T3 or not to T3

> At Digital's Palo Alto IX (URL as Michael said above), we view the
> exchange point as a place where peering relationships are implemented.
> Web farmers who are not ISPs (I'm not trying to start a debate on
> what-is-an-ISP) can only peer with ISPs at the GIGAswitch if the web
> farmer is able to find an ISP that wishes to provide connectivity in
> that manner. I would hope that they wouldn't.

You sound overly negative here. I understand that you see a BIG difference
between a web server hooked up to a Gigaswitch port and a web server in an
ISP's rack getting to the Gigaswitch through the ISP's FDDI or 100baseTx
or whatever. But potential users of the XP location don't think that way.
If you want to see what your bosses are advertising, read the press
release at http://www.ix.digital.com/press.html

I certainly wasn't trying to sound negative; I know what the press
release says, having reviewed it before it went out. The press release
doesn't talk about "connections to the IX" are implemented.

This is an implementation issue; if a web farmer wished to create a
topology where they were speaking BGP to ISPs with whom they arranged
connectivity, I would not stand in the way. There are benefits to that
topology that require a level of sophistication that some of the web
farmers to whom I've spoken are prepared to implement and maintain.
Many are not, though. I hope to see topologies matched to customers in
a way that gives all customers the level of flexibility and autonomy
they desire. I'm not the only voice in the design of such topologies,
though, and my opinion is not necessarily The Truth. The ISPs and the
web farmers are the customers, and at the end of the day, I hope to
have done what produces the most customer satisfaction.

> Should
> the web farmer purchase connectivity from other ISPs, their purchases
> can be implemented as cross-connects to ISP routers (assuming the
> address space can be advertised, the topology of the web farmer's
> network can handle it, etc., etc., etc.).

This is the key thing here. You are providing the physical facilities to
locate the servers as well as the wiring required to get any sort of
connection desired to the ISP's in the same building including zero-mile
T1's and DS3's. And you are promoting this service. This is what is new
and I expect that either Digital will do a few more of these in other
locations and/or other XP locations will also expand their facilities to
do this. Over the next 5 years XP's like this will be found in every major
North American city and the big content providers *WILL* have resolved
some technology that allows them to serve content from the topologically
closest server.

We are in agreement here.

- -----
Stephen Stuart stuart@pa.dec.com
Network Systems Laboratory
Digital Equipment Corporation