Google doesn’t play by the same set of rules that ISP’s, Carriers, CDN’s, and others play by. Sometime next year, Google will abandon BGP once and for all. To date, Google has the largest private network in the world that carries 20-25% of all Internet traffic, hundreds of Global Cache Locations, 15 data centers, 90 PoPs, and they’re just getting started. Their facilities blanket the global map, unlike anything or anyone in the past.
Google data centers are connected via a private WAN, which uses a home-grown routing protocol to move packets around. And it’s likely that many of their other facilities are connected via a private WAN. That means once a request hits a Google location, from that point on it gets routed over a private network, which is far superior to BGP. This hasn’t happened overnight. The process begun years ago and Google Espresso is the representation of their non-BGP philosophy. It doesn’t end there, when Google makes a big splash, the four giants follow suit.
That would be Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, which we refer to as GAFAM, the $2.8 trillion group. This leads to one question – will Google move 50% of their Internet traffic over to non-BGP, using a custom routed protocol that runs on their private network?
If yes, this might pose a problem to ISP’s, Carriers, CDN’s, and the competition, because routing overly a highly optimized private network is faster than BGP under certain circumstances. BGP is the slowest routing protocol in the networking stack and almost 30 years old. Clearly, Google will have a competitive advantage if it does so in the future. For the majority of global network providers, building a private WAN that blankets the earth is not an option.
Therefore, the non-GAFAM companies will have to find innovative ways to route traffic via hybrid networks, which are a combination of BGP and non-BGP networks. Why would Google want to route Internet traffic via non-BGP while the rest of the world runs on BGP? Because it wants to be the underlying cloud platform for the entire global technology industry. Think of it as a global tax. Anytime a company uses GCC for compute, storage and delivery, they makes pennies per transaction or AWS like billions.