reduced cost or increased revenue, it would be a detriment to 
deploy it... more likely a CFO would shoot it down.

Someone sent an example as if I am making the statement no one needs 
more then 640k of ram on their computer.  Never made that analogy, 
but there is a limit.  It also seems to me that shared supercomputer 
time is making a come back.  IBM seems to be pushing in that 
direction, and there are several grid networks being setup.  The 
world changes.

Let's face it.  Has anyone talked about the protocols to run these 
super networks?  Where we have something like 100-400 peering nodes 
domestically?  Injecting those routes into our IGP?  Talk about a 
complex design... now we need to talk about tricks to prevent the 
overflow of our route tables internally... ok I can here people 
getting ready to post stuff about reflectors etc.

Truth is, it's just plain difficult to hit critical mass at a new 
exchange point.  No one wishes to be 1st since there is little 
return.  Perhaps these exch operators need to prime the pump by 
offered tiered rates, the 1st 1/3 of peers deploying coming in at a 
permanent 50% discount.

>DD> local exchanging is preferred.  However, many VoIP companies
>DD> claim latency right now is acceptable and they are receiving
>DD> no major complaints.  So we are left to guess at other killer
>DD> apps, video conferencing, movie industry sending movies
>DD> online directly to consumers etc.
>The above are "big bandwidth" applications.  However, they do not
>inherently require exchanges... _local_ videoconferencing, yes.
>Local security companies monitoring cameras around town, yes.
>Video or newscasting, yes.  Distributed content, yes.  (If a
>traffic sink could pull 80% of its traffic from a local building
>where cross-connects are reasonably priced...)
>DD> 3) In order to get to the next level of peering exchanges...
>[ snip ]
>DD> Perhaps it's up to the key exchange companies to tie fabrics
>DD> together allowing new (tier2 locations) to gain visibility to
>DD> peers at other larger locations.  This would allow peers at
>DD> the larger locations to engage in peering discussions, or
>DD> turn ups, and when traffic levels are justified a deployment
>DD> to the second location begins.  Problem with new locations
>DD> are 'chicken and the egg.'  Critical mass must be achieved
>DD> before there is a large value proposition for peers.
>Brotsman & Dreger, Inc. - EverQuick Internet Division
>Bandwidth, consulting, e-commerce, hosting, and network building
>Phone: +1 (785) 865-5885 Lawrence and [inter]national
>Phone: +1 (316) 794-8922 Wichita
>Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 11:23:58 +0000 (GMT)
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