Many of you have been reading the news of the Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on sites such as Netflix, Twitter, etc.. To get to the root of the issues here are some links.
So how does peering fit into all of this? During attacks, like what is going on today, peering can be an extra insulator from these attacks. Since you are connected to your peers via a local fabric the Denial of service does not reach the peering fabric itself. This doesn’t mean the networks are immune to a DDoS.Hosts can still be taken offline by a DDoS on their connections outside of the IX. However, since an IX fabric contains non-routable IP space it is naturally insulated against attacks. The peers on the IX can still exchange traffic between themselves without even needing outside connections. So content from someone on the exchange could possibly be okay, even if their outside connections were being DDoSed. This is an oversimplification because content has to reach the IX somehow. This is accomplished with cache boxes, distributed cloud services, and plain old transit from the outside to routers and devices on the exchange.