Why Enterprises are joining IXPs as part of their digital transformation strategy
20 May 2019 | Delphine Masciopinto
For most corporate enterprises, the pursuit of digital transformation is driven by the need to continuously improve operational agility and efficiency so that they can better serve existing customers and open-up new opportunities for growth.
One way to increase operational efficiency is to migrate business-critical applications and data to the cloud, which raises the question of how to maintain reliable and consistent access without it being too expensive? Business-grade access to applications hosted in the cloud requires adequate links to the cloud-hosting company – in an ideal world these would be robust dedicated interconnections that are the shortest and the most reliable possible paths.
IXPs – a direct route to the cloud
An IXP is a thriving ecosystem of carrier networks, CDNs, social networks, cloud and IT service providers who choose to interconnect with each other in the common interest – this is known as peering. As the fastest and shortest route to other peering members, an IXP peering connection greatly reduces latency, increases speed and reduces the cost of an organisation’s Internet traffic whilst improving bandwidth and routing efficiency.
Because of this, more and more enterprises are turning to public peering as a valuable business solution. With IXPs offering one monthly subscription, priced in cents per Mbps per month instead of euros per Mbps per month, IXPs provide great value for money.
Historically, IXPs count operators and content providers as members but nowadays, an enterprise member gets to peer with a wide range of important service providers. These include public cloud providers, security app providers, collaborative creation environments, SaaS and IaaS providers and major content and social media networks such as AWS, Office 365, WebEx, salesforce, dropbox, OVH, zScaler, Akamai and more. They also get access to commodity traffic such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, dailymotion and many more. This traffic is delivered through the IX platform with unbeatable value for money, simplicity and flexibility.
The IXP bonus
IXPs have proven stability with quality of service matching corporate expectations and service fulfilment counted in days not weeks. At the leading IXP in France, up to 80-90% of the IP routes are available on day one and routing is always optimised. In addition, public peering offers latency comparable to a LAN, so performance is improved and network resilience is also optimised.
Furthermore, if the IXP has a Marketplace, members can cost effectively purchase additional IP-centric services including IP transit, anti-DDoS, Cloud Direct Access, paid peering and network traffic intelligence solutions to name just a few.
The partnership between enterprises wanting business-grade access to the cloud and IXP connectivity is a mutually beneficial one. Corporates joining IXPs soon discover that membership gives them the IP network they need for reaching the public Internet. They gain access to and resilience for business-critical applications, optimised network performance and a means of carrying non-critical Internet traffic at the lowest cost. They also gain direct access to national and international carriers and also to non-business critical traffic such as social media and online video, which is driving the explosive growth of their Internet bandwidth. In turn, Internet Exchange Points expands their services to new market segments, contributing to the overall growth and rewards for the entire Internet community.
In France, a variety of cloud-based players are already IXP peering members. Companies such as Schneider Electric, Lacoste, Saint-Gobain, Air Liquide, Kering, LVMH or AXA technology services have all become members thanks to the digital transformation benefits gained from peering. And this seems to be only the beginning as this phenomenon amplifies in the energy, manufacturing, automotive, transportation, retail and banking businesses.
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