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StarLight is a Layer 2 service, and does not mandate Layer 3 peering to a central router. StarLight supports open peering amongst its members. Individual peering sessions are bilaterally negotiated.

To peer with multiple networks at StarLight, you provide a GigE connection from a router in your AS to our Force10 switch. Your router must support 802.1Q tagged VLANs. We configure one point-to-point vlan for each of your peerings at your request, or the peer’s request. If you desire to peer with, say, five other StarLight connectors, we will assign 5 VLAN id’s and configure them on our switch, giving you five individual point-to-point connections. You and the peer then work out IP addressing and peering policy between yourselves, we only provide the Layer2 connection. There is no charge for the VLANs.

If you bring a SONET or ATM circuit to StarLight instead of a GigE, you will need some equipment somewhere. This can be done at StarLight, but would best be done at your carrier’s PoP in Chicago. If you need to place equipment at StarLight, there will be a rack space charge of about US$15,000/yr.

To request a chart of the current StarLight VLAN ids and peers, and / or to request new VLAN ids, send mail to 710engineers “at” startap.net

StarLight provides bilateral 802.1q VLANs to peering participants for three primary reasons:
  1. The MTU of the peerings is decided between the peers. StarLight does not enforce a common MTU size for all peers; instead, each peering MTU is individually negotiated between the peers.

  2. By eliminating a common IEEE 802 broadcast domain, IP multicast is not flooded to all participants. This lets us avoid the problems with PIM Asserts in an interdomain peering mesh.

  3. IPv4, IPv4 multicast, and IPv6 are transparent to StarLight. The services you enable on your peerings are between you and each of your peers. They’re not limited by anything StarLight supports.

If it were possible, we would create a full mesh of VLAN cross-connects for each participant, but the limitations of IEEE 802.1q preclude doing so.