Global Lambda Integrated Facility

Subject Re: Re: Some thoughts on policy and governance issues with respect to open lightpath exchange points
From Artur Barczyk <Artur.Barczyk@xxxxxxx>
Date Tue, 5 Apr 2011 22:20:15 +0200


I haven't seen Jerry's original mail (was it sent to glif-all?), but
the ones followed up by Victor make already a very good set of
Here's my 2c for the discussion:

Indeed, "distributed exchange point" is an oxymoron :-)
"Distributed exchange" would be a better name, but apart from
that (c.f. below), since we had this discussion in the LHCONE
context, what is meant is an exchange with multiple nodes, where
the interconnecting links/trunks form an integral part of the
"exchange". Hence to the end-user, whether you connect in New York
or LA or Seattle, you can exchange traffic with the parties
connected to any node making up the "exchange". The tricky parts
of right-sizing etc. are of course to be dealt with properly by
the operator, but the theoretical concept is useful.
Whether it is practically, depends on the implementation.

But, I had the following question on my mind: what is the difference
between "distributed exchange" and a transit network between
exchange points? Are we just inventing a new term? Rebranding?

Victor raises an important point: "Open". I think important part of
the discussion will be centered on that.
My definition is that "open exchange points" are basically neutral
facilitators acting on behalf of connecting parties (users=networks).
If two (or more) networks present at the exchange point agree
between themselves to exchange data, the "open exchange point"
does not impose any other restrictions on them. They also
accept any user/network willing to connect - the final
agreement for "peering" (at whichever layer is supported)
is between the users of the exchange.
And I agree, open does not have to mean free.

"Federated" - my belief is that people using this term often
really mean "confederated". To the latter, I can stand.


On 04/05/2011 08:29 PM, John Silvester wrote:
> In the light of Jerry's search for definitions, here are my comments,
> some perhaps clarifying some no doubt muddying.
> We should probably distinguish "exchange" from "exchange point".  The
> former can have its own internal topology whereas the latter tends to
> imply a single point (place or locus) of operation.  With this
> distinction, the term "distributed exchange" makes sense but
> "distributed exchange point" doesn't (it is an oxymoron since a point
> can't be distributed, can it?)
> The goal not GOLE :-)  of an exchange point is to provide a capability
> for other entities (usually networks) to exchange traffic where the
> interaction between the participants may occur at different protocol
> layers.
> Lightpath is a heavy overused term - I am not sure what it is.
> Global is probably an incorrect term here. Perhaps we should use
> International (meaning providing services to more than one country).
> I have an aversion to the term Federated.
> Open means that the services are available to all (not necessarily for
> free) in a non-discriminatory way (maybe restricted to some set of
> similar entities - e.g. non-profit or education community or
> non-commercial or ...)
> Should be an interesting discussion.
> john s.
> On 4/5/2011 8:17 AM, Victor Reijs (work) wrote:
>> Hello Jerry,
>> Just my few cents on your questions:
>> Jerry Sobieski wrote:
>>> 2. What really is an "Exchange Point?" How can you tell an "Exchange
>>> Point" from "Not an Exchange Point"? How do networks fit into this
>>> picture? What for pete's sake is a "distributed exchange point"?...
>> I see a GOLE/Exchange Point; just as a domain (with its policies, AUP,
>> access rules, etc.).
>> I understand the policies of the GOLEs are more relaxed than for
>> instance of an NREN (which is only allowed to be used by the NREN's AUP)
>> Physically it does not have to be one device (and it can be at any
>> layer), IMHO. It is a transit network/node (at any layer).
>> I even see HEAnet's IP/BLUEnet p2p network; GEANT IP/GEANT Plus/Lambda
>> DANTE; Internet 2/ION; etc. as Exchange 'nodes' (how the node is being
>> made is not a real concern, so things as resilience, disaster recovery
>> can all be catered for). These are not 'Open' (as there is an explicit
>> AUP).
>> INEX, AMSIX are an open exchange point (at layer 2), correct (although
>> some AUP must be there, even it it is empty).
>>> 3. What really is meant by "federated" multi-channel lightpaths
>>> [interconnecting lightpath exchanges]? The definition of "federation"
>>> involves ceding certain rights/roles to a central governing authority...
>>> What rights are we referring to? and to what governing authority? Is
>>> this already being done? Or is this a proposal?
>> Perhaps with 'federated (management)' is meant that the management is
>> federated (so each party who owns the domain, manages it with the aim
>> to make a more general service). 'Federated (access)' could also be
>> that with in token (SSO, eduGAIN, etc.) one can access all the
>> services...
>> Don't know if this helps of confuses things more.
>> All the best,
>> Victor

Dr Artur Barczyk
California Institute of Technology
c/o CERN, 1211 Geneve 23, Switzerland
Tel:    +41 22 7675801