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Re: Info on MAE-EAST
From: Paul A Vixie <paul () vix com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 21:45:29 -0800

Brett writes:
MAE-Houston, a small NAP in the scheme of things, but it makes for a good 
example so we'll use it. $2000/month to get your foot in the door, then
another large chunk of cash to connect to the Gigaswitch which all things
considered, isn't really needed. Rather than waste their money on equipment
that all in all just doesn't need to be there, why not make it more economic
for local players to get involved and cross connect to eachother. In the end
you not only save money by not bringing in useless hardware but you garner
more customers by lessening the price of the private interconnect. 

Hmmm.  According to what I learnt in school, the cost of a connected network
like a GIGAswitch or Catalyst or DELNI with N participants is:

        (N x interface_cost) + (N x port_cost)

...while the cost of a connected network made up of wire peers is:

        (2 x sum(N - 1) x interface_cost)

"sum(N-1)" is an interesting function.  Here are some examples:

        % calc
        > define sum(n) = n > 0 ? n + sum(n-1) : 0;
        "sum" defined
        > for (n = 2; n < 20; n++) print n,2*sum(n-1);
        2 2
        3 6
        4 12
        5 20
        6 30
        7 42
        8 56
        9 72
        10 90
        11 110
        12 132
        13 156
        14 182
        15 210
        16 240
        17 272
        18 306
        19 342

That means with 19 ISP's in a GIGAswitch-free room, there are 342 FIP's at
a cost of, what, US$12000 each after discount?  I'll betcha I can buy quite
a few GIGAswitches for US$4.1M.  Oops, that's not a fair comparison, since
with a GIGAswitch I also need 19 FIP's.  Figure that a fully configured
GIGAswitch retails without discount for US$80K and that 19 FIPs are going
to run another US$228K.  That's still a *lot* less than 2*sum(n-1).

This also assumes that we all have VIP2 cards and want to burn 9 7513 slots
just on local peering, and it further assumes that a 7513 won't just simply
melt if all the interfaces ever get hot at the same time.

The breakeven is between N=3 and N=4.  On the Internet, N never stays small.

(And that breakeven assumes that the 4 people have to buy the whole
GIGAswitch with noone like MFS to underwrite the costs of the unused ports;
that means four people in a room together could SAVE MONEY buying the GIGA-

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