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Re: different thinking on exchanging traffic

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Wed Jun 03 08:14:36 1998

>> Currently about 5%-15% of my traffic gets routed over the UtahREP.
>please describe measurement technique.

I think there are actually a couple of different traffic measurements
of interest.  traffic volume, traffic elasticity, and traffic usability.

Traffic volume is fairly simple, but also mostly useless.  Measure the
total traffic exchange through the local exchange point (e.g. peak 2Mbps
in St. Louis) and that is a definition of traffic exchanged by the local
ISPs that isn't going across transit lines to upstream providers.  Harder
to measure is how 'local' any of the ISPs actually are.  In the st. louis
case, all of the ISPs operate in at least two states, and two of them operate
in more than two states.  None of them, as far as I know, have tried
to break up their routing into geographic regions.

Traffic elasticity is an interesting issue.  How much traffic is
being exchanged, which wouldn't otherwise be exchanged?  In other words
is the existance of the local exchange point actually causing more
traffic to be generated.  This is a what if question.  If you didn't
have the local exchange, would you still haul highly elastic traffic
like USENET across your long-haul links?  Or is it highly elastic
traffic like at-home students or employees who use a local ISP modem
pool for access instead of dialing directly into the remote institution.

And finally, usability.  The I know it when I see it issue.  The right
combination of adequate speed, low latency, and little congestion that
gives the end-user a 'good' connection.  Since we still have a hard time
defining what is 'good' this is the hardest one to measure.  I can really
only measure this indirectly, such as the number of customer compliants or
through surveys of non-customers.  In general, customers of ISPs connected
to the local exchange point report better connections to resources on ISPs
also attached to the local exchange point than to those same ISPs before
the exchange point.
Sean Donelan, Data Research Associates, Inc, St. Louis, MO
  Affiliation given for identification not representation

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