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What is Peering? 5 key benefits of peering at an IXP

Jan 22nd, 2020 By Savvas Bout

What is Peering? 5 key benefits of peering at an IXP

The Internet with its wide network of networks constitute the new virtual habitat, online world, for the human race and make it competent to contain an ever-expanding user base. 
The Internet practically works through internetwork communications and sharing of resources. The most popular approaches for this process are IP Transit and Peering. 


IP Transit 

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if someone says that IP transit is the technology that runs the internet. 
You connect to the internet through your local ISP. But your ISP doesn’t have the infrastructure to fetch websites from the servers located at different regions of the globe. Then what makes it possible for a boy to stream the videos on his mobile phone from a server hosted on another end of the atlas? 
 The answer is IP transit. It works as below.
Your ISP carries your requests and forward it to an upstream provider with a vast network or to a backbone network.  The upstream provider routes the request to the destination network and makes the final mile delivery. They charge the ISP a certain amount for using their resources and the ISP recovers these settlement fees from the end-user as subscription charges. 
IP transit works between two unequal partners and incurs heavy expenses during high volume data transfer. The upstream provider may use non-optimized networks and can create latency issues due to poor connectivity at a distant location, which you may not even be heard of. 

Peering

Peering denotes a dedicated communication channel between two equal-sized networks with almost identical data transfer requirement. Since the volume of data to be transferred between the peers is almost equal, it is a mutually beneficial deal and hence operates without any fees. 
Besides, peering helps you to abide by the legal restrictions of some countries that limit the data transfer within its geographical boundaries. 
 Peering is widely classified into two categories Private Peering and Public Peering 

Private Peering 

Private Peering uses a dedicated physical communication channel between peers. Since this is a one to one connection between high volume traffic networks, they can bypass the internet backbones and eliminate soft spots such as slow connections, packet loss or vulnerable networks. 
The technical challenges in setting up a dedicated network across different locations reduce the operational radius of Private Peering significantly. 

Public Peering 

Here, the peering networks are connected to the ports of an ethernet switch that acts as an Internet Exchange Point (IXP).  The IXP manages to peer between the ports or connected networks. 
The key benefits of Peering using an IXP are:

1.    Port Redundancy: 
Unlike in private peering, a peering network can negotiate and establish a connection across any available ports. This improves redundancy as you can switch to another peering network without any cabling in the event of a failure in your existing port.  
2.    Scalability: 
A private peering uses a dedicated channel and you have to settle with its limitations such as bandwidth, transfer speed, etc. An IXP has multiple ports with varying capacities that enables you to scale your network capacity by negotiating and establishing partnerships with new peers. 
3.    Improved Fault Tolerance 
IXP switches are located in datacenters with advanced infrastructure. This makes the system immune to various catastrophic events such as power outages network unavailability, Security threats and prolonged waiting for hardware replacement.
4.    Better Administrative Control  
  One of the major drawbacks with IP transit is the network administrator’s inability to decide the transit path. In a public peering network, he has better control over the route to be chosen for reaching the destination by analyzing the available peers in the IXP. 
5.    Lower Costs
Peering is the best choice for high volume data transfer. It not only eliminates the high costs of IP transit but also improves the user experience significantly through better transfer speed. Similarly, the ability to establish multiple BGP sessions significantly improves resource optimization and keeps the costs under control. 

How LSIX make public peering available in the Netherlands? 

The Layer Switch Internet Exchange (LSIX), previously known as the Data Facilities Internet Exchange (DF-IX) provides high-quality public peering throughout the Netherlands with its world-class data centers in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hague, Delft and innovative plans. Our data centers with their exceptional infrastructure ensure continuous and secure peering for a wide spectrum of users from small internet service providers, data centers and large international content delivery networks.
Our plan features, scalability, network robustness, port redundancy, cost-effectiveness and quality support are the major elements in establishing LSIX as the most reputed and trusted peering service provider in the Netherlands.

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