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Peering Disputes Migrate To IPv6 111

1sockchuck writes "As more networks prepare for the transition to IPv6, we're seeing the first peering disputes (sometimes known as 'Internet partitions') involving IPv6 connectivity. The dispute involves Cogent, which has previously been involved in high-profile IPv4 peering spats with Sprint, Level 3 and Telia. Hurricane Electric, which has been an early adopter on IPv6, says Cogent won't peer with it over IPv6. Hurricane has extended an olive branch by baking a cake bearing a message of outreach for Cogent."
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Peering Disputes Migrate To IPv6

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  • Uh huh (Score:5, Funny)

    by countertrolling ( 1585477 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @05:29PM (#29851921) Journal

    I think we all know about the cake...

  • analogy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 23, 2009 @05:32PM (#29851961)
    That's kind of technical, so I'm most of slashdot doesn't understand. To put it in terms you would understand:

    You're a gay dude. You like to top and you like to bottom. You hook up with another dude, but he doesn't want to bottom, he only wants to top. As much as you love dick in your ass, you want to fuck his ass too.

    Hope that helps.

  • ob. (Score:3, Funny)

    by shentino ( 1139071 ) <> on Friday October 23, 2009 @05:34PM (#29851989)


    • Re:ob. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Interoperable ( 1651953 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @05:40PM (#29852041)
      It had to happen that this would be posted when the article went up. It's done now. We can avoid any more Portal references for the rest of the discussion.
      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        by eln ( 21727 )
        I agree. Your comment is a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.
      • Re:ob. (Score:5, Funny)

        by Molochi ( 555357 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @05:59PM (#29852195)

        This unfair to Cogent. They are obviously only doing what they must, because they can, for the good of all of us.

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by idontgno ( 624372 )

        Yes, I think we can all be glad we got that out of our systems.

        By the way, did I hear someone say that the IPv6 peering agreement was moist and delicious?

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

        Oh come on. Just because you're no fun, doesn't mean we aren't.

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

          Oh, and parent is not offtopic? Or do you have to be an unfunny ass, just like that moderator, to be on topic nowadays?

          • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

            by ae1294 ( 1547521 )

            Oh, and parent is not offtopic? Or do you have to be an unfunny ass, just like that moderator, to be on topic nowadays?

            Yes the g-g-parent was offtopic, and yes being an unfunny ass does help here on /.

            but mostly having 37 accounts allows you to mod your own posts up...

      • We can avoid any more Portal references for the rest of the discussion.

        Yes, now we can get back to the simpsons references, notifications of not being a lawyer, car metaphors, MS bashing, and the inevitable hitler reference.

        On the other hand, I believe a highly motivated slashdotter can complete a thread without godwining while enduring the most intense physical pain.

        Okay, NOW the portal references are done.

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      "The IT Center reminds you that the Beige IPv6 Router cannot speak. In the event that the Beige IPv6 Router does speak, the IT Center urges you to disregard it's advice."

    • by Matheus ( 586080 )

      Too bad the cake also has a typo... too bad they don't make a spell checker that supports the ICING standard.

  • The Cake is... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Impsyn ( 1663137 ) [] Only article I could find with a pic of the cake.
    • by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) * on Friday October 23, 2009 @05:38PM (#29852021)
      Um... that's TFA. It wasn't hard to find. :/
      • Um... that's TFA. It wasn't hard to find. :/

        That's ok. I actually clicked on the link the OP posted.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Um... that's TFA. It wasn't hard to find. :/

          That's ok. I actually clicked on the link the OP posted.

          I believe this is a new low. Thank you.

          We've all seen people not read the article.

          Occasionally people don't read the summary.

          But to have someone not read the article, and then provide a link to it after googling is priceless. I almost blew coke all over my computer. I'm still chuckling.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Um... that's TFA. It wasn't hard to find. :/

        It's in TFA: it has been empirically demonstrated that accessing it is impossible for most people commenting.

    • They misspelled "Please" on the cake. Pitiful.

      Maybe Cogent is just holding out for a peer that can spell at the 3rd-grade level.

  • by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @05:39PM (#29852037)

    Anyone feel like taking bets on how long it will take until the other Tier 1 ISPs gang up on Cogent and just shut off their peering to Cogent?

    Seriously, every one of these conflicts that Cogent gets involved in seems to involve Cogent acting like a bunch of dicks and the only people defending them are their most loyal customers and their employees, why are they even still in business?


    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've been following the Cogentco peering issues for quite some time because we use Cogentco in a few of our locations for internet access or as a VPN backup to our MPLS. I think the other carriers are ganging up and using FUD with Cogent because they can not compete with Cogentco. Other then the occasional peering issues which we can typically get around with some changes because we have multiple carriers in multiple locations, our numbers show our Cogentco service has been at or above average for reliabi

  • They are the Wal-Mart of bandwidth and offer dirt-cheap prices. How can they do that and expect to hand-off to more expensive/higher quality(It's Cogent, I know....) networks? People want cheaper and cheaper so a company will eventually come along that caters to that crowd, but how dare they expect to offer the same QoS and not pay for it. Forget peering then throttling the links, Cogent is doing the right thing and not even lighting the fiber.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mea_culpa ( 145339 )

      I don't know about this. I've used HE for various hosting needs for over a decade and they were never the 'Wal-mart' in their price and quality range. Using the big box store analogy, I'd rank them a Macy's.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      [Hurricane Electric] are the Wal-Mart of bandwidth and offer dirt-cheap prices. [...] how dare they expect to offer the same QoS and not pay for it.

