Download PDF The 2013 Internet Peering Playbook: Connecting to the Core of the Internet

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Leverage Broader Business Arrangement.


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Overseas Power Play. The Group BuyIn. BuyIn Key Players. Divide and Conquer. Beachhead Verticals and Niche Markets. Extend the Dominant IXP. Prevent Rogue IXPs. Swim with the Fishes. Build and Maintain Population Stickiness. Strengthen Peering Population. Demonstrate Leadership. Purchase Data Center During Downturns. Drop Peering Cost. Appendix The Peering Simulation Game. The Playbooks. Play Chicken. Be Open Loudly. Be Everywhere.

Get Traffic. Price on Value. The Future. Many of the largest exchange points in the world can have hundreds of participants, and some span multiple buildings and colocation facilities across a city.

Since public peering allows networks interested in peering to interconnect with many other networks through a single port, it is often considered to offer "less capacity" than private peering, but to a larger number of networks. Many smaller networks, or networks which are just beginning to peer, find that public peering exchange points provide an excellent way to meet and interconnect with other networks which may be open to peering with them.

Some larger networks utilize public peering as a way to aggregate a large number of "smaller peers", or as a location for conducting low-cost "trial peering" without the expense of provisioning private peering on a temporary basis, while other larger networks are not willing to participate at public exchanges at all.

A few exchange points, particularly in the United States, are operated by commercial carrier-neutral third parties, which are critical for achieving cost-effective data center connectivity. Private peering is the direct interconnection between only two networks, across a Layer 1 or 2 medium that offers dedicated capacity that is not shared by any other parties. Early in the history of the Internet, many private peers occurred across "telco" provisioned SONET circuits between individual carrier-owned facilities. Today, most private interconnections occur at carrier hotels or carrier neutral colocation facilities, where a direct crossconnect can be provisioned between participants within the same building, usually for a much lower cost than telco circuits.

Most of the traffic on the Internet, especially traffic between the largest networks, occurs via private peering. However, because of the resources required to provision each private peer, many networks are unwilling to provide private peering to "small" networks, or to "new" networks which have not yet proven that they will provide a mutual benefit.

Throughout the history of the Internet, there have been a spectrum of kinds of agreements between peers, ranging from handshake agreements to written contracts as required by one or more parties. Such agreements set forth the details of how traffic is to be exchanged, along with a list of expected activities which may be necessary to maintain the peering relationship, a list of activities which may be considered abusive and result in termination of the relationship, and details concerning how the relationship can be terminated.

Detailed contracts of this type are typically used between the largest ISPs, as well as the ones operating in the most heavily regulated economies. As of , such contracts account for less than 0. Paying CIX members were allowed to attach to the router directly or via leased lines. Because the CIX operated at OSI layer 3 , rather than OSI layer 2 , and because it was not neutral, in the sense that it was operated by one of its participants rather than by all of them collectively, and it conducted lobbying activities supported by some of its participants and not by others, it would not today be considered an Internet exchange point.

Nonetheless, it was the first thing to bear that name. When the United States government de-funded the NSFNET backbone, Internet exchange points were needed to replace its function, and initial governmental funding was used to aid the preexisting MAE and bootstrap three other exchanges, which they dubbed NAPs, or "Network Access Points," in accordance with the terminology of the National Information Infrastructure document.

Inside the Internet of Things (IoT)

As the Internet grew, and traffic levels increased, these NAPs became a network bottleneck. Today, almost all significant exchange points operate solely over Ethernet, and most of the largest exchange points offer 10, 40, and even gigabit service. During the dot-com boom , many exchange point and carrier neutral colocation providers had plans to build as many as 50 locations to promote carrier interconnection in the United States alone. Essentially all of these plans were abandoned following the dot-com bust, and today it is considered both economically and technically infeasible to support this level of interconnection among even the largest of networks.

By definition, peering is the voluntary and free exchange of traffic between two networks, for mutual benefit. If one or both networks believes that there is no longer a mutual benefit, they may decide to cease peering: this is known as depeering. Some of the reasons why one network may wish to depeer another include:.

In some situations, networks which are being depeered have been known to attempt to fight to keep the peering by intentionally breaking the connectivity between the two networks when the peer is removed, either through a deliberate act or an act of omission.

Peering vs transit: A game theoretical model for autonomous systems connectivity - Semantic Scholar

The goal is to force the depeering network to have so many customer complaints that they are willing to restore peering. Examples of this include forcing traffic via a path that does not have enough capacity to handle the load, or intentionally blocking alternate routes to or from the other network. Some notable examples of these situations have included:.

The "donut peering" model [17] describes the intensive interconnection of small and medium-sized regional networks that make up much of the Internet. As detailed above , some carriers attempted to form a cartel of self-described Tier 1 networks , nominally refusing to peer with any networks outside the oligopoly.

Data takes a more direct path, reducing latency and packet loss. This also improves resiliency between consumers and content providers via multiple connections in many locations around the world, in particular during business disputes between the core transit providers. While more attention is paid to bilateral peering, and bilateral peering agreements numerically predominate, the majority of BGP AS-AS adjacencies are more likely the product of multilateral peering agreements. The two primary criticisms of multilateral peering are that it breaks the shared fate of the forwarding and routing planes, since the layer-2 connection between two participants could hypothetically fail while their layer-2 connections with the route server remained up, and that they force all participants to treat each other with the same, undifferentiated, routing policy.

The primary benefit of multilateral peering is that it minimizes configuration for each peer, while maximizing the efficiency with which new peers can begin contributing routes to the exchange. While optional multilateral peering agreements and route servers are now widely acknowledged to be a good practice, mandatory multilateral peering agreements MMLPAs have long been agreed to not be a good practice.

The modern Internet operates with significantly more peering locations than at any time in the past, resulting in improved performance and better routing for the majority of the traffic on the Internet. Collectively, the many exchange points operated by Equinix are generally considered to be the largest, though traffic figures are not generally published. A great deal of the complexity in the BGP routing protocol exists to aid the enforcement and fine-tuning of peering and transit agreements.

BGP allows operators to define a policy that determines where traffic is routed. Local-preference is used internally within a network to differentiate classes of networks. For example, a particular network will have a higher preference set on internal and customer advertisements.

The Internet Peering Playbook - Table of Contents

Settlement free peering is then configured to be preferred over paid IP transit. Networks that speak BGP to each other can engage in multi exit discriminator exchange with each other, although most do not. When networks interconnect in several locations, MEDs can be used to reference that network's interior gateway protocol cost. This results in both networks sharing the burden of transporting each other's traffic on their own network or cold potato. Hot-potato or nearest-exit routing, which is typically the normal behavior on the Internet, is where traffic destined to another network is delivered to the closest interconnection point.

Internet interconnection is not regulated in the same way that public telephone network interconnection is regulated. Nevertheless, Internet interconnection has been the subject of several areas of federal policy in the United States. In this case, the Department of Justice blocked the merger specifically because of the impact of the merger on the Internet backbone market thereby requiring MCI to divest itself of its successful "internetMCI" business to gain approval. The FCC has also reviewed competition in the backbone market in its Section proceedings which review whether advanced telecommunications are being provided to all Americans in a reasonable and timely manner.

These advocates argue that Internet interconnection should work like international telephone interconnection, with each party paying half of the cost.

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