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National IX: The Airport of the Internet

March 16, 2016

March 16, 2016

The CyrusOne National Internet Exchange (IX) meets many requirements for connectivity by delivering carrier-class infrastructure to data centers.

This neutral platform has dedicated high-speed multiple carrier waves and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) between sites already in place. All of this can be delivered from simple cross-connects or a dynamic IX Ethernet switch port.

A simple analogy is that an IX is like a large international airport. Many airlines arrive at an airport, but a particular airline may not own all the air routes departing from that airport. Therefore, it may rely on other airlines to carry their passengers or cargo to their final destination. Passing through a large airport provides a passenger with multiple connections and facilitates a competitive environment between airlines to try to capture that business.

An IX is the airport of the Internet. It is located in a strategic geographic location where multitudes of fiber-optic cables are located, typically with large, dense populations of users nearby.


Most IXs are Not Cost-Effective Solutions

Currently, IXs are located in “carrier hotels” where space is limited and pricing is untenable for anyone other than the largest Internet service providers and content companies. If an enterprise locates its IT infrastructure within one of these IXs today, pricing can be high for the required data center space and power.

This high pricing creates a dilemma. Enterprise companies want the value and resiliency of connecting to the IX; however, enterprises typically have large core production environments, so the cost of locating that much hardware in a carrier hotel is not economically feasible.


Another Connectivity Option Available

There is, however, a dramatic movement being driven by large Internet companies that is changing this dynamic. These companies operate gigantic computer farms with millions of servers located in large wholesale or company-owned data centers. As content has moved away from carrier hotels, it has pulled the core of the Internet traffic away with it.
As multiples of the content companies cohabitate within geographic areas, they are creating new edge interconnection points. Adding IXs at these edge sites now creates a viable connection point for a large-scale enterprise as well. Additionally, there is movement into metro and nationally-connected IXs in North America.

This movement is enabling the edge IX to be directly interconnected to the carrier hotel IX, thereby creating an ecosystem of peers, partners and providers to the edge-connected companies. This immediate ecosystem of connectivity drives resiliency up for the Internet and costs down for the edge-collocated enterprise.

If an enterprise uses the IX to exchange data with cloud providers, the connection into that cloud provider would be direct, without any intermediary Internet service providers or carriers. This direct connection gives an enterprise control over their traffic and lowers the cost basis for access to the compute power they need with the cloud provider.

Purchasing Internet transit, MPLS, or dedicated optical waves, is a process fraught with high costs for an enterprise. The high cost is due to carriers serving enterprise data centers in remote locations, office buildings or other non-core locations. To account for this added edge infrastructure, the carriers must charge more to recover their investments.

To solve this issue, an enterprise should locate its infrastructure within a large carrier-neutral data center, providing access to the infrastructure of the carriers that does not require the cost recovery of an edge location.


CyrusOne’s National IX

Enterprises locating large-scale production environments within Web-scale carrier-neutral data centers can benefit from connectivity cost savings and enjoy a more reliable data center operated by teams focused on uptime. The cost savings advantage of accessing the CyrusOne National IX within the site and multisite environments is a simple formula for dynamic interconnection of the modern enterprise.

CyrusOne’s data center offerings provide the flexibility, reliability, and security that enterprise customers require, and are delivered through a tailored, customer-service-focused platform designed to foster long-term relationships. CyrusOne’s National IX platform provides robust connectivity options to drive revenue, reduce expenses and improve service quality for enterprises, content, and telecommunications companies. CyrusOne is committed to full transparency in communication, management, and service delivery throughout its 31 data centers worldwide.