*Edit: Thanks everyone for taking the time to read and sharing your questions! The NA Roadmap Team is signing off for the evening, but stay tuned in the future for more updates!*
*TL;DR: As of this week, we’ve installed all PoPs hardware to complete the South Bridge (with the exception ATL - more on that below), and we have an update on partnered ISPs you can find at the bottom of this post. Today, we pull back the curtain to tell you more about our process for working through peering agreements—if you fancy a little walk through the exciting world of internet exchanges and peering protocols, read on!*
Hey, everyone! Riot Ahab here with another update on the [NA Server Roadmap](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/WH8doH76-na-servers-and-the-future).
[Last time](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/hXxTbpiI-na-server-roadmap-south-bridge-update), we updated the progress made along the South Bridge, which included bringing the Ashburn and Atlanta PoPs online. Ashburn is humming along, but we ran into some workflow system issues which has delayed the ATL PoP from coming online. We’re actively working through the issue and should see it come online soon.
Now, progress on the South Bridge drives back west along the southern US to close the loop, bringing Dallas, Denver, and Los Angeles online as of this week.
**So now Phase 2 is done?**
This update completes almost all of the hardware installation of Phase 2 of the NA Server Roadmap—so in terms of hardware, yes, this phase is mostly complete! But building this direct network is like building a new computer: first you collect and assemble the hardware, but installing all the necessary programs takes additional time once it’s up and running.
Bringing hardware online at key internet exchanges across NA is the *relatively* easy part. Next comes reaching out to local ISPs at those PoP sites and setting up contractual agreements to get your League traffic *off* the ISP’s network and *on* to ours.
**Yeah, yeah, Ahab “it’s an ongoing process” - *you always say that.***
Fair enough. How about instead of talking in generalities about the “partnering process,” we instead walk through what goes into working with ISPs? *Note:* I’ll be simplifying quite a bit of information to avoid getting lost in the weeds here, but feel free to follow up with questions should you want to dive into the nitty-gritty in the comments below!
**Step One: IXs, ISPs and plotting the map.**
We start by keeping an eye on where League traffic travels and curating a list of which ISPs are carrying the most League data. This list can shift and change as new ISPs start up, old ones merge, territories of ISPs expand or contract, or as players switch their choice of ISP. Using this list, we plot out where the data travels and where the ISPs are located—and most, if not all, that data has to make stops through Internet Exchange Points (or IXs).
IXs are key interconnection crossroads where ISPs can exchange data between their networks to make sure your information gets to wherever it needs to go. Using our ISP data, we identified the key IXs where we wanted a presence for the NA-dedicated network, then set up hardware in those areas (i.e., all the PoPs on our network map).
You may notice there aren’t any Canadian PoPs on the map. This doesn’t mean Canadian players won’t get in on the benefits of the network or we’ve somehow forgotten you! Since Canadian traffic needs to cross the border to access the game servers, we focused on setting up PoP links on the most direct paths we can find to the IXs that service Canadian traffic. For western Canadian ISPs, that access point is in the Seattle IX. For central and eastern Canada, TOR-IX (Toronto) and QIX (Quebec) both connect back to Chicago through the same capacity used by high-frequency trading financial institutions.
**Step Two: Setting up the PoP hardware and reaching out to ISPs.**
The hardware we set up at those key IXs are the PoPs (points of presence) we’ve referred to throughout these North and South Bridge updates. They allow us to interface with the local internet exchanges, and route League traffic directly toward the game servers. But having the hardware near an IX isn’t enough—we need to convince ISPs to agree to transfer League data over to our network via the PoPs!
Once our hardware is properly installed and connected to a local IX, we begin reaching out to ISPs who are on that particular exchange (that we identified back in step one).
**Step Three: Setting up peering agreements.**
The vast majority of ISPs we reach out to (around 75%), route through “public exchanges” with open peering policies. Open peering means that all we need to do is contact the participating ISPs with a request to peer their League traffic through us instead. It’s then a matter of configuring some software to automate that peering process and putting it into action. Overall, this process can take anywhere from 24 hours to 6 months, depending on how responsive a particular ISP is.
Some ISPs operate private connections outside of public exchanges, which means they handle their data exchanges themselves. This gets a little more complicated, but only because we have to go where these ISPs are and install hardware to connect to their systems. Most ISPs are pretty open to this, and it’s just a matter of housing the hardware and getting software in place to route that League traffic to our direct network. This approach represents anywhere from 5-10% of ISPs we peer with.
The remaining ISPs we peer with operate paid peering policies. Usually these ISPs take some time to set up agreements with because there’s contractual back and forth once we’ve made the initial introductions and both parties agree to the scope of the peering project. This type of peering agreement can take anywhere from 30 days to 8 months to put into action.
**Step Four: Putting data into motion.**
With hardware and agreements in place, League data then flows from your local home network through your ISP’s system to the nearest PoP, where it then enters our direct network and travels on the fastest possible route to the game servers.
That’s the plan, anyway. As with any complex system, however, there can be hiccups and crossed wires. Users of WOW! Internet experienced just that a few months back when our peering agreement went online—an issue surfaced because the routing software was sending players’ League data through a nasty bottleneck. Players quickly notified both Riot and WOW! customer service, which helped us team up with WOW! to solve the problem quickly and get Leauge data flowing correctly again.
A huge portion of ongoing work comes from bringing ISP agreements online then making sure data is routed properly. We may see a national ISP servicing multiple PoPs, so extra care is required to make sure they’re correctly routing local data. For example, we may only strike up a single blanket agreement with Comcast, but we’ll need to make sure the geography makes sense and traffic from Dallas isn’t being routed through the New York City PoP.
**Step Five: Continued tweaking, support, and optimization**
As the ISP and internet exchange landscape continues to shift and change, we’ll continue to monitor and adjust the dedicated League network to make the most of your connection to League. While the last of the network hardware might be placed, it’ll be an ongoing effort to optimize the flow of data with the partners we work with from across the telecom industry.
**So… if Phase 2 is done, what happens next?**
In future updates, we’ll continue to keep you informed of ISPs we add to our peering partner list. Aside from that, the next [NA Server Roadmap](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/WH8doH76-na-servers-and-the-future) update will focus on Phase 3 of the plan: a centralized server move. In that post we plan to cover details of this centralized move with dates, locations, and expected impact. Stay tuned!
Questions? Comments? The NA Server Roadmap team will be hanging out in the thread for a few hours, so feel free to hit us up!
We’ll wrap up this post with an update to the list of partnered ISPs with finalized agreements! New additions since last update will appear in **bold**. Keep in mind that we’re still in talks with lots of other ISPs, so if you don’t see yours on this list, it doesn’t mean we’re not planning to peer with them—only that we haven’t finalized an agreement yet!
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned in the weeks to come for more NA Server Roadmap updates!
Atlas Networks Corporation
Bell Canada *(correction - we featured this ISP in our last update, but we’ve hit a snag and are currently working through logistics. More updates to follow!)*
Comcast Cable Communications
CTS Communications Corp
**Level 3 Communications**
**Molalla Communications Systems Inc.**
**Network for Education and Research in Oregon (NERO)**
Rogers Cable Communications
Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel)
Time Warner Cable
Verizon *(correction - we featured this ISP in our last update, but we’ve hit a snag and are currently working through logistics. More updates to follow!)*
_Thanks everyone for your questions! This thread's comments are being disabled and archived - please jump back [here](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/WH8doH76-na-servers-and-the-future) to the main post and scroll to the bottom to find the most recent NA Server Roadmap update if you have any questions you'd like addressed!_