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|“||a voluntary interconnection of administratively separate Internet networks for the purpose of exchanging traffic between the customers of each network.||”|
|“||A relationship established between two or more Internet Service Providers (ISP) for the purpose of exchanging traffic directly, rather than doing so through a backbone Internet provider.||”|
|“||Peering has a number of distinctive characteristics. First, peering partners only exchange traffic that originates with the customer of one backbone and terminates with the customer of the other peered backbone. . . . The second distinctive characteristic of peering is that peering partners exchange traffic on a settlements-free basis. . . . Additional characteristics of peering relate to the routing of information from one backbone to another. Peering partners generally meet in a number of geographically dispersed locations. . . . A final characteristic of peering is that recipients of traffic only promise to undertake "best efforts" when terminating traffic, rather than guarantee any level of performance in delivering packets received from peering partners.||”|
Marketing and commercial pressures have led to the word "peering" routinely being used when there is some settlement involved, even though that is not the accurate technical use of the word. The phrase "settlement-free peering" is sometimes used to reflect this reality and unambiguously describe the pure cost-free peering situation.
Peering requires physical interconnection of the networks, an exchange of routing information through the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing protocol and is often accompanied by peering agreements of varying formality, from "handshake" to thick contracts.
How peering works Edit
The relationships between these networks are generally described by one of the following three categories:
- Transit (or "pay") — You pay money (or "settlement") to another network for Internet access (or "transit").
- Peer (or "swap") — Two networks exchange traffic between each other's customers freely, and for mutual benefit.
- Customer (or "sell") — Another network pays you money to provide them with Internet access.
- Sell transit (or Internet access) service to that network (making them a "customer"),
- Peer directly with that network, or with a network who sells transit service to that network, or
- Pay another network for transit service, where that other network must in turn also sell, peer, or pay for access.
The Internet is based on the principle of "global reachability" (sometimes called "end-to-end reachability"), which means that any Internet user can reach any other Internet user as though they were on the same network. Therefore, any Internet-connected network must by definition either pay another network for transit, or peer with every other network who also does not purchase transit.
Motivations for peering Edit
Peering involves two networks coming together to exchange traffic with each other freely, and for mutual benefit. This "mutual benefit" is most often the motivation behind peering, which is often described solely by "reduced costs for transit services." Other less tangible motivations can include:
- Increased capacity for extremely large amounts of traffic (distributing traffic across many networks).
- Increased control over your traffic (reducing dependence on one or more transit providers).
- Improved performance (attempting to bypass potential bottlenecks with a "direct" path).
- Improved perception of your network (being able to claim a "higher tier").
- Government regulations, or the desire to avoid the appearance of being a monopoly.
- ↑ Blueprint for a Secure Cyber Future: The Cybersecurity Strategy for the Homeland Security Enterprise, Glossary, at D-4.
- ↑ NSTAC Report to the President on Communications Resiliency, at C-5.
- ↑ The Digital Handshake: Connecting Internet Backbones.
See also Edit
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