The ServerHub Blog

We are a skilled group of Internet Nerds, with a wild passion for bettering the internet. Here we share our thoughts, ideas, aspirations, and even challenges of running a global platform.

Direct IP Peering Relationships and Why We Invest Heavily in Them


The Internet has been around now for quite some time. In a nutshell, the internet is a group of autonomous and separate networks. Each of these networks operates with IP addresses and leverages BGP which is a Border Gateway Protocol. Through this system, any user on the internet is then able to connect with any other user even if they are not on the same network. However, to gain access to the greater network a user must either pay to connect through the traditional transit links or peer with other networks operating within the global framework. This brings us to the concept of network peering and why it is a vital part of our online platform.

Network Peering Explained

Through network peering one internet network can join to another directly without the need to access common carriers such as Telia, Level3, GTT and the likes. This enables a more rapid throughput and efficient information exchange between the two networks. As well as this, there are no added on charges and no issue with linking to a third party network.

In contrast, a transit connection does require either the network operator or the user to pay for a cross-connect and carry the network traffic on their behalf. This is one of the greatest disadvantages of the more traditional approach.

To use IP peering, you need to make sure that an agreement is formed with other networks and that the connection can be set up between the two. There are a variety of ways peering can work. Through IP peering, there is an exchange of data between two ISPs and usually, the amount exchanged will be close to equal. Since the agreement is mutually beneficial there’s no need to worry about changes or payments with this type of agreement, with the exception of cross-connects in such instances where the meeting point is an exchange for example. At ServerHub we've begun to invest heavily in IP peering. Why is this?

The Unseen Benefits of IP Peering

IP Peering provides a lot of benefits that you simply can not gain through the more typical option and we want to deliver the absolute best service possible to people who use our service. We believe that IP peering is the right step forward here.

One of the greatest benefits of IP peering is that it provides a higher level of control. The key factor to remember here is that through peering traffic remains at a local level. This is in direct contrast with a transit connection where instead data can travel through any path across the internet. This means it might not be the fastest or indeed the most efficient route and it can lead to a great variety of problems.

There could be latency or even packet loss and if this happens, then you, the client, will be left vulnerable to downtime of the transit provider. On the other hand, since we utilize peering, the route can quickly be adjusted. So, if there are individual segments experiencing problems with slowdown issues then these can be avoided completely. You get faster service and you won’t need to worry about any server issues.

We have direct peering relationships with Large CDN and enterprises such as StackPath CDN (High Winds), Verizon EdgeCast, Google Cloud, Amazon AWS, CloudFlare. At ServerHub we can thus give you the edge and make sure that connection times to these companies and many more are lightning fast. How fast? Well, using our peer network, connection times can be kept under 1ms.

The reason that these connections can be so fast is due to the local set up between two peered networks. Furthermore, problems with saturation and congestion can also be avoided.

Congestion along the destination and source for networks can lower the experience for network users leading to what is ultimately a poor quality connection. With direct connections between networks, we can provide a guarantee of enough bandwidth for the best, most consistent performance.

This type of setup is beneficial if there are problems with disasters or any other outages that might impact data. Business owners are always worried about the issue of a disaster and how long it will take to complete a full recovery. With peering, we can make sure that there is a massive level of support from various different resources if this becomes an issue. So, a full disaster recovery plan can be put into action immediately and downtime can be minimized.

Our peer network also ensures that we can handle higher levels of traffic. If your business is experiencing higher volumes of traffic or is expanding rapidly, you don’t want to run into any problems with performance. With our peering solution, even the highest amounts of traffic are distributed across a variety of different networks.

One of the biggest issues with transit links is the high level of dependence on more than one transit providers. With peer lending, this high rate of dependence can be greatly reduced. With IP peering we can strive for the most resilient and redundant network connectivity map as possible. This helps ensure that the network that our clients use is more reliable and is a greater transit service.

IP peering also provides a great level of cost savings when exploring ways to route traffic between individual networks. In one example an IP might be exchanging high levels of customer traffic with a second source. Sending traffic through a transit provider to another network is inefficient and expensive. Peering is a far more effective alternative where traffic can be handled at a shared facility and transit costs can be completely eliminated.

Beyond this IP peering will also improve the network ranking. It’s crucial that you can show that your network is providing a better service and reaching a higher tier than others online. This will improve the perception of your network online and ensure you have a competitive edge. Using our peering solution, we can help you guarantee that this is exactly what happens.

We hope this provides some insight as to why we have invested in IP peering over traditional transit links. We aim to provide the best, fastest and most reliable service to our users while continuing to reduce costs and achieve greater efficiency levels. Due to the benefits available, we believe IP Peering is the way forward on the ServerHub Platform and will continue to develop peering relationships.

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