      Huh? You meant that there are operators that offer actual QoS for IP traffic? If so, it's an interesting new research result, and I'd like to see the technology.

      (More seriously -- unless you can show us that HE's SLA is significantly worse than other operators', I recommend that you shut up. What you're doing is called uninformed FUD.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by teknopurge ( 199509 )
        An SLA won't show it - latency reports will. Yes, we have plenty of them. Also yes, there are many ISPs that offer QoS for IP traffic. (including us)
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Ah, so you're slandering them for competitive reasons, then.

          • Motivation aside, it's not slander if it's true.

            Regarding the motivation, competitors can be a great source of negative information to counter a company's (possibly excessive) self-promotion. Between the two you have all the data you need as a starting point for your own fact-checking.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @05:55PM (#29852157) Journal
    If I were to express confidence that there is a perfectly cogent explanation for the behavior of both disputing parties?
    • by zapakh ( 1256518 )

      If I were to express confidence that there is a perfectly cogent explanation for the behavior of both disputing parties?

      The net-net is, that's up to your peers.

      Now excuse me while IP.

  • Growing Trend... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @05:55PM (#29852161) Journal

    I haven't been with it long enough to know how often this kind of stuff goes on, but are Cake Gestures common in IT/IS/CT? Or only after the release of Portal? I recall IE sending a Cake to Firefox... Or Mozilla... Or something... (or vice versa, I don't really remember who congradulated who)...

    It almost seems like they would send a cake hoping it'll get news'd somewhere so the public favours whoever is sending the cake.

    Or maybe I'm just paranoid. The companion cube will do that to ya, you know.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lennie ( 16154 )
      Actually no, it was because HE's Leber mentioned on NANOG the following:
      &ldquo;we stop short of baking cakes&rdquo; to encourage peering. That got the ball rolling.
  • by freak132 ( 812674 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @06:02PM (#29852217)
    It seems that the IPv6 transition is going well; we've migrated peering disputes to the lovely next generation protocol.
  • They've already bought loads of dark fibre, maybe they'd be interested in getting a controlling stake in IPv6 early on.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nnet ( 20306 )
      like everything else google, ipv6 is in beta :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dotwaffle ( 610149 )

      Right, so you peer with Google, who have a fairly open peering policy. How does that solve you getting access to Cogent's customers? You expect Google to leak Cogent's routes to it's peers free of charge?

      • The problem probably wouldn't be getting Google to route your traffic to Cogent through their net, the problem would be Cogent blackholing all traffic from your AS regardless of how it was routed to them (as they've done before).


        • by Lennie ( 16154 )
          This hasn't happend with HE just yet. But it might, yes.

          Also I don't think Google would do transit for anyone, it's not in their interrest (normally).
  • For those of us who don't have experience with how the big ISPs connect to each other, could someone shed some light on the situation? Does peering involve a physical connection or is it just down to advertising routes? I thought having your routes advertised was a good thing.

    • Some info here []

      Basically, different companies own and operate the physical cables, and they charge for use. To provide their own clients with access to other parts of the internet in principle they would have to buy bandwidth from their competitors, but rather than do this, the network owners often make agreements to pass on data for each other free of charge.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lennie ( 16154 )
      Try this article and other posts on the same blog:
  • by mjensen ( 118105 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @06:51PM (#29852651) Journal

    The following is copied from a previous Cogent/Spint debacle posting:

    Just like what happened with Level(3) a few years ago.

    Cogent's history in the ISP market has been absolutely horrible. They came in to town as the Walmart of ISPs, investing in a huge new super-efficient backbone infrastructure doing everything it could to cut costs so they could offer insane deals to their customers. They were running 10Gigabit connections using existing fiber and brand new equipment. They had no 'legacy' hardware.

    The hosting industry bit into the Cogent game when they had customers running multimedia sites that needed tons of bandwidth (see: porn) and were tired of paying insane rates per mbps when Cogent had this brand new network with tons of capacity.

    But Cogent wasn't in the 'settlement free interconnect' game yet, they were paying for bandwidth themselves. So they went out and purchased a few ISPs that already had settlement free interconnects. The agreements are already in place, so it was a big win situation for them. But these agreements almost always come with the term that you must give as much as you receive (so you need to have a balance between hosted sites and end users.) Cogent didn't have end users, they had servers.

    Think of it this way: I am an apartment complex and I have an agreement to mow my neighbor's lawn and in exchange he shovels my sidewalk. It uses approximately the same amount of work. Now imagine my neighbor and all of his agreements are bought by the local golf course. Now the golf course now expects me to mow the entire course because the agreement was that they would shovel and I would mow. Cogent was the golf course, I am an ISP.

