Vancouver IXP - VanTX - BCNet

Jay Hanke jay.hanke at
Fri Aug 23 14:06:50 UTC 2013

On Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 5:59 AM, Niels Bakker <niels=nanog at>wrote:

>> Indeed.  I think that ISPs who understand their business model well
>> enough to understand the effect the IXP will have on their
>> average-per-bit-delivery-cost is essential.  I think it's also essential
>> that they have some basic familiarity with the different ways IXPs can
>> fail, or fail to thrive, so that they can avoid mistakes others have made
>> in the past.  Over-spending, particularly on switches, is a huge killer of
>> IXPs.  Under-provisioning of circuits to the IXP is another big mistake.
>>  Failure to encourage local content and hosting is another.
> Can you cite a few examples of an IXP going under because of overspending
> on switch hardware?  You call this a "huge killer" so there must be dozens
> you can choose from.anke

Having recently been through the startup process at an independent
non-profit IXP, I can see spending too much on hardware being a problem
particularly on supporting the ongoing hardware/software maintenance on the
switch. Something else to think about, if an exchange is given an endowment
from from outside entity it might be harder to build the commitment levels
of participants/volunteers because it's too easy to solve the problems with
money as opposed to member contributions.

We went through 3 switch upgrades in 2 years and IMHO it built a lot of

Each IXP will have a set of faithful founders and the key is growing that
group beyond the initial group before the founders lose interest and move
on to bigger things. Particularly before connecting to the IXP makes
business sense to a company that won't connect just because it's cool.

When the exchange gets over the hump were companies are saving real money
it is much easier to keep the ball rolling and the exchange growing. Many
exchange points never make it to that level.


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