North American Network Operators Group

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Re: The Great Exchange

  • From: Vadim Antonov
  • Date: Fri May 29 22:26:28 1998

Michael Shields wrote:
> > As a router manufacturer i can assure you that keeping detailed
> > transfer records at today backbone's speeds is totally infeasible.
> Why would it need to be done at the backbone?

Because edges do not have information about the topology and
routing, and so cannot asses distance-sensitive charges.

Distance-insensitive per-bit charging is certainly feasible and
is being practiced by some ISPs (typically as "burstable" T-1
or T-3 service).

In fact, even those charges aren't likely to stand against close legal
scrunity.  Example of a scenario of a rationale for action against 
ISP X - they count received and transmitted packets on a user link.
Unfortunalely, they also count packets they didn't deliver due
to some packet loss in their backbone.  Bingo - they charge
customers for service not provided.  This is fraud, pure and simple.
Sorry if i gave the idea to lawyers...

> Isn't it possible to have a statistically valid sampling of packets
> even at the highest speeds? 

Good luck doing billing based on statistical sampling.

> You'd know better than I would.  I hope
> the answer is yes, because that is valuable data even if not used for
> billing.

Yep, that is somewhat useful data.  Fortunaltely, you do not need to
identify particular customers for the purposes of traffic engineering,
so the problem is much simpler.

Unfortunately, traffic matrices are rather useless in the
Internet world - because congestion control nicely compensates
for overloaded paths.  I've seen T-3s getting introduced into
a not particularly overloaded-looking T-1 backbone, just to get 
filled right away.

BTW, I have a (relatively) simple solution to the Internet traffic
engineering problem, but you'll have to sign an NDA if you want to
know it.  I already have a long list of people who "forgot" to give 
me any credit for things i invented.