Peering - Benefits?

Andy Davidson andy at
Mon Nov 3 17:52:03 UTC 2008

On 31 Oct 2008, at 16:56, Paul Stewart wrote:

> Why does the controversy word keep coming up?  You're the third  
> personnow to ask if I was trying to provide controversy and for the  
> third time, NO I AM NOT.


I have no intention of fanning the fire, but I can explain the  
controversy message pretty well.

Bringing a whole new methodology to how an organisation interconnects  
is hugely controversial for most organisations who are not already  

In my role as a consulting engineer in this field, I most recall  
introducing peering to two 'enterprise' organisations.  Both joined  
exchanges in Europe at a time when their network edge was redesigned  
to support 'better practice' IT.  Both were e-commerce organisations  
who traded directly with the general public, and ran open peering  
policies soliciting sessions with eyeball networks.  At the end of my  
involvement with both, each organisation was peering off a third or so  
of their traffic.

One is still peering and probably peers off more traffic.  The other  
withdrew from peering operations after around six months.  Wearing  
another hat as an IX operator, I can confirm that IXPs do not want  
organisations to join and leave, since most of the IXP costs are front- 
stacked and relate to setup.

So what went wrong ?  The organisation which is still peering has a  
more rich technical culture, willing to accept the so-called  
intangible benefits of peering.  The second asked "are we a sales and  
marketing firm designed to shift widgets, or are we a fancy technical  
firm with a big network ?"

The culture of many firms is to keep-it-simple-stupid, and if your  
proposal for peering reached C*O levels, then it would be met with  
significant controversy if you are not already peering.  Especially  
when the C*O responsible for legal hears about peering contracts...

Furthermore, to get and retain the peers you need, you need to make  
relationships with other peering co-ordinators.  Attending the peering  
conferences is hard work and all of your colleagues will think you're  
on a jolly !

If you can't get sponsorship for your idea outside the technology  
department, then the idea is probably dead.  Are there some PNIs you  
can run in the local area which will have a significant impact on your  
resiliency and traffic profile ?

Good luck.  I am happy to talk to you in more detail about this  
subject if you would like more advice, drop me a line off-list.

Best wishes
Andy Davidson.

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