It is often said that peering is a game of relationships, and this tactic leverages that point. Peering relationships have been established between networks of unequal size based solely upon friendships between peering coordinators. Hiring peering coordinators with extensive contacts in the peering coordinator community leverages these previous relationships to speed up peering deployments (Figure 11-29).
When I worked at Equinix, part of my role involved facilitating the interactions between peering coordinators that didn’t know each other. These relationships became friendships. From these friendships, I had a good idea who would be willing to peer with new peering entrants into the ecosystem, and I used these friendships to help smooth the way to peering. This tactic has been especially effective for international ISPs that may not know any local ecosystem peers.
Friendship-based peering is not effective for obtaining peering with Tier 1 ISPs. To avoid regulation, most of the Tier 1 ISPs have a stringent peering request process that would not allow establishment of a casual peering session. These ISPs have to be able to demonstrate that their decision process is consistent across all peering requests, and they must maintain a document trail to prove that consistency.
Figure 11-29. Peer with friends and former colleagues.
Notes from the field.
Peering With Former Colleagues
One peering coordinator said that his boss left the company for a competitor and turned around to negotiate peering with his former colleagues. Knowing the ropes aided in obtaining peering with this very selective peer.
In a similar way, it is helpful to have friends that have colocation space they can offer for free to a friend, perhaps without obtaining approval in advance. They call it “Bro-lo,” as in do you have any “bro-lo” in Dallas for me buddy?