Datacenters have benefited in numerous ways from peering with internet exchanges and so have the customers of these data centers. But what really are these internet exchanges and how do they work?
An internet exchange is a physical location that allows internet service providers to host direct interconnections with networks and also exchange IP traffic. Peering between exchanges helps independent networks to share benefits with each other. The interconnection generally happens between ISPs and CDNs.
How does an internet exchange point work?
An ISP is basically a physical location network switches that are able to route traffic between peering networks. These networks also share the costs of maintaining physical infrastructures and associated services. Also interconnection between these networks reduces the costs of routing traffic, while also reducing latency.
In a typical IXP, 2 large layer LANs built with Ethernet have an interconnection between one or more data centers. As we mentioned earlier, the cost of maintenance is shared between two data centers that use the IXP.
IXPs can host traffic exchanges from 10 Gbps up till the ranges of terabytes per second. But it is not just about size, the primary objective of the IXPs is to make sure that all the network routers are seamlessly connected to each other. An interconnection of networks ensures that unnecessary costs are avoided that may arise when connected to all the IXPs across a country.
Why are IXPs important?
Traffic going from the source to the destination will have to on a medium network if not for IXPs. There are transits available in such situations but when it comes to the huge amount of traffic at international levels, it is not financially feasible to maintain direct connections to each and every IXP around the globe. This methods also hinders performance and speeds to a huge extent. A CDN and IXP presence makes sure that the traffic from one city does not have to travel through a long route to reach its destination.
Public and private peering?
Public peering and private peering cater to different businesses with different requirements. Public peering includes large number of network members having an interconnection. Private peering includes inter-connectivity between two network providers having a router in the same carrier-neutral datacenter.
IXPs will play an important role in the future of providing better networking capabilities and strong network connections. As technology advances the performance, scalability, control and speed of the internet exchanges will also see a rising trend.