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NANOG67 - Tipping point of community and sponsor bashing?

>>> On 6/15/16 05:37, Mike Hammett wrote:
>>> A non-profit donation-based IX that doesn't produce results
>>> could be screwing its "customers" over more than a MRC-based
>>> for-profit IX that does produce.
>> On 15.06.2016 21:14, Seth Mattinen wrote:
>> An IX just needs to "produce" a layer 2 peering fabric. That's not a
>> tall order to get results from. Anything beyond that is extra fluff.
>> Some people want to pay more for the fluff, some don't.
> On Jun 15, 2016, at 6:36 PM, Arnold Nipper <arnold at nipper.de> wrote:
> This is a *common* misunderstanding.
> The by far easiest part of running a successful IXP is the technical part.
> The more challenging is to build a community around it. And that's
> purely non technical and involves a lot of *social* networking and
> bringing people together.

There?s a difference between the cost and the product.  As regards the cost, Arnold is exactly right.  Across the many hundreds of exchanges that we?ve worked with over the past 22 years, our observation has been that, at a rough average, most IXPs spend 45% of their first-year effort on location selection, 45% on governance definition and establishment, and 10% on technical decisions and implementation.  But the total effort and the governance portion both increase drastically for those that choose to handle money; at a very, very rough average, about four-fold.  In subsequent years, location selection generally drops away to near zero, except in cases like the JINX, and technical work dips for the first couple of years, and then spikes once every three years or so as switches are replaced and new configs are needed.  Many exchanges have an annual in-person meeting where elections are conducted and policy changes ratified, so that typically becomes the largest ongoing expense, as Arnold implies.

As regards the product, no, Seth, the layer 2 peering fabric is merely a necessary precondition for producing bandwidth.  The actual bandwidth production has other preconditions as well: peers physically connected to the peering switch fabric, BGP sessions established between the peers, routes advertised across those sessions, a reasonable matching of potential traffic sources and sinks available through those routes, and a set of customer behaviors that prefer those source/sink matchings.  Only then does an IXP produce bandwidth.  So, the role of a salesperson or advocate or evangelist or tout can be a net beneficial one, if they do a good job of recruiting participants, making sure they follow through with peering, and encouraging the preference of locally-available content.  WAIX was among the first IXPs to do this well, in my opinion.


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