The Art of Peering : The Peering Playbook

Hi all -

Folks were talking about Traffic Ratios, Depeering, etc. that reminded me I should probably thank everyone for contributing to the "Tactical Peering" white paper which has now been renamed "The Art of Peering : The Peering Playbook". Thanks to the feedback from folks on this list and at RIPE and the Gigabit Peering Forum I have released version 1.0 of this document and it is available to anyone who would like a copy. Send me e-mail at with the Subject: Art of Peering and I'll send it back directly, or alternatively you can get it from the Equinix web site.

In this paper I asked the Peering Coordinators the question "What do you do if noone answers your peering request at peering@<ispdomain>.net ? What are the 'Tricks of the Trade' that distinguish seasoned Peering Coordinators from newbies?"

The Summary (below) does the best job of highlighting the techniques detailed in the paper:

We have presented 19 peering maneuvers that the Peering Coordinator Community have effectively used to obtain peering.
1) The Direct Approach uses peering@<ispdomain>.net , phone calls, face to face meetings, or some such direct interaction to establish peering.
2) The Transit with Peering Migration tactic leverages an internal advocate to buy transit with a contractual migration to peering at a later time.
3) The End Run Tactic minimizes the need for transit by enticing a direct relationship with the target ISP's largest traffic volume customers.
4) In Europe the Dual Transit/Peering separates the peering traffic from the transit traffic using separate interface cards and/or routers.
5) Purchasing Transit Only from Large Tier 2 ISPs is an approach to reduce the risk of being a customer of a potential peer on the road to Tier 1 status.
6) Paid Peering as a maneuver is positioned by some as a stepping stone to peering for those who don't immediately meet the peering prerequisites.
7) In the Partial Transit tactic, the routes learned at an exchange point are exchanged with the peer for a price slightly higher than transport costs.
8) The Chicken tactic involves de-peering in order to make the other peer adjust the peering relationship.
9) In the Traffic Manipulation tactic, ISPs or content players force traffic along the network path that makes peering appear more cost effective.
10) The Bluff maneuver is simply overstating future traffic volumes or performance issues to make peering appear more attractive.
11) The Wide Scale Open Peering Policy as a tactic signals to the Peering Coordinator Community the willingness to peer and therefore increases the likelihood of being contacted for peering by other ISPs.
12) The Massive Colo Build tactic seeks to meet the collocation prerequisites of as many ISPs as possible by building POPs into as many exchange points as possible.
13) The Aggressive Traffic Buildup tactic increases the traffic volume by large scale market and therefore traffic capture to make peering more attractive.
14) Friendship-based Peering leverages contacts in the industry to speed along and obtain peering where the process may not be in place for a peering.
15) The Spam Peering Requests tactic is a specific case of the Wide Scale Open Peering tactic using the exchange point contact lists to initiate peering.
16) Purchasing Legacy Peering provides an immediate set of peering partners.
17) The Bait and Switch tactic leverages a large corporate identity to obtain peering even though ultimately only a small subset or unrelated set of routes are actually announced.
18) The False Peering Outage tactic involves deceiving an ill-equipped NOC into believing a non-existing peering session is down.
19) The Leverage Broader Business Arrangement takes advantage of other aspects of the relationship between two companies to obtain peering in exchange for something else.

Thanks again for your help! If there are questions or comments I'd love to hear them; I fully expect this document (like the other white papers) to evolve over time.