What is an Internet Exchange?
IXes use Ethernet switches, much like the Ethernet switches connecting computers in an office network. Each network connecting to the IX connects one or more of its routers to the IX’s Ethernet switch and they send traffic across the Ethernet switch to routers belonging to other networks. Some exchange points use more complex designs, connecting multiple Ethernet switches in multiple buildings, and sometimes using other network protocols to carry traffic between those switches.
Who connects to an IX?
Networks focusing on interconnection (also known as peering) usually connect to at least one IX. For many years, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) have used interconnection at IXes as a central part of their network strategy. These networks interconnect at IXes throughout the world benefitting from high-capacity, low latency connections for local traffic and the flexibility to scale quickly.
Today, enterprise networks are increasingly interconnecting across IXes for similar benefits. Interconnection is now widely used by enterprises working in sectors such as cybersecurity, health, fintech, gaming and the Internet of Things (IoT).
How do you connect to an IX?
The simplest way to connect to an IX is to connect at a site (usually a data centre) where that IX is present. You need to order a cross-connect at the data centre to connect your network’s router to the IX. Once your router is connected, you can start interconnecting with the other networks at the IX. Most IXes provide route servers making it easy to interconnect with many peers from day one.
To connect to an IX, you need:
- an Autonomous System Number (ASN) and a block of public IP addresses
- a network edge router running Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)
- a connection to an IX (either physical or remote)
- Someone to manage your peering
If you join an IX with multiple locations, you can also make use of remote interconnection (often known as remote peering). You use your connection to the IX at your Point of Presence to connect to any network on the same IX (regardless of where they are located). The IX takes care of securely transporting the traffic and will often provide redundant routes so you can be sure your interconnections are resilient and reliable. If you are looking to expand your network into new areas without the risk of CAPEX costs, this is a good option.
Many IXes also offer remote connection possibilities through trusted partners. This enables networks who don’t have a PoP in the region to connect to the IX remotely without the need to invest in colo or hardware. The Netnod Reach partner program enables international networks to boost their reach in the Nordics and beyond even if they don’t have a PoP in the region.
Why should you connect to an IX?
There are many benefits of connecting at an IX. These will vary depending on network type and business area. Some of the most common benefits are:
- Cost effective, low latency connections
- Scalable connectivity with just one cross connect
- Improved network performance and redundancy
- Increased security, stability, and resilience
- Increased routing control
- More diverse routes preventing single point of failure
- Route servers making it easy to exchange traffic with many networks
- Access to a flexible range of interconnection services
- Future-proofed networks
Why connect to the Netnod IX?
Netnod operates the largest IX platform in the Nordics. Connecting to a Netnod IX enables your network to benefit from:
- peering opportunities with the largest transit providers, telcos and CDNs in the region
- the best possible access to the Nordics, the Baltics and the Russian market
- improved speed, stability, redundancy and routing control for your network
- quick set up for your interconnects and high volume discounts for additional ports
- the most flexible connection options available (including fully redundant ports, private interconnects and a Remote IX service enabling peering throughout the Nordics with just one port)
If you want to discuss how to start peering in the Nordics, book a meeting with one of our interconnection experts here.