“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”
– Yogi Berra
Two questions always come up in the Internet Peering Workshop:
1. How does an IXP build critical mass? Another form of this question is, how does an IXP attract the first ISPs to peer when there is no one to peer with?
2. Is it hopeless to compete against or attempt to displace a well-established IXP at critical mass?
In this chapter we will introduce the theoretical framework for the value of an IXP, and break the value equation into its contributory characteristics. The rest of the chapter will then present a set of the tactics that some of the smartest IXP and colocation operators in the world shared for establishing, growing, attacking, and defending their critical mass.