Excerpts from The Internet Peering Playbook: Connecting to the Core of the Internet

“You can observe a lot by watching.” – Yogi Berra

Everything I know about Internet Peering is the result of thousands of conversations with some very smart people in the peering coordinator community. All of these folks were exceedingly generous with their time and kind enough to share their wisdom with me over the past fifteen years. Of these people, I want to single out Avi Freedman, my first peering tour guide. He has always been encouraging and consistently very generous with his time and knowledge.

I will take a few pages here to provide credit where credit is due, to those people who have contributed to the creation of this book, to the website, and to the original research.

The Book. Thanks first to Brent Chapman, the first successful author I spoke with, for his encouragement and thoughtful advice over a CA Geek lunch. Thanks to Nigel Holland of the Right On Band for his never-ending encouragement (“Bill - you have to write this book.”). Thanks to Will Scott, Scott Landman, Mike Hughes, David Freedman, Tim Pozar, Cat Hoffman, Michael Barrow, and Jeff Turner for their thoughtful and in some cases, very detailed reviews. Thanks to Kyle Van Beveren for his playbook metaphors as a football quarterback and to Alan Hannan for his early feedback as well. A lot of folks have contributed ideas, including Mike Hughes (formerly LINX), Cat Hoffman (Equinix), Dave Meyer (Cisco), Craig Pierantozzi (Level 3), Jonathan Heiliger (Facebook), Raphael Ho (Equinix), Job Witteman (AMS-IX), Frank Orlowski (DE-CIX), Christian Nielsen (Microsoft), Andre Retief (MWEB), Edward Punt (KPN), Sven Engelhardt (TiNet), Frédéric Libotte (BNIX), Pierre Bruyère (BELNET), Jon Terreele (BELNET), James Blessing (LimeLight Networks), and Peter Harrison. Thanks especially to Bonnie E. Hupton for editing this book. She turned my manuscript into a much better book.

The Site. I also want to thank those who provided ideas, suggestions, and feedback to the ever-evolving web site. Frank Orlowski (DE-CIX) and I had our first conversations about writing an “Ask DrPeering” column at a GPF in the Dominican Republic. I wanted a web site for hosting the peering white papers. Combining these two, and the Dominican Republic Peering (DrPeering) idea was hatched. Thanks also to Chris Park (EasyNet), Randy Epstein, Richard Steenbergen (nLayer), Ren Provo (Comcast), and Joe Provo (ITA) for their suggestions about the site over the last few years.

The Original Peering White Papers. Most of all, thanks to all of the generous folks who have contributed their data points and their insights, citable or with anonymous attributions, during the fifteen years I spent in the peering world. All of the research in this book and in the white papers is based on these conversations in the field. All of this material has been rewritten and remains freely available on the web site, a site sponsored by DE-CIX since the beginning.

Many contributors to the white paper research are listed in the following paragraphs. I would like to point out that not only have these people contributed to my research, but they are the ones who consistently volunteered their content, time, and promotion of the peering events that I ran at NANOGs, APRICOTs, Gigabit Peering Forums, etc. Without these contributions this book would not exist.

(The companies in the parenthesis represent the affiliation of the individuals at the time of the white paper walkthrough – many of these people have changed jobs, and in some cases have changed names as well.)

Internet Service Providers and Peering: Ren Nowlin (Onyx networks), Joe Payne (IXC), David Diaz (Netrail), Jake Khuon and Alan Hannan (Global Crossing), Dan Gisi and Jeff Rizzo (Equinix), Patricia Taylor-Dolan (Level 3), Sean Donelan (AT&T Labs), Avi Freedman (AboveNet), Patrick Gilmore (Onyx), Geoff Huston (Telstra), Steve Meuse (GTE), Aaron Dudek (Sprint), Raza Rizvi (REDNET), Wouter van Hulten (InterXion), Michael Palmaffy (Equinix), Beau Sackett (Telus), and Martin Levy. 

The Business Case for Peering: Jeffrey Papen (Yahoo!), Mitchell Rose (Digital Island), Dennis L. Shreve (FACET Networks), Jon Castle (Comdisco), Jeff Swinton (Conxion), Jalil Sanad Halim (9 Telecom), Glen Larwill, Nick Monjo (PSINet Australia), Tim Griffin (AT&T Research), Rene Hatem (CA*net3), Todd Braning (Level 3), Joe Klein (Cogent), Ren Nowlin (Carrier1), Joe Provo (RCN), Vince Fuller (MFN), Mike Leber (Hurricane Electric), Brokaw Price (Yahoo! Broadcast), Waqar Khan (Qwest), John Osman (, Mike Hughes (LINX), Ted Hardie (Equinix), Lane Patterson (Equinix), Jason Starr (Equinix), Nic Lewis (AduroNet),  Wolfgang Tremmel (via Net.Works),  John Zweibel (Procket networks), James Rice (BBC Internet Services), Beau Sackett (Telus), and Martin Levy.

