Sending vs requesting. Was: Re: Sprint / Cogent
Patrick W. Gilmore
patrick at ianai.net
Sat Nov 1 11:45:31 CDT 2008
On Nov 1, 2008, at 12:05 PM, Chris Adams wrote:
> Once upon a time, bas <kilobit at gmail.com> said:
>> I've heard eyeball networks refer to traffic flows as sending too..
>> "You content hosters are sending us too much traffic, we want money
>> upgrade ports and transport all that traffic" Complete reverse logic
>> imho. It is always eyeball network customers that request data.
>> (except for a small portion of iphone/blackberry push email, but that
>> can't account for much.)
> Traffic sources tend to be concentrated in large data centers
> (easier to
> service), while traffic sinks (DSL, cable, wireless) are widespread
> costly to upgrade. The sink customers don't want to pay more (and
> there's at least some competition), so the sink providers look to see
> where else they get income to pay for their needed network upgrades.
Combined with hot-potato routing, the first part of that paragraph is
a fancy way of saying "I have to carry the large packet a long way,
you have to carry the small packet a long way". It is not "fair".
This is almost a good reason, but not quite. (It can also be offset
by moving the source next to the sink, through cold-potato routing /
MEDs, anycast, CDNs, etc.)
The second part is a good business reason. Profitable revenue is
good, costs are bad.
There are good business reasons not to pay the sink as well. But
neither decision is obvious or the same for everyone.
Peering is complicated, people should stop trying to generalize it.
Peering is a business tool. For years & years many people have
claimed that to "peer" you must be equal. Bullshit. If I can make
more or spend less by peering, I should do it. If not, I should not.
Full stop. Notice the complete lack of regard for how big you are,
how much capacity your backbone has, how many ASes are downstream of
you, etc.? When I go to buy routers or hire employees or any other
business transaction, I don't say "that router vendor is making more
money than I am, so I won't buy from him". If people applied
"peering" logic to anything else, they'd be laughed out of a job.
Don't know about you, but I am in business to make money, not measure
my anatomy. How big the next guy is doesn't enter into my equation -
other than how it affects my bottom line.
To be clear, it is entirely possible that peering does not save you
money. Vijay is right, most people can't measure their COGS to save
their life. And if the network in question cannot, there's no way in
hell the prospective peer can. If you are a huge point source of
traffic and want to peer, I may save money by saying no and paying a
transit provider to deliver the packet to me where I want it
(especially at today's prices). Fiber, routers, colo, NOC employees,
engineers, etc., are all not free ya know.
You can claim my customers asked for the data and therefore I have a
requirement to peer, but you would be deluded. What my customer and I
have agreed has _nothing_ to do with you or your needs. You don't
tell me how to run my network, and I won't tell you how to run yours.
On the flip side, saying "you are not on 3 continents so I will not
peer" is stupid of not peering costs you millions a year. Stupid
decisions abound in the peering ecosystem.
There are tons of other _business_ reasons to peer, or not to peer.
But "we're equal" or "your customer asked for it" are not reasons,
stop using them.
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