Adding to what I think Dorian just "hinted," traffic patterns in Asia are
changing. If you are in the US, expect future where with equal or paid
peering to places like China. In many cases, players in Asia are going to
ask the peering partner to pay to cross the ocean to get to them.
Remember, those companies who track the growth of the Internet with
"English" surveys do not accurately count the grow in language contiguous
regions. Some of my colleagues running networks in these "language
contiguous regions" tell me of traffic patterns where 80% - 90% of their
traffic is domestic while 10%-20% is "international." So like all peering
exercises, who you know is the key to effective peering.
IMHO - the best way to get the most efficient and cost effective peering
with players in Asia is to go to Asia's equivalent to NANOG -> APRICOT.
Attending APNIC meetings are also a extremely useful forum to network for
peering contacts (in the past non-APNIC members just have to pay to cover
For now, use these guidelines:
1. Expect separate peering sessions for each of the Asia's core "language
contiguous regions." English, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and Thai.
Malaysian and Basa-Indonesian will pick up in the future -> but these can be
covered with a mid-region peering partner (Indonesia is the #3 most populace
country in the world). Each of the "language contiguous regions" have
multiple L2 IXs or Transit Hubs (services like STIX). So you have options.
2. Expect to pay partial or total cost to get across sections of the ocean.
3. If you are looking for really good connectivity, expect a three zone
coverage plus several US West Coast IXP drops:
- North Asia: Covering Hong Kong-Philippines up North to Korea/Japan
- Mid-Asia: Area surrounding Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and
Thailand out to India. Because of the oceanic interconnects in Hong Kong,
you can consider Hong Kong as a place that spans North and Mid-Asia.
- Southern Asia: Down under with Australia and New Zealand.
- US West Coast IXPs: A lot of players in Asia will not talk to you unless
you have drops in one or more US West Coast IXP/Peering Centers.
- Also start looking at a way to effectively reach Southern Asia. Mid-Asia
points (Singapore Malaysia, Hong Kong, or Brunei) and UAE are key points for
pulling peering from Southern Asia. Etisalat (UAE) is out to pull as much
oceanic cable into the country as possible. So consider them the
Singapore/Hong Kong/Japan equivalent west of Southern Asia.
4. Expect to pay to get to China. Tables are now reversed. There are two
languages that span the entire planet and (from my observational evidence)
impact Internet traffic patterns. English is one - which is why the US has
been the focal point of the Internet. Chinese is the second - which is why
players in China are asked why they should provide "free trans-oceanic
access" at a US IX when +80% of their traffic is domestic (in this case
domestic traffic = revenue).
5. Do not forget the big global IP players. Several of the big global
players have their own backbones in Asia, sell capacity between Asian
players, connect to at least one IXP in each of the countries, sell in those
countries, and sell "Asian transit" to US/European players.
6. Do not be deceived by US West Coast IXs. Yes, there are a lot of Asian
Players with boxes/links in those places. But that does not mean the Asian
Players are going to peer for free. It is not 1995 any more. When you look
at the top Internet per population figures, you will find places like
Singapore and New Zealand in the top five. When you expand your scope to
find indicators for Asia's Internet future, you will see where the region is
going. Places like Hong Kong have more cell phones than POTs (I just read
something where it was 2:1) with the cell phone penetration approaching a
1:1 figure for people age 18 - 60. Add these indicators to the fact that
most of the Internet market dominating companies are the old PTTs. All these
PTT (control freaks) are now Telcos (out to maximize share holder profit).
All of them took a lot of hard knocks in the early years, learned from their
mistakes, and now know where their markets are now going. So instead of
dealing with clueless Asian PTTs in 1995 you are dealing with really clueful
IP savvy Telcos in 2002. IP savvy Telcos who are members of the
trans-oceanic cable businesses and are the ones buying up the excess
capacity built by the failed "independent" trans-oceanic cable businesses.
7. Make sure you have up-to-date and accurate cable maps on your walls. When
you get down to it, trans-oceanic Internet peering is all related to the
trans-oceanic cable business. The "independent" trans-oceanic cable
businesses have gone bust, but the "club" trans-oceanic cable businesses are