The Great Public vs. Private Peering Debate: Peering at 10G: Ren Provo (SBC), Richard Steenbergen (nLayer), James Rice (LoNAP), Todd Underwood (Renesys), Stephen Wilcox (TeleComplete), Vanessa Evans (LINX), Niels Bakker (AMS-IX), Chris Malayter (TDS Telecom), Patrick Gilmore (Akamai), Frank Orlowski (T-Systems), Vijay Gill (AOL), Vish Yelsangikar (NetFlix), Nathan Hickson (eBay), Steve Feldman (CNet), Lane Patterson (Equinix), Joy Fender, Falk Bornstaedt (T-Systems), Remco Donker (MCI), Danny McPhearson (Arbor Networks), Josh Snowhorn (NOTA), Vince Fuller (Cisco), Philip Smith (Cisco), Andrew Odlyzko (UMN), and Martin Levy.

The Video Internet: The Next Wave of Massive Disruption to the U.S. Peering Ecosystem: Vish Yelsangikar (NetFlix), Peter Harrison (NetFlix), Aaron Weintraub (Cogent), Jon Nistor (TorIX), Barrett Lyon (BitGravity), Dave Knight (ISC), Aaron Hughes (Caridien), David Filo (Yahoo!), Jim Goetz (Sequoia Capital), Jason Holloway (DoveTail), Matt Peterson, Richard Steenbergen (nLayer), Lane Patterson (Equinix), Eric Schwartz (Equinix), Pete Ferris (Equinix), David Cheriton (Sun), Andy Bechtolsheim (Sun), Jeffrey Papen (Peak Web Consulting), KC Broberg (Rackable), Henk Goosen (Sun), Geoffrey Noer (Rackable), Jeff Turner (InterStream/nuMetra), Vab Goel (NorWest Venture Partners), Ken Hubbard (Quad), Matt Wood (Equinix), Gary Baldus (Limelight Networks), Sylvie Laperriere (VSNL), Ted Seely (Sprint), Bryan Sutterfield (Cox), Patrick Gilmore (Akamai), Phil Thomas (Quad), Doug Wilson (Microsoft), Christian Nielsen (Microsoft), Harald Willison (Covad), Davin Overland, Douglas Galbi (FCC), Ren Provo (AT&T), Susan Martens (AT&T), Richard Clarke (AT&T), the Google Network Engineering and Network Architecture team, James Blessing (Entanet), Sean Donelan (Akamai), Allan Leinwand (Panarama Capital), and Patrick McCullough (Prism VentureWorks).

The Evolution of the US Peering Ecosystem: Ren Nowlin (SBC), Christina Chu (NTT/Verio), Joe Zhu (China Telecom USA), Joe Provo (RCN), Terry Manderson (APNIC–formerly from Optus), Dave McGaugh (PCCW/BTN), Philip Smith (Cisco), Keith Mitchell (ExchangePoint), Fumio Terashima (Japan Telecom America), Geoff Huston (Telstra), Patrick Gilmore (Akamai), Jonathan Chou (Equinix), Phil Grasso (NTT), James Spenceley (Comindico), Chris Chaudry (Comindico), Gavin Tweedie (WAIX), Lloyd Taylor (Keynote Systems), Tatsuo Sato (KDDI America), Sam Habash (SuperNews), Joe McGuckin (Via.Net), Mike Leber (Hurricane Electric), Morgan Snyder (Equinix), Eric Bell (Time Warner Telecom), Peter Cohen (Telia), Dan Golding (AOL), Alexander Tudor and Lance Tatman (Agilent Labs), Eric Aupperle (President Emeritus, Merit Network), Dave Meyer (Sprint, Cisco), Michel Py, Keith Young, Nenad Trifunovic (MCI), Sean Butler, Marcellus Nixon (XO), Mark Seery, and Martin Levy.

The Asia Pacific Peering Guidebook: Lionel Taylor (Reach), Ren Nowlin (SBC), Brokaw Price (Yahoo!), Christian Nielsen (Microsoft), James Spenceley (Comindico), Geoff Huston (Telstra), John Milbourne (Newton Technology Partners), Tom Vest (formerly of AOL Asia), Zwickey Cheung (Asia Netcom), Nigel Titley (FLAG Telecom), Joe Abley (ISC), Norman Hoy (MCI), Gavin Tweedie (WAIX), Ryan Sher (FLAG Telecom), Marcellus Nixon (XO Communications), Stuart Deane (AT&T Asia), Sylvie Laperriere (TeleGlobe), Peter Cohen (Telia), Bill Woodcock (PCH), Phil Koen (Equinix), Jonathan Chou (Equinix Asia), Bob Berger (MetroFi), Toshikazu Saito (POWEREDCOM), Lam Hon Kit (Asia Netcom), Akinori Maemura (France Telecom), Fumio Terashima (Japan Telecom), Dorian Kim (NTT/Verio), Christina Chu (NTT/Verio), James Seng (Singapore IDA), Steve Baxter (PIPE Networks),   Marty Gauvin (Hostworks), Phil Tsakaros (Pacific Internet), Sean Carlin (Microsoft), Randy Whitney (MCI), Joe Zhu (China Telecom USA), Joe Provo (RCN), Terry Manderson (APNIC, formerly Optus), Dave McGaugh (PCCW/BTN), Philip Smith (Cisco), Keith Mitchell (XchangePoint), Patrick Gilmore (Akamai), Phil Grasso (NTT), Chris Chaudry (Comindico), Lloyd Taylor (Keynote Systems), Tatsuo Sato (KDDI America), Sam Habash (SuperNews), Joe McGuckin (, Mike Leber (Hurricane Electric), Peter Juffernholz (T-Systems, formerly TeleGlobe), Jeremy Deutsch  (Equinix), Sameer Muhammed (Qatar Telecom), Rob Seastrom (ClueTrust), Mike Hatfield, Guy Tal (Global Crossing), Jerry Murray (Global Voice Network), and Jamie Baddeley (

