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Author Topic: Regional internet exchanges  (Read 514 times)

Weaver

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Regional internet exchanges
« on: June 12, 2018, 10:31:39 AM »

[I apologise in advance for what is going to be a deeply ignorant and thick question, but here goes. I feel I need to get an education in some basics. Please take pity an an <em lang="gd">amadan</em>.]

Say I wish to talk to a box located in Inverness, or Kirkwall or Edinburgh. I am in Skye, which is a very large Inner Hebridean Island off the West Coast of Scotland.

My ISP is AA (aa.net.uk), or Zen, or whoever. Now currently, doing a traceroute with AA, the packets go all the way down to London, probably to The Isle of Dogs, Dockland or wherever, then all the way back up to Inverness or to Kirkwall or just back as far as Edinburgh respectively, in each case.

Could AA or Zen or whoever fix this? Would they save any money by doing so?

There is a regional Internet exchange in Edinburgh, related to Linx, iirc.

* What has to happen to make this work?
* Presumably the ISP has to park some of their own kit at the Edinburgh site ?
* And then they have to sort out the routing to make it more selective? And more complex ? And it hurts your brain more? Or can it all get worked out by clever automagical software based on the ultimate destination?
* Presumably it is all a waste of time unless the other network that the destination lives in can be persuaded to also interconnect at Edinburgh to short-cut the whole thing? Such interconnection could either be direct or indirect.
* Is this a problem with popularising regional internet exchanges - especially in a London-centric country such as the UK - and making them become relevant, a bootstrapping problem but you need pairs (at least) of organisations to both join in or else there is no useful end result ? Is that correct?

Which ISPs do this kind of good thing at exchanges outside London?

I am trying to remember, there is one in Manchester, Edinburgh already mentioned, Cardiff ? Maybe Leeds too, or am I just misremembering?


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CarlT

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Re: Regional internet exchanges
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 11:15:58 AM »

Could AA or Zen or whoever fix this? Would they save any money by doing so? It's not really considered something to fix however latency could be reduced. It would not save any money.
What has to happen to make this work? As this forum is mostly xDSL would need to either have an interconnect with BT Wholesale at Edinburgh or if unbundling terminate connections there. Once that kit is in place need a peering router connecting to the peering LAN.
And then they have to sort out the routing to make it more selective? And more complex ? Not really. Marginally more complexity but nothing interesting.
Presumably it is all a waste of time unless the other network that the destination lives in can be persuaded to also interconnect at Edinburgh to short-cut the whole thing? Such interconnection could either be direct or indirect. Pretty much. There can be cost savings to getting the traffic off your network sooner, even if it means using transit, though these do assume that peering is not in use or there are other commercial reasons to use transit.
Is this a problem with popularising regional internet exchanges Kinda. The UK is small geographically and much of the data centre capacity is in the South. There's far less to be gained here than in, say, the United States.

LINX publish their list of ISPs, including those with ports in LINX Manchester, on their website. IXLeeds publish their member list on their website. IXScotland is really struggling, if it's still operating at all. I don't know. There's so little data that needs to take the trip you mention that the business case is lacking.
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Weaver

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Re: Regional internet exchanges
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 05:36:11 AM »

Ignitionnet confirms my suspicions then, very helpful thanks.

> There can be cost savings to getting the traffic off your network sooner, even if it means using transit, though these do assume that peering is not in use or there are other commercial reasons to use transit.

Could you help me out a bit here? Am being thick.

I am trying to understand where the costs are.

Say A&A gets charged by BT or TTB for getting my packets from Falkirk to Docklands. In fact is that even the case? Or is it correct to say some think like ‘AA gets charged per byte exchanged between the BT/TT and AA networks’? Anyway, if AA did indeed take the packets off from BT in Edinburgh then they might or might not save some money for (i) a Scotland destination instead of going to London and straight back again, or (ii) in the case of a South of England destination ie an ISP with no Edinburgh interconnect then AA would have to get the packets down to London themselves which would cost a fortune presumably a big negative saving of money. All in all a financial disaster. Case (i) is not just a small number but a small number squared, and (ii) just costs sooo much. You could forget case (ii) leave via-London traffic with BT/TT, split the two apart, but then you are left with just case (i) which is not enough to justify the cost of the hardware presumably?

As you say, the UK is far too small geographically. I assume that in a larger country you would need pairs of organisations to have an interest in exchanging traffic by shortcutting certain long u-shaped round trips?

Actually I wonder what the internet is like in Vladivostok? :-)
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 05:40:38 AM by Weaver »
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Chrysalis

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Re: Regional internet exchanges
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 06:53:58 AM »

The UK suffers in that its very top heavy in London in terms of internet exchanges.  Manchester is a place that has presence from other carriers, but I dont know of many other locations, if you compare to somewhere like germany their internet spread of peering points is more diverse.

So if AAISP did what you said, the traffic would still need to go down to London or maybe manchester anyway to hit a carrier or peer.  Given the way BTw pricing works and the product AAISP purchase from BTw, it wouldnt save them any money at all, but instead would probably make things more expensive for them.
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CarlT

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Re: Regional internet exchanges
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2018, 11:09:44 AM »

You may find this interesting, Weaver. https://portal.linx.net/
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Weaver

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Re: Regional internet exchanges
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2018, 04:11:16 AM »

Thanks to CarlT for that link.
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Chrysalis

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Re: Regional internet exchanges
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2018, 08:13:12 AM »

didnt know there was a linx scotland, is there actual carriers leaving that linx to europe and america or does it still need to go via london to leave the country?
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CarlT

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Re: Regional internet exchanges
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2018, 01:47:43 PM »

Those are LANs where ASes exchange traffic. What they do with it from there is up to them.
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