How to get the most out of your IX port

How to get the most out of your IX port

As the Head of Sales and Marketing and Product Manager at Netnod, I spend a lot of time looking for the best peering strategies for a range of customers. In this blogpost, I want to summarise my seven top tips for getting started with better peering. These are the steps you should follow to make sure you are peering effectively and getting the most from your Internet Exchange (IX) port.

1. Create an account at PeeringDB
Setting up an account at PeeringDB is an essential first step for anyone looking to exchange traffic. PeeringDB is a database of networks from around the world that peer. It lists the location and peering preferences of these networks. PeeringDB is the best way to find networks you can peer with and for them to find you. By making sure you have an up-to-date account at PeeringDB, you significantly increase your chances of making the best peering arrangements for your network. More information about how to get started with PeeringDB, including tutorials and workshop presentations, can be found here. 

2. Ensure your routing database information is correct 
Check your routing database entry (e.g in the RIPE Database) and make sure your AS-SETs are correct. If this information is not up to date, traffic from your prefixes might be rejected. If you want to peer with an IX route server, it is essential that your routing information is correct. For more information on how to update routing information, see the RIPE NCC’s outline on their Internet Routing Registry (IRR) here.  

3. Peer with the Netnod IX route server
By peering with the Netnod route server, you can easily peer with the hundreds of other networks using just one connection. Almost 70% of the connected networks at Netnod are available through the route servers. It is simple to set up, and enables you to peer with a huge range of networks. More information on how this works and how to set up peering with the Netnod IX route server is available here.

4. Use the Netnod IX looking glass 
You can use the Netnod IX looking glass to investigate possible route discrepancies and to help validate your route server setup. It also makes it easy to search for an AS number, peer or a specific IP prefix.

5. Sign your prefixes with RPKI certificates
Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) certificates and Route Origin Authorisations (ROAs) are increasingly used to secure routing and prevent BGP hijacking. Using the RPKI system is an effective way for networks announcing and receiving routes to ensure that the routes can be validated. This prevents routing problems, such as hijacking and leaks, leads to more secure routing and ensures that peering traffic is accepted and correctly routed. The RIPE NCC provides a useful overview of how the RPKI system works, including setup information for networks here.

6. Establish direct peering relationships with other networks
Not every network peers with the route server. To establish direct peering sessions, you can use the following tools to identify these networks: the Netnod IX looking glass. PeeringDB, and the Netnod IX list of connected networks. To start, look for networks that have an “open” or “selective” peering policy and contact them to investigate if they would like to peer with your network. 

7. Power up your port!
Did you know that you can use your existing IX port to peer remotely with networks at any of the Netnod IXes? This is the most cost-effective way to expand your network without any additional cross-connect, colocation or equipment costs. To use your existing port for remote peering across Netnod IXes in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, see here

For a summarised version of these seven peering tips, you can download the peering checklist available here. If you have any questions about how to get the most from your Netnod IX port, please use the form here


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