Coop Peering Fabric??

Andy Davidson andy at
Tue Aug 12 14:13:32 CDT 2008

On 12 Aug 2008, at 04:15, Deepak Jain wrote:

> A "coop", best-effort switch fabric colo'd at a few sites would  
> allow participants to peer off traffic at a price of the order of a  
> single cross-connect (~$500/month per 10G port is possible, maybe  
> less)

Most of the Internet Exchanges in Europe that quickly spring to mind  
as successful, are run as co-operative entities, similar to what you  

Specifically, most (all?) of the larger ones over here run as  
independent bodies that are owned mutually -- that is to say, owned by  
all of the participators at the exchange.  The model is popular, and  
many hundreds of GB/s of traffic is exchanged on switches run by  
mutual organisations in Europe.

This works really well because it means there is no commercial/profit  
motivation to operate significantly above cost-recovery levels.  Here,  
costs mean the CapEx, OpEx, and any community/member sanctioned  

Where it breaks is when we have to tell a network with lots of traffic  
that in order to participate at the exchange, they have to become a  
member (part owner) of the organisation.  Due to organisational or  
even regulatory issues, it may not be legal to sell services (exchange  
ports) to non members/owners.  This doesn't frighten the engineer  
asking for a connection, but it causes some concern at C*O level  
("err, I might have to declare this to shareholders/regulators...")

I think my message to you would be that if you have a bunch of  
colleagues at other organisations near you that want to start  
peering ... configure a switch, peer, and take it from there as you  
grow !  I hope your new exchange is successful !

Best wishes
Andy Davidson
Declared hat - (London, UK based mutual IX)

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