As a Communication Service Provider (CSP), you understand the complexities in delivering internet service to end user customers. While you focus on the complex interconnection of autonomous networks underlying the services you provide, your customers don’t care as long as you provide fast, reliable service — which is precisely what network peering enables you to do.
What is Internet Peering?
Internet peering or network peering, describes a relationship in which autonomous networks directly interconnect with one another to exchange traffic. The alternative is network transit, which describes a more traditional relationship in which one network carries traffic for another. This requires one network to pay a transit fee.
Network peering enables carriers to lower their costs and gain flexibility when exchanging traffic with cloud, data center, transport, and peering partners.
There are two main types of peered connections.
- Public Peering: Enabled via an internet peering exchange (IXP), which may host as many as several hundred different networks connected via Ethernet switches. The main advantage of public peering is that it doesn’t require any of the networks to provide or connect additional cabling and allows each peering network to peer with numerous other networks using only one router in a peer to peer network.
- Private Peering: Involves a direct, physical connection between peering routers from two or more different networks, usually at a carrier-neutral colocation facility. Private peering makes sense when both networks have significant traffic to exchange and therefore want to dedicate a separate connection to ensure better control over the traffic.
A peered connection may also be partial, meaning network traffic is only exchanged in one specific region.
What’s Required for Network Peering?
Setting up a peered connection requires the following components:
- One or more internet peering points, which are physical locations where two networks connect to one another
- BGP-compatible peering routers
- A peering agreement
Peering agreements can be either simple arrangements or complex formal contracts, and generally establish the following:
- How traffic will be exchanged
- The responsibilities of each stakeholder
- What happens if a stakeholder fails to uphold their end of the agreement
- The steps involved in terminating the peering arrangement
Benefits of Internet Peering for Carriers and End Users
1. Reduce Backhaul and Transit Costs
For a smaller CSP, bandwidth can be expensive, particularly if you must pay transit fees on top of that. Offloading some traffic to peering partners can cut down on overhead considerably. Peering also enables you to scale up at a significantly lower cost.
If you rely exclusively on a single transit provider, that means your network has a single point of failure. Should that provider go down, you go down with them. This generally isn’t an issue with peering, particularly if done through a public exchange.
Traffic routed through a transit agreement doesn’t always follow the most direct path to your users. On the contrary, a transit network may leverage multiple other transit networks when delivering traffic, which can lead to packet loss and increased latency. A peering arrangement sidesteps this issue, allowing you to dictate the route your traffic takes.
Delivering traffic via a local peered connection typically leads to reduced latency, lower packet loss, and higher speed. By moving peering from core connectivity to the edge or access network, traffic stays closer to end users and content. Because you have more control over how traffic is routed, you can also more easily address potential bottlenecks. Network peering greatly increases a CSP’s bandwidth capacity, making it easier to scale up and manage occasional traffic surges.
Whether you use a public exchange or peer directly with other networks, doing so potentially grants you access to each party’s support resources. This can prove invaluable in the event of an outage or cyber incident. Contrast this to your typical transit agreement, which limits you to a single support organization.
Network peering fosters business growth. Peering enables you to increase your bandwidth capacity, improve quality of experience, and sign up new customers while keeping costs under control. By leveraging network peering, a smaller carrier can establish themself as a tier 2 carrier, demonstrating considerable value to prospective clients.
Reduce Costs Up to 50% with Exaware’s Disaggregated Peering Networking Solutions
Exaware’s disaggregated network operating system software, ExaNOS, is integrated with Broadcom DNX-based white box hardware, providing you with a consolidated solution for distributed network peering and reducing your costs up to 50%.
To meet your network topology and budget, Exaware offers both redundant and non-redundant peering networking solutions from 800Gbps upwards. With flexible Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) policy configuration, Exaware’s solutions enable CSPs to finely control both inbound and outbound traffic. Exaware’s network peering solutions provide a high-scale BGP Routing Information Base (RIB) and incredibly fast convergence times.
Exaware’s unique, modular software architecture enables third-party applications, such as DDoS mitigation, to be run directly within the router at the peering point.
Exaware provides you with a powerful peering router, which includes all the features you need to set up and manage your peering connections while saving up to half the cost compared with a traditional router from Juniper or Cisco.
Carrier Grade Disaggregated IP/MPLS Network Peering Solutions