What are the peering policy types and requirements?
Definition: A peering policy is the administrative and technical conditions a service provider applies towards or against establishing a peering connection with a specific network in a Peering Ecosystem.
The peering policies depend on the business objectives of involved parties and include the technical and contractual arrangements negotiated by the networks. Each service provider sets a list of criteria to achieve consistency when assessing interconnection requests and determine transparent and secure boundaries. This approach helps the networks to avoid possible disagreements related to the change of traffic volumes or other factors.
There are 4 types of peering policies:
- Open policy - means that the service provider will generally agree to peer with any network in any location without specific conditions.
- Selective policy - requires that the peering party must meet certain criteria set by the peering policy. Such criteria may be the number of IXPs, minimum Internet traffic exchanged, adherence to particular traffic ratio (inbound/outbound), etc.
- Restrictive policy - takes place when the party is not commonly open to peer with other parties. This peering policy comprises extremely high requirements, with the implied purpose of rejecting peering connection.
- Closed policy - means that the organization is not interested in or doesn’t support peering connection. The most typical representatives that use closed policy are Content Providers (CDNs) who prefer using Internet Access Services only through transit agreements
Network operators may include in their peering policy a number of technical and operational requirements, such as:
- Routing: To exchange routes at connection points where peering takes place, a potential peering partner has to use the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).
- Network capacity: Service providers may set minimal requirements towards the network capacity of a potential peer and require the potential peer to operate a fully redundant backbone network.
- Geographic coverage: Service providers may set conditions according to which the potential peering partner must have a backbone presence in extensive and diverse geographic areas.
- Network traffic volumes: Peering policies may specify that a potential peer should not exceed the total traffic ratio in a certain direction. For example, the total outbound traffic must be no more than twice the volume of total inbound traffic.
- Filtering: Peering policies may have a rule for a potential peering partner to use filtering of its customers’ route announcements by prefix, in order to guarantee that incorrect third-party route announcements will not “slip” through the peering link.
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