General misperceptions about peering?
The top five misperceptions about Internet Peering.
- Internet Peering is free. Internet Peering requires at least the cost of some form of interconnection between the two peers. Peering may also require the monthly cost of colocation space, peering port fees, equipment fees, transport fees into and out of an Internet Exchange Point, etc. The trick is to exchange enough traffic with your peers for free to cover the cost of the interconnection, and this is what the Business Case for Peering covers.
- Internet Peering means I get all routes. Internet Peerign only provides access to your peers' routes. For the rest of the Internet, you will probably have to purchase Internet Transit. Think of Internet Peering as a local optimization.
- Internet Peering is free and reciprocal, so why doesn't everyone just peer and then all Internet traffic is free? There are a variety of Peering Inclinations, and not everyone is interested in peering. Some companies prefer to have someone else take care of all networking activities, and they therefore have a "No Peering" inclination. Others want to peer only with the largest ISPs that will benefit equally from the peering as they will.
- Internet Peering will occur automatically at an IXP. There is some process involved with peering. Some will peer openly, some will peer with the route servers and therefore make peering almost automatic, but this is not the norm. Peering with the more significant players requires some work, perhaps negotiation, signing contracts, etc.
- Internet Peering provides access to the Internet so I no longer have to pay for Internet access. Internet Peering only provides access to a subset of routes. If that is all you need, then peering may be enough. Almost all peered companies use a hybrid approach of peering with transit.