Another five reasons to peer

By on 7 Sep 2021

Category: Tech matters

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This series looks at 10 different reasons why you should give peering a go, in two parts. Catch up with part 1 here.

From reducing costs and improving user experience, peering has many more benefits for all sorts of organizations, including small hosting providers, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), and enterprises.

6. Peering increases the stability of your network

Peering gives you direct access to many of your required traffic partners without having other networks in between. Internet Exchanges (IXs) are the central Points of Presence (PoPs) for most networks, meaning that networks treat those PoPs well and focus on redundancy, router hardware, and more. As mentioned in the previous article, for the major content, streaming, social, and gaming networks, peering is key to having good network performance. Their presence at the major IXs is at the heart of their network.

By being directly connected to an IX, you secure the traffic routes to these most important networks. Aside from this, you also have a network that works better, as you have less latency, fewer jitter problems, less packet loss, and more throughput — which has a strong impact on the stability of your network. If a failure occurs in peering, you are backed up by your IP transit.

7. Peering makes partnerships possible

IXs not only offer you access to hundreds of networks for peering, but also to hundreds of possible partners, such as for buying or selling MPLS connections (known as MPLS NNI). You can target hundreds of networks without organizing or buying additional expensive fibre patches or ending up with problems because of unmatched data centre locations. Peering on an IX platform gives you an easy, cheap, and quick start for premium services.

Furthermore, you can also go for dedicated VLAN connections to other members if you need a logical separation of the handover of these services.

8. Peering improves user experience

When it comes to end-user experience, peering has several advantages compared to IP transit-only designs. Better latency, less packet loss, and higher throughput all mean your services will work better and your users will be happy.

In part one, we learned that even a two-second delay in the loading time of a website is sufficient to increase the bounce rate more than 100%. Another good example is gaming in the cloud.

Cloud gaming providers must select their servers and IXs to ensure game data is transported in such a way that they are closer to the gamers, meaning the data path between the user and the server is as short as possible, resulting in the best possible latency and gaming experience.

Peering can also solve some of the challenges larger enterprises are facing. From video conferencing to cloud computing, digital capabilities are essential for any organization that wants to build a more efficient workforce — especially at a time when people are increasingly working from home. Rising volumes of IP traffic need to be distributed efficiently and cost effectively to employees around economies and the world. By peering at an IX, you can increase the content performance and access speeds, enhance productivity, and reduce frustration with unresponsive applications.

9. Peering connects you to an interconnection ecosystem

Peering at an IX means being part of an interconnection ecosystem. While the exchange itself is a small niche topic for those who operate it, the ecosystem around it offers a very broad range of possibilities for doing business — another reason to peer.

While the IX or Internet Exchange Point (IXP) is the physical infrastructure letting networks exchange traffic, the networks who want to peer at one create their own ecosystem. They have large demands on data centre space, backhauling, IP transit, voice and VoIP business, CDN clusters, maintenance and operational staff, MPLS, and much more. In the big hubs, this is a billion-dollar business.

Peering is about community

Beyond business and engineering, a successful ecosystem also requires the building of a community. Peering requires a common understanding and mutual agreements for the benefit of better, more resilient Internet infrastructure.

The leading IX operators connect thousands of networks both locally and through remote peering at their locations around the world. They also offer additional interconnection services such as security solutions, cloud connectivity solutions, direct connections with VLANs, and the possibility to create Closed User Groups.

IXs have become the enabler for a whole interconnection ecosystem connecting businesses and people in the most transparent, secure, and performant way.

10. Peering is a quality seal

Lastly, there’s an important non-technical benefit of peering — how it can be used as a quality seal to grow your business.

If you are a company that sells network services to other companies or individuals, peering at an IX offers you a chance to show your customers and prospects that you care about the quality of your service. Better latency, less packet loss, and higher throughput are all benefits of peering, and many network providers use their IX membership as part of their marketing strategy and as an assurance of a well-operated network.

As part of an IX, you can leverage the brand and present yourself as a member of the community.

If you want to read more, download our white paper on why you should peer.

Ivo A. Ivanov is Chief Executive Officer of DE-CIX International. He has more than 15 years experience in the regulatory, legal, and commercial Internet environment.

This post is adapted from a series that originally appeared on DE-CIX Blog.

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.

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