Peer Pressure

By Morgan Woodruff | April 10, 2013

This blog isn’t talking about the kind of peer pressure you warn your 13 year old about. Instead, we want to talk about peer pressure that will optimize network performance and reduce latency and costs. IP peering partner often play a significant role in network architectures. Markley runs the Boston Internet Exchange at One Summer Street, Boston, and we have seen first hand the incredible benefits peering gives to the participants; it should be a consideration for any company looking to drive efficiencies across their IP networks.

In short peering is a voluntary interconnection of administratively separate networks for the purpose of exchanging IP traffic between each network. Peering is aimed at reducing latency and costs by eliminating network hops and bypassing intermediary networks. The data center customers who join the voluntary peering exchange fabric will lower overall IP transit costs and allow for the most efficient exchange of traffic.

Peering customers here at Markley interconnect with one another across a Carrier-Class switching fabric via 1 Gbit/s and 10 Gbit/s connections for both IPv4 and IPv6. The Boston Internet Exchange not only offers participants an alternative to having to pay for third-party networks, it also enables more direct routing and adds to the number of available traffic paths.

When determining your company’s ongoing IT strategy, also make sure you closely examine how joining a peering exchange fits in. Remember, not all peering exchanges are created equal, so when you decide to explore it as an option, make sure it fits your business needs. In the end you’ll see that not all peer pressure is bad; sometimes it results in some positive results for your network speeds, latency and costs.