Midwest Internet Exchange

Benefits of peering

Reduced transit purchase costs via peering
There can be significant cost advantages in connecting to Midwest-IX. When connecting to the Internet via one or more upstream Internet Service Providers (ISP) transit charges have to be paid to these companies for data routed through the Internet. Organizations connecting to Midwest-IX can directly negotiate to exchange a proportion of their traffic with other members via peering.

Reduced Delay
As consumers demand a more responsive online experience the latency (or delay) on their IP service provider’s routing connections is an important factor. By connecting the customer directly to exchange, the number of hops between the customer and customers of other IP service providers, or the servers of content providers that they need to communicate with, is reduced, leading to higher-speed, shorter round-trip access. This benefit is becoming increasingly important as bandwidth sensitive applications become more prevalent (e.g. tele/video/audio conferencing, VoIP, online games, video on demand, software distribution; peer to peer file sharing, etc.)

Lower cost per Mbps of connection capacity
Midwest-IX is based upon local area network (LAN) technology and can thus offer much higher capacity and more scalable bandwidth connections to the Internet than WAN based telecom carrier connections offered by ISPs. Higher capacity connections enable faster data transfer and enable large volumes of traffic (e.g. multimedia data) to be shipped to a larger number of customers more quickly.

As MidWest-IX grows its membership it becomes increasingly attractive for Members to aggregate their traffic into this central hub rather than having to implement, and maintain, multiple links to carriers or content providers. As an example, a company that has three 100Mb connections to three separate carriers may be able to aggregate the same traffic over a single 100Mb connection, providing the carriers are also connected there.

Better routing
ISPs, content providers and others delivering services over IP who exchange traffic within a given region by peering with each other reduce round-trip delays and enhance value to the all users local to that region. Typically, a provider sourcing content can benefit by peering with those providers servicing a material proportion of their customer community.

Greater resilience
Organizations connecting to the Internet via a single upstream ISP are at risk from that ISP, and the connection to it, being a single point of failure. By connecting to MidWest-IX, while the Member will still need to buy connectivity from one or more ISPs in order to reach those parts of the Internet not reachable via peering, they will also gain connectivity to the many other members at the exchange, and can therefore spread the risk of any single provider’s failure.

More flexible choice of connectivity providers
Although, as mentioned above, it will still be necessary for a member to buy connectivity to those parts of the Internet they cannot reach via peering, the presence of many connectivity providers at the exchange creates a large and competitive marketplace where this capacity can be purchased. This competition means that suppliers can be evaluated against each other, leading to lower prices and better levels of service. Additionally, because the members’s wide-area connectivity is to MidWest-IX rather than to one single provider, it becomes much easier to switch suppliers simply by reconfiguring routing across the exchange rather than having to move or install wide-area circuits with attendant delays in carrier service provision. The ability to scale bandwidth for either peering or transit is also greatly simplified.

Transit sales opportunities
Midwest-IX management is regularly approached by organisations as to which companies they can/should purchase IP transit from. Naturally, we refer them directly to MidWest-IX members who provide such services.

As Midwest-IX grows its membership it becomes progressively more advantageous for other transit providers, ISPs and content providers to join. Services can be bought and sold on the exchange in an easy manner.

One Comment

  • Posted April 17, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    I like your list. It is similar to what I learned in the field and documented in my book, “The Internet Peering Playbook.”

    One thing I now add is that content providers providers peer to improve the end-user experience. Stated another way, not peering puts revenue at risk. Ad displays and click throughs generate revenue for the content provider, and if the page doesn’t get shown as a side effect of some DDoS attack somewhere in the ‘net, then the content provider doesn’t get that page view and the revenue. If they peer with the ad networks and with the eyeball networks, there are far fewer network elements that could be compromised or affected. The security guys call peering a “smaller attack surface.” I documented the security benefits of peering in the white paper “Peering Improves Security.”

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