IXPs in Asia and Europe remote peer for first time, open door for future collaboration

By on 26 Mar 2019

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Late last year, Japan’s first commercial Internet exchange, JPIX, partnered with the London Internet Exchange (LINX) to enable its customers to connect directly to LINX’s LON1 peering platform, over 9,000kms away in London, via a carrier partner.

Although many IXPs have been supporting remote peering for some time, this is the first instance of it happening between two IXPs across Europe and Asia, and has garnered interest from other IXPs in the Asia Pacific who are also keen to explore the opportunity and the barriers it can overcome.

Read: Uncovering remote peering at IXPs

The new service has been packaged by JPIX as an additional service for its members who wish to ‘test the waters’ in terms of interconnecting with international peers.

“It essentially enables JPIX members to peer with LINX members without both parties having to invest time and money in establishing points of presence and long-tail connections between each economy,” says JPIX Engineer, Masataka Mawatari.

“After a certain amount of time, if they want to solidify the relationship, they can then go through the whole process of developing and investing in direct connections.”

In the meantime, it’s expected that JPIX members who take advantage of the new service will have the opportunity to connect with over 850 LINX members and in doing so potentially increase their peering traffic via the JPIX port to 80%.

As with many economies in the Asia Pacific, the biggest obstacle the service seeks to overcome is the language barrier — English is not as widely spoken as it is in other European economies that LINX members tend to peer with.

“By having JPIX and LINX essentially facilitate the connection, this issue becomes less of an issue, particularly when it comes to discussing the specifics of billing and routing configuration,” says Masataka.

The connection is ordered and managed by JPIX, and the cost is included in monthly invoices; this also saves JPIX customers from foreign exchange rates.

Masataka says that the new service has been popular among members and there has been demand from customers to expand the service to other IXPs in the region.

“We have been in discussions with other IXPs on how we can create similar remote peering partnerships that allow for greater interconnectivity between economies.

“Obviously, our main focus as an IXP still remains keeping local traffic local. However, there is merit and demand for expanding this focus to accommodate our members’ needs for more dense and diverse peering with international partners.”

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