Settlement Free Interconnect and Ratios

People seem to get particularly upset about ratios in SFI requirements. The argument almost always degenerates into bit/miles and “we’ll meet you at  your specified points and we’ll cold-potato.”  All these miss the salient point: the SF part of SFI is not based on bit/miles and meeting points. People always argue based on cost, when it is really based on value. Ratios in the end are just one data point in the equation.


9 Responses to Settlement Free Interconnect and Ratios

  1. David says:

    One of the plain english meanings of the word “peer” is “equal.” Both parties in an SFI arrangement need to percieve each other as providing roughly equal value or else it’s in one of their interest to terminate the SFI arrangement.

  2. Not Required says:

    SFI by definition is all about cost. The “value” for the one that use to pay a “true” or “equal” peer of the ISP it is the fact it is now free. The “value” for the one that has to carry the traffic the longest is negative.

    If everybody “peers” who now pays for the network?

    • vijaygill says:

      I’ve let this sort of comment through as an example of the typical thought process that runs through the “peering” community. If someone can parse this and let me know what this means, please do so.

  3. Not Required says:

    Yeah that didn’t paste well. Trying again.

    SFI by definition is about cost and the value of removing payments (assuming one exists)

    If everyone should “peer” who pays for the network costs of traffic growth expected in the future?

    • RS says:

      If everyone should “peer” who pays for the network costs of traffic growth expected in the future?

      The same people who would pay for the network costs (hardware, circuits, whatever) of traffic growth if you bought transit: your customers. What’s your point?

  4. PeerWitMe says:

    The problem is nobody with traffic these days think they should be “customers”. Everyone expects to be a peer. Then you only have users that don’t expect to pay for the cost shifting of transit growth funding

    Ratios and bit mile help quantify “equal” or true peers. I agree they are variables in the value calculation

  5. Vincent Rais says:

    I’m peeked, and I’d like to hear more than the one paragraph . I agree that SFI should be about value, to both parties, but don’t you think that this is much harder to express for the people usually involved in bringing it about? I can see engineers (who I think are closer to bringing about SFIs) looking at network costs etc, as they’re parameters that are much easier accessible to them, then say the value of content X to eyeball Y? -I may have misread you on the ‘value’ you refer to with this example, in case which I’d welcome your elaboration.

  6. Nick says:

    Ive run into a number of networks that wont do SFI in their ‘home’ markets with sign-off from their sales team, which is nearly impossible, but they will peer everywhere else and backhaul it to their customers. Ignoring economics and logic, what value does this provide to either party’s users?

    Unfortunately, most of the NetDudes in the organization ‘get it’ but talking to Account Exec/Sales people usually result in blank stares the moment you mention “Settlement Free”

    So much rage.

  7. Max says:

    Ratios are always semi-engineered anyway, but the associated traffic flows do represent real costs (the elimination of which makes the former settlement-sending network more valuable, by most definitions). If peering decisions made by settlement-receiving operators are indeed driven by “value” considerations, that might help to explain the progressive SFP requirement creep in the direction of criteria that have no directly relevant cost correlates (e.g., customer adjacencies). Of course, if history is any guide, a natural response among ambitious would-be peers would be to favor increased use of BGP to provide service to their single-homed customers, which would effectively amplify the cost/pain of control plane load for everyone…. Where’s the value in that?

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