As a Communication Service Provider (CSP), you know firsthand how complex the Internet can be. Your customers don’t really see the complex interconnection of autonomous networks underlying the services you provide. And in reality, most don’t care if everything is working as intended. What matters to them is that you provide fast, reliable service — which is precisely what internet peering allows you to do.
Read on to learn more about the basics of Internet peering, as well as some of the biggest benefits it offers businesses.
What Is Internet Peering?
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.
Internet Peering with Exaware
- 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 network to peer with numerous other networks using only one router.
- 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, physical locations where two networks actually 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.
How Can Network Peering Benefit My Business?
1. Cost Reduction
For a smaller CSP, bandwidth can be expensive, particularly if you have to pay transit fees on top of that. Offloading some traffic to peering partners can cut down on overhead considerably. Peering also allows 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. Because you have more control over how traffic is routed, you can also more easily address potential bottlenecks. Finally, network peering greatly increases a CSP’s bandwidth capacity — this makes it easier to both scale and manages 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.
Peering can be beneficial for business growth, as well. It allows you to increase your bandwidth capacity, with a better grab on the quality of experience, and to sign up new customers while maintaining your costs under control.
Because you leverage network peering, you establish yourself as a tier 2 carrier, demonstrating considerable value to prospective clients.
Experience the Power of Network Peering Through Exaware
With a high-scale BGP RIB and incredibly fast convergence times, Exaware offers both redundant and non-redundant peering solutions from 800G upwards. Through flexible BGP policy configuration, we empower clients with fine control over both inbound and outbound traffic.
Our unique, modular software architecture, meanwhile, enables third-party applications to be run directly within the router.
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 massive amounts of money compared with a traditional router from Juniper or Cisco.
We can provide you with the reliability, availability, and scale you need to deliver top-tier service to your clients in the most cost-effective manner possible.
Contact us today to book a demo