How to Get Impossible Private Peerings


Volker D. Pallas


How to Get Impossible Private Peerings

Securing private peerings, especially those deemed impossible due to high requirements or exclusive networks, requires a detailed, strategic approach.

This article outlines a comprehensive method to achieve private peerings with major networks, focusing on preparation, negotiation, and technical setup. By adhering to these steps, you can significantly enhance your chances of successful peering agreements.

Step 1: Understand the Basics of Internet Peering

Before diving into the process of securing private peerings, it’s crucial to grasp the concept of Internet peering. It involves two networks agreeing to exchange traffic directly, bypassing third-party transit providers. This arrangement benefits both parties by reducing latency, improving bandwidth, and lowering costs.

If you want to know more, you are welcome to read my article on What is Private Peering?

Why Understanding Peering is Necessary

A deep understanding of peering principles is essential for crafting compelling proposals to potential peering partners. It helps in identifying what you can offer and what you need from the peering relationship.

Step 2: Identify Target Peering Partners

Choosing the right partners is critical. Look for networks with significant overlap in desired traffic exchange and strategic geographical presence.

Research Potential Partners

Utilize peering databases and forums like PeeringDB, regional internet registries (RIRs), and networking events to gather information about potential peers, their peering policies, and network reach.

Why Identifying the Right Partners is Crucial

Selecting partners aligned with your traffic needs and strategic goals increases the likelihood of successful negotiation. It ensures that the peering relationship will be mutually beneficial.

Step 3: Prepare Your Peering Value Proposition

Craft a compelling value proposition that clearly outlines the benefits of peering with your network. This includes traffic volume, network reach, and improved performance for end-users.

Assess Your Network’s Appeal

Analyze your traffic patterns, network reliability, and unique selling points. This assessment will form the basis of your peering proposal.

Why a Strong Value Proposition is Necessary

A well-defined value proposition is critical for convincing potential partners of the mutual benefits, especially when targeting networks that are traditionally difficult to peer with.

Step 4: Enhance Your Network’s Attractiveness

Before reaching out to potential partners, ensure your network is as attractive as possible. This may involve expanding your network presence, joining more Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), and improving your network performance.

Upgrade Network Infrastructure

Invest in network upgrades that enhance reliability, capacity, and performance. This might include deploying more robust routing equipment and expanding your presence in key data centers.

Join Key IXPs

Participation in strategically important IXPs increases your network’s visibility and attractiveness to potential peering partners.

Why Network Enhancement is Necessary

A well-positioned and high-performing network is more likely to secure peering agreements with sought-after partners.

Step 5: Draft a Detailed Peering Request

Compose a peering request that is professional, detailed, and tailored to each potential partner. Highlight how the peering relationship will be mutually beneficial, based on your earlier research and value proposition.

Include Key Information

Your request should include technical details such as your AS number, network reach, traffic levels, and preferred peering locations. Also, mention any mutual customers or content providers.

Why a Detailed Peering Request Matters

A comprehensive and customized request demonstrates professionalism and seriousness, making it more likely for your proposal to be considered.

Step 6: Engage in Negotiations

Once you’ve sent out peering requests, be prepared for negotiations. This could involve discussions about technical configurations, traffic ratios, and peering locations.

Be Flexible but Firm

While it’s important to be open to compromise, also know your non-negotiables. Clear understanding of your own requirements will guide these negotiations.

Address Potential Problems

Be ready to solve issues such as capacity limits, traffic imbalance, or technical incompatibilities. Offering creative solutions can help overcome these hurdles.

Why Negotiations Are Key

Effective negotiation is essential to secure a peering agreement that meets your needs while being acceptable to your partner.

Step 7: Technical Setup and Testing

After reaching an agreement, the next step is to set up the physical and logical interconnection. This involves configuring routers, setting up BGP sessions, and thorough testing.

Configure BGP Sessions

Correctly configuring Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) sessions is crucial for the exchange of routing information.

Conduct Comprehensive Testing

Before declaring the peering operational, perform extensive testing to ensure that traffic flows as expected and performance meets agreed standards.

Why Proper Setup and Testing Are Crucial

A smooth technical setup ensures that the peering relationship starts on the right foot, minimizing potential issues and fostering a long-term partnership.

Step 8: Monitor and Maintain the Peering Relationship

Ongoing monitoring of the peering connection is essential to identify any performance issues or traffic shifts. Regular communication with your peering partners helps address any concerns promptly and maintains the relationship.

Implement Traffic Monitoring

Use traffic monitoring tools to continually assess the performance and benefits of the peering relationship.

Schedule Regular Reviews

Regular meetings with your peering partners ensure that the relationship remains mutually beneficial and any adjustments are made promptly.

Why Ongoing Maintenance is Necessary

Continuous monitoring and open communication are key to sustaining a successful peering relationship. They help in adapting to changing traffic patterns and network conditions.

Can Any Steps Be Skipped?

While each step contributes to the success of securing a private peering agreement, certain preliminary steps may be adjusted based on your existing network status and relationships.

For instance, networks with established reputations and extensive peering relationships might leverage their existing contacts more heavily, potentially streamlining the identification and negotiation phases.

However, skipping steps like preparing a strong value proposition or thorough technical testing can jeopardize the success and stability of the peering agreement.

Securing a private peering agreement, particularly with networks that are traditionally seen as unreachable, demands a meticulous and proactive approach.

From understanding the fundamentals of peering to maintaining the relationship, each step plays a crucial role in achieving a successful peering arrangement.

By following this detailed guide, you can navigate the complex process of establishing valuable private peerings, overcoming potential challenges, and realizing the significant benefits of direct network interconnection!