Peering Basics: Public vs. Private Peering

Internet service providers everywhere are constantly looking for ways to reduce costs associated with providing internet service. Establishing peering is one way of reducing transit cost and increasing performance. To establish these connections, two networks need to be connected with one another either as public peering or private peering. Let´s analyze the two.

Public Peering – It has been the primary method of exchanging traffic. Used by both large and small networks to aggregate groups of peers on to an efficient and cost-effective service. Networks are able to connect using a single physical port or use multiple ports together to create large single virtual port. Once connected to a public peering exchange networks can setup or remove interconnections to other networks without needing to physically re-provision any circuits.

Private Peering – Is an agreement between two or more networks to accept each other’s packets and forward them. The interchange is made at a common, private facility rather than at a public exchange point. Some benefits of private peering are that it is easy to monitor, more reliable, more secure. A major setback in private peering is that it takes more time to setup new peering connections. On the other hand this setup is very useful when a large quantity of data needs to be exchanged. Most of today’s private peering arrangements occur at colocation facilities independent of a particular carrier.  Private peering interconnections make up most of the traffic on the Internet, especially between the largest networks.

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