    Now in my apartment I house a bunch of golfers once I say "screw this, figure out your lawn situation yourself" the course says "ok, well, I guess your tenants are going to have to go without golf." What the hell am I to do now? Mow this golf course to keep my tenants happy?

    Finally I come to an agreement, the golf course has to pay me a small amount and I will mow their grass. Everything seems OK, but then the golf course gets in to a bit of trouble and all of a sudden decides "OK, well... he doesn't want his tenants to go without golf so he will probably keep mowing our grass even if we stop paying him." Here we are again, I'm in an impossible situation because I really care about my tenants but man, I just cannot mow an entire golf course all by myself. So I send the golf course warnings after warnings, and after I reach a tipping point I just say "GFY, I'm not mowing your course anymore." I stop mowing it, and the golf course says "IT IS TOTALLY HIS FAULT THAT YOU CANNOT PLAY GOLF!!!"

    Right now a lot of ISPs can hit Cogent's old pricing (and Cogent just cannot go any lower than they already are) so a lot if ISPs will just pass on Cogent and go for someone with a better record.

    There is a lot more to the story that we don't know about, and since these agreements are generally done under a NDA we will never know for sure what exactly is happening at Cogent.

    Just a FYI: I work for a hosting company that has had some dealings with Cogent in the past.

    • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @09:09PM (#29853451) Homepage Journal

      The analogy doesn't work though, because no matter how much traffic there is or how unbalanced it may be, every last bit of it represents a peer on one network that has paid for connectivity with the other network. Every meg Cogent shoveled through the peering point only went there because a customer of the other network wanted his porn from a server on Cogent's network.

      I won't say that Cogent is in any way, shape or form perfect. They could stand to improve a LOT in many areas. But then, the same is true of every transit provider.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The problem is hot-potato routing, and the fact that cogent (anyone, really) will push that traffic out of their network and into someone else's over the peering point as soon as possible.

        If they held the packet for as much as they possible could in their network, the tale would be different. But that's not easy to do, and generally not done anyway except in very, VERY specific situations.

        So, the peering agreements among such networks really have to try to strike a balance of in/out traffic, and either term

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          They could apply that infinite amount of expertise they all tell their customers they have and announce correct route costs and only announce reasonable routes through the peering points.

          Hot potato routing depends on the 'victim' using dumb-as-a-brick routing plans.

          Of course the lack of appropriate route plans and peering costs everyone. I have seen some routes for my own traffic that make no sense whatsoever for either party.

          Case in point, going from my home to a particular geographically close server. the

      • by svc00 ( 834626 )
        If the content network is directly connected to the eyeball network, your analysis is correct; both ISP are being paid by their respective customers to move data their customers both want. But eyeballs are all over the place, and there is often a third network in between that is actually moving the bits the furthest. Those peering relationships are where the problem is.
        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          If there's a 3rd network involved, it is transit, not peering. It's perfectly understandable that a network wants to be paid for transit (where the traffic neither originates nor terminates in their network).

  • The cake was presented during a Peering BoF at the NANOG meeting in Dearborn, MI this week, in reference to a joke on the NANOG mailing list that they had tried everything with Cogent short of baking them a cake.

    I was there, and the cake was tasty. :)

  • If we are gonna skip numbers, why "6"?, sounds like the devil's work to me. They even use "hex" numbers in the dot notation... (which is 8 groups of 4 hex digits... so why not IPv8?)

    I'm just sayin.
    • by zapakh ( 1256518 )

      If we are gonna skip numbers, why "6"?, sounds like the devil's work to me. They even use "hex" numbers in the dot notation... (which is 8 groups of 4 hex digits... so why not IPv8?)

      8 looks too much like 6. We'll have to bring back IPv9 [] instead.

    • Who cares what happened to v5. One higher is obviously better, isn't it?
      Anyways, I'll wait for v6.0.1 to have most of the bugs ironed out.
    • by paul248 ( 536459 )

      Someone already tried IPv7 [] in 1993.

  • Considering the amount of spam historically coming from HE's network, I can't really blame Cogent for not wanting to peer HE's IPv6 traffic. Fighting spam in IPv6 space in much much more difficult than the current state of affairs.

    • by svc00 ( 834626 )
      This is BS. Spamming over IPv6 is not easier. First of all, very few servers can even receive spam (or any email) over IPv6 yet. Second, identifying the source IP is a whole lot easier in IPv6 with its unfragmented IP allocations and a radically smaller routing table. Spam havens would stick out like a sore thumb. Yes, I've gotten my share of spam from HE netspace, but Cogent is responsible for quite a bit too. This isn't about Cogent not wanting its lily-white IPv6 network dirtied with HE packets.
      • BS? Really. Join spam-l and ask what the membership thinks of SMTP mail over IPv6, and why they feel that way. You'll get educated quickly.

        Also, I'm not defending Cogent. They have a track record for signing up snowshoers as well, though not nearly as bad as HE. WRT 'tier' status, one must have a nation wide backbone to be considered tier 1. HE has never had a backbone, but always peered to get backbone access. HE is merely a regional player in the west.

  • Was the cake shaped like the internet []?

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"