Level 3 Peering Guidelines

Patrick W. Gilmore patrick at ianai.net
Sat Aug 27 01:32:00 UTC 2011

> I have yet to find a down side to this sort of sunshine.  I'd wecome
> anyone who thinks its a bad idea to educate me.

Why is that any different than forcing businesses to explain which links are paid?  Or any other internal data?  Private businesses are private.  Their relationships with other private businesses are private.  Saying some data should be public while others are not is arbitrary.

Next time Cogent de-peers someone, customers do not care who was being more reasonable.  They care that their links are broken.  Customers do not care if links are out of ratio, they care if packets are dropped.  Further there are companies who can push 75 Gbps on an 8x10 LAG for 12 hours without dropping a packet, while other companies cannot push 60 Gbps on that same link without some intermittent packet loss.  Explaining to customers which are 'good' and which are 'bad' is an impossible task.

Finally, if this were to happen, a lot of links would be quickly disconnected.  Perhaps that could be considered a feature, but I am not at all certain it would be.

In summary: I do not like gov't involvement, even if it is just to require some random set of data to be made public.


On Aug 26, 2011, at 2:46 PM, Leo Bicknell wrote:

> In a message written on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 05:40:43PM -0400, Patrick W. Gilmore wrote:
>> Yes, Above.Net broke the original peering-ratio fight that way.  Thank you for that.  Too bad it didn't last.
> I forgot to write back when you first posted this, but the recent
> follow ons reminded me...
> While it is not a wide spread practice, I am 99.99% sure several
> networks are still using this method in private.  I also know of
> at least two networks that have in the past deaggregated their large
> supernets to peers to affect a similar result.
> The interesting thing is that this is not done to elminate the
> peering ratio argument in the aggregate, but to make up for the
> geography of the two networks.  Maybe one network insisted on peering
> in a city that the other only has a few customers in, so the link
> is mostly idle while others run too hot.  Rather than provision
> more bandwidth they agree to meds or deaggregates to get the traffic
> to the lightly loaded link.  The ratio in the aggregate is basically
> unchanged.
>> I've said it before, more times than I can count.  Peering is a
>> business tool, a means to an end.  The goal, the 'end', of for-profit
>> companies is to make a profit.  Sounds obvious, but surprising how
>> many people forget this.  If peering with another network will
>> increase your profit and you turn down the peering request, you
>> should be fired.  Your ego should not be substituted for business
>> decisions.
> I agree with your premise, and think everyone involved _thinks_
> they are making the best business decision for their company.
> However I believe many folks are in fact making poor decisions for
> their company because they lack data.  It's interesting to look at
> the first order costs of peering; the port, cross connect, and time
> to set it up.  In my experience though the second and third order
> effects are far more important; how it affects your ratio with other
> peers, your customer's perception of your network performance, etc.
> These are much harder to measure, and near as I can tell virtually
> no network does.
> I've been asked many times how the government could step in and
> help, aka regulate peering to make it better.  In thinking about
> all the things that could be mandated, the interactions that can
> be regulated, I see them generally as a univeral bad.  With one,
> major, glaring exception....
> Right now peering is all done in secret.  You don't really know if
> your competitor is getting free peering, paying to peer, or getting
> paid to peer.  You don't know if they are really insisting on the
> same locations with other parties they insist with for you.  It's
> a perfect game of poker.  This is in stark contrast to say, transit,
> where you can get prices from 20 people and compare.
> AboveNet also used to put graphs of almost all of its peering links
> online, in real time.  A few peers flat out refused, but most were
> there.  You could see where they peered, at what speed, and how
> much traffic was flowing.  You could also calculate the ratio.
> I think the Government could bring a lot of sunshine to the party
> if it simply required all ISP's to do just that.  Post a graph of
> every peering link or port to a public exchange, updated in real
> time.  They all have the data internally, they are all collecting
> it for their own needs.  You still wouldn't know if any money is
> changing hands, but imagine how it would change many of the
> interactions.   Oh, you require me to hit 3Tb aggregate, when you
> have 20 peers that are less than half that?  Really, you're going
> to require me to peer with you in Nome Alaska when you don't have
> any other peers at that location?
> It would also let ISP's make an informed decision about depeering
> events.  The next time cogent splits from someone you can go look
> at the graphs on both sides, and make your own decision who was
> being more reasonable.  It would also let you, the transit customer,
> evaluate the extent and free capacity to peers your ISP has before
> buying.
> I have yet to find a down side to this sort of sunshine.  I'd wecome
> anyone who thinks its a bad idea to educate me.
> -- 
> Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
>  PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/

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