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

Sep 17th, 2019 By Savvas Bout

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

The virtual human habitat of online world accommodates more than half of the global population and is expanding. 


The role of the Internet has changed from a communication channel to a digital ecosystem that keeps transforming to meet the changing perceptions and user expectations. 


Reliable and efficient data transfer is the backbone for any network, including the Internet. IP transit and Peering are ISP definitions used to describe how connections are made between entities and their associated hierarchies that make up the Internet. 


IP Transit


IP transit makes the Internet accessible for the mass, and it works as follows. You connect to the Internet from your home, office or mobile device through your local ISP. The ISP doesn't have the resources to reach the destination server and transfer the request to an upstream provider. The upstream provider or backbone networks control the traffic and reach the destination server. 

They charge the ISP for using their resources, and the ISP recovers it through customer subscription charges. 


Since the charges are calculated based on the volume of data, IP transit is an unviable option for massive data transfer. Besides, the upstream provider makes decisions about the transition path based on his preferences only. If the chosen network has any performance issues, it can lead to permanent reputation damages to the ISP. 




Peering is a dedicated communication channel between two equal-sized networks with almost identical data transfer requirements. 


Since it is a one to one connection, there is no role for an intermediatory system; no carrier charges are applicable. The volume of data transfer is often identical, and hence, most of the peering networks follow a cost-free approach. 


Private Peering and Public Peering are the two types of Peering.


Private Peering


It is a dedicated physical connection between two networks. Private Peering provides an efficient data transfer mechanism by avoiding slow networks or poorly optimized transition paths. 


Costs for cabling, technical limitations to expand beyond the facility and single point failure are some of the significant disadvantages of private Peering. 


Public Peering


Public Peering uses an Ethernet switch, with its ports connected to different peering networks, to work as an Internet Exchange Point (IXP). An IXP avoids the requirement for expensive direct cabling between peers and provides multiple peering options for each peer. 


IXP switches operate from data centers or network facilities. The broad scope and functionality of the peering networks make public peering the right choice for peering requirements across cities. Cost advantage and extensibility are the primary features for making public peering this much popular. 


At LSIX, we offer an option to connect to our redundant route servers apart from peer to peer connections. Setting up direct peers with our route servers enables access to a consolidated set of routes shared by all other participating members. You can check our Public peering service details such as its access features, multiple ports available and the costs.


Some of the other benefits of Peering using an IXP are:


1. Port Redundancy:


For an IXP, each port represents a peering partner. If one port is dysfunctional, then a new peering agreement can be established with another port. This redundancy improves reliability and helps to restore normalcy without much down during network outages. 


2. Scalability:


An IXP has multiple ports of varying capacities. You can switch the ports as and when required in a hassle-free way. It enables you to ensure the right resources for your business at various stages of development without any compromise. 


3. Improved Fault Tolerance


The world-class infrastructure of datacentres, from where the IXP operates, makes it immune to a slew of issues such as power outages, network issues or hardware failures. 


4. Network Performance 


IXP enables the administrator to choose multiple routes to reach the destination. It is a significant advantage over the IP transit's inherent issue of zero control over the transient path and private Peering's restriction of being bound to a single communication channel, irrespective of its performance. 


5. Reduced Operational Costs 


The ability to establish multiple BGP sessions within a single peering significantly improves resource optimization. Besides peering through an IXP offers better speed, improved reliability and enhances the customer satisfaction levels at a highly reduced cost.


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) is a pioneer in high-quality public Peering throughout the Netherlands. Our data centers at Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hague, Delft, and innovative plans make efficient peering accessible and affordable to the public. 


LSIX, with its adamant approach for quality, innovation and customer support, fulfill the requirements for a broad spectrum of users from small ISP to massive content delivery networks across the Netherlands. 


Our cost-effective, feature-rich plans and continuous availability of high-quality support are the major contributive elements in establishing LSIX as the most reputed and trusted peering service provider in the Netherlands.



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