Why you Need to Develop a Broader Peering Strategy

Bill Long

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Do you have solid peering plan that will successfully carry your company through the next decade of traffic growth? The Cisco’s 2014 Visual Networking Index predicts the global IP traffic forecast will be 131,553 petabytes per month by 2018, a more than 150% increase from 2013 levels.

This growth in traffic is attributable to many factors, including increased annual growth rates of consumer Internet video (30%), online gaming (34%), and mobile data (61%), as well as the large numbers of connected devices via the Internet of Things and rapid Internet adoption in developing countries.

As one of the world’s largest IP peering platforms, Equinix has witnessed more IP traffic growth in the past 18 months than the previous four years combined. In fact, we estimate the total public and private IP peering traffic in our global Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers is growing by 15 terabytes per second (Tbps), per quarter, outpacing the overall Internet traffic growth rate.

The Equinix Internet Exchange aggregates thousands of peering sessions onto a shared fabric. We connect peers at 19 Internet Exchange Point (IPX) locations in global 17 markets, with peak traffic of 4.37Tbps over 2,800 ports via 800+ of available peers. Today we’re announcing the launch of 100 Gbps port speeds, which continues to help our customers reduce bandwidth costs, while lowering network latency.

Plan a full peering lifecycle

Often, planners limit their thinking to public, Internet exchange-based peering and stop short of considering the full peering lifecycle. By leveraging the full peering lifecycle, you use the right interconnection technology for the right traffic volumes to minimize cost.

The full peering lifecycle includes:

  • IP Transit – For lower traffic levels going to many Internet destinations, choose a colocation site where there is the largest number of network service providers for greater bargaining power and the lowest transit pricing.
  • Public Peering – As IP traffic to specific destinations continues to grow, redirect that traffic onto an Internet exchange and plan to colocate among the largest number of peers to get the best pricing for that traffic.
  • Private Peering – When IP traffic to a single destination increases, shift that traffic from Internet exchange-based public peering to private peering using a cross connect within the same campus or building. This can be a very effective way to increase peering traffic while controlling costs. Based on our internal estimates, as much as 90% of a network’s traffic could be a good fit for private peering.

Peering Models: Distributed vs. Campus

Another often overlooked aspect of peering planning is the underlying economics of two different global peering models: distributed and campus.

Distributed peering distributes peers among multiple data centers within a single metro area. Peers must pay extra for peering connections between data centers. Distributed peering allows for more choice of data center providers, but offers less choice in network providers and does not effectively support private peering. It also comes with higher costs and complexity because more network equipment is required.

Campus peering colocates peers within the same data center campus or building using cross connects or Internet exchange ports. This means no extra transport or transit costs for peering connections because all peers are physically collocated in the same building or campus. This model offers the most choice in transit providers and requires less networking equipment. It also fully supports both private and public peering. All of these factors combined make campus peering a more cost-effective model for supporting the full peering lifecycle.

Including the full peering lifecycle and the campus peering model into your long term peering strategy, will help better positioned you to handle the next decade of rapidly expanding IP traffic growth.

Read the entire press release.