Peering - Benefits?

Patrick W. Gilmore patrick at
Fri Oct 31 04:41:04 UTC 2008

On Oct 30, 2008, at 10:19 PM, vijay gill wrote:

> This is probably going to be a somewhat unpopular opinion, mostly
> because people cannot figure out their COGS. If you can get transit
> for cheaper than your COGS, you are better off buying transit and not
> peering.  There are some small arguments to be made for latency and
> 'cheap/free' peering if you are already buying transit at an exchange
> and your port/xconn fee is cheaper than your capital/opex for the
> amount of traffic you peer off.

One of us is confused.

Transit is _part_ of COGS, at least for most of the group reading this  
list.  Finding transit "cheaper than your COGS" just means cheaper  
than you get it now.  And that in no way way means you should dump  
peering.  What if peering is cheaper than transit?

The part where we do agree is that most people cannot figure out their  
COGS.  And you might even convince me that "you don't know what  
peering really costs you" is a valid reason to shy away from it.  But  
that is not what you said.

Assuming you can figure your actual costs, and peering is at least  
break even with transit, I would suggest you peer.  If peering is not  
cheaper, then I would suggest not doing it.  (Obviously a  
generalization - there are corner cases which go against the rule.)   
And if you cannot figure your actual costs, it is much safer to stick  
with the more simple solution - i.e. transit.

> To be completely realistic, at current transit pricing, you are almost
> always better off just buying transit from two upstreams and calling
> it done, especially if you are posting to nanog asking about peering.

That is a pretty broad statement.

Not that I think you are wrong....  I honestly am not sure at this  
point.  (Mostly 'cause I'm not sure who would e-mail NANOG asking  
about it. :-)


> On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 12:17 PM, Paul Stewart
> <pstewart at> wrote:
>> Hi there...
>> I'm in a meeting next week to discuss settlement-free peering  
>> etc.....
>> always an interesting time.  A push is on (by myself) to get into  
>> other
>> physical locations and participate on the peering exchanges.
>> Besides costs, what other factors are benefits to peering?
>> I can think of some but looking to develop a concrete list of  
>> appealing
>> reasons etc. such as:
>> -control over routing between networks
>> -security aspect (being able to filter/verify routes to some degree)
>> -latency/performance
>> Just looking for other positive ideas etc...;)
>> Cheers!
>> Paul
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