The Art of Peering: The Peering Playbook: Joe Klein (Adelphia), Ren Nowlin (SBC Internet), Mitchell Rose (Digital Island/Cable & Wireless), Peter Cohen (Telia), Stephen Stuart (MFN), Jeffrey Papen (Yahoo!), John Harkin (ATG), Ingrid Erkman (ICG), Jeb Linton (EarthLink), Paul Nguyen (Google), Paul Vixie (PAIX), Peter Juffernholz (TeleGlobe), Michael Winslow (Williams), Blake Williams (Williams), Scott J. Ellentuch (TTSG Internet Services), Chris Cousins (Carrier1), Michel Py, William F. Maton, Raven Alder (Intermedia), Kevin Epperson (Level 3/University of Colorado), Geoff Huston (Telstra), Joe St Sauver,  Eric Aupperle (formerly President of Merit), James Rice (BBC Internet Services), Mike Hughes (LINX), Josh Horn (Terramark NOTA), Andrew Partan, Eric Anderson (BT Ignite), Chris Sandford (INS), Avi Freedman (Akamai), several folks who asked not to be recognized for contributions, and Martin Levy.

The Folly of Peering Ratios: Peter Cohen (Telia Sonera), Richard Steenbergen (nLayer), Patrick Gilmore (Akamai), Vikas Mehta (AOL), Bryan Garrett (BellSouth), Brian Sutterfield (Cox), Kevin Mulvahill (Equinix formerly from @Home), Steve Wilcox (Telecomplete), Louie Lee (Equinix), Brokaw Price (Yahoo!), Joe Provo (RCN), John Curran, Hamish MacEwan (CityLink), Brandon Galbraith, Maureen Carroll (T-Systems), Vince Fuller (Cisco), Joshua Sahala (TWTC), and Ren Provo (SBC).

Do ATM Exchange Points Make Sense Anymore?  Dorian Kim (NTT/Verio), Ingrid Erkman (ICG), Dave McGaugh (ELI), Eric T. Bell (Time Warner Telecom), Chris Parker (StarNet), Lane Patterson, Jay Adelson, Morgan Snyder, and John Hardie (Equinix), David Diaz (BellSouth), Joe Wood (Accretive Networks), Robert Seastrom (, Kevin Epperson (Level 3), Petri Helenius (FICIX), Scott Sheppard (BellSouth), Ralph Doncaster (, Leo Bicknell (, Paul Vixie (, Ian Somerton and Dave Wodelet (Shaw/BigPipe), Tony Hain (Cisco), Jeff S. Wheeler (, Cliff Hafen, Dory Liefer, Shannon Lake (Omnivergent), Nenad Trifunovic (WorldCom), Andre Gironda (eBay), Jeb Linton (EarthLink), Daniel Golding (SockEye), Peter Moyer (Juniper), Louis Lee (Equinix), Waqar Khan (Qwest), Andrew Odlyzko (UMN), and Gary Blankenship (Foundry).

The Art of Peering: The IX Playbook: Chris Quesada (PAIX/Switch and Data), Josh Snowhorn (NAP of the Americas/Terremark), and Randy Whitney (UUNet).

I would also like to thank Elise Gerich, who, during my days at Merit Network, had faith that I could write the NANOG business plan and assume the role of chairing NANOG. I grew into that role, which after three years positioned me to take on the startup adventure with the title of Co-Founder and Chief Technical Liaison for Equinix. I spent 15 years researching peering with the NANOG community, so the release of this book can be traced back to that one step Elise took in 1995.

One final and very important thanks to Jay Adelson and Equinix. They allowed me the freedom to travel around the world to research, document, and evangelize peering. No easily identifiable revenue resulted from these activities, and they understood that the information I gathered for the peering community would be made freely available to customers and competitors alike. The whole industry benefited from this collection and dissemination of information on how peering works, and it required vision backed by a hefty bank account to allow me to do this research. Thanks for allowing me to help this community.



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The 2014 Internet Peering Playbook is now available on the iPad at the Apple Store and for the Amazon Kindle. The Kindle, ePub and PDF form are also perpetually updated on the DrPeering DropBox share.