Why Internet Exchange Points Are Important

Mike Allen
March 16, 2015

"When you are locating your business' office there are a number of different considerations. The first thought is often how will staff get to the new location, is it serviceable for your current suppliers or will new ones have to be found? One of the considerations is rarely whether the office needs to be close to an Internet Exchange Point. This article looks at why this should be one of the most important considerations and how it can impact your business.

WHAT IS AN INTERNET EXCHANGE?

It can be hard sometimes to imagine the internet as something that is stored anywhere else but on your computer. After all, there is no physical entity to visit or corporation that produces or owns it. However, the internet does have physical elements.In simple terms, when we are using the internet we are connecting two networks together to access data. This is called public peering and this is also an essential element of cloud storage. Peering relies on Internet Exchanges (IXs) to function and deliver content across the world. Most major population centers have an internet exchange. The exchange is maintained by a provider which is either a commercial organization or an association of members.The main advantage of an exchange is that it lowers the need for a third-party network to support your data retrieval requests. This reduces the chance there is a potential traffic bottleneck, which would slow down reaction time to requests and costs.

Should You Be Closer To The Internet Exchange Points?

Being local to internet exchanges can be hugely beneficial for your organization if you have to retrieve information from collocation facilities, like data centers, often. This is mainly due to cost of maintaining the network, but is also relevant to the time it takes to retrieve data from the centre. A local request for incident can often be managed by a short fiber cable within the premises or to the local data center. This is relatively secure as well as there are limited interception points and the changes for data to go missing are minimal.However, if you want to retrieve something from an internet exchange that is not located geographically close to your office, you would need more than the fiber cable. It might be that you need a piece of technology like DWDM. Using technology like this, or running extensively long cables, to reach your internet exchange can cost up to $6,500.This is mainly because of signal degradation over long distances. You would need to install or have equipment to help boost and maintain that signal about every 100 km. This equipment would need to be kept in secure premises with backup equipment like power. This can be costly to maintain and is unnecessary when an internet exchange can be located closer to your business' premises.

What Can This Mean For Your Business?

When relocating your business, this can be of vital importance. You don't want to pay a premium because your digital storage organization does not have an internet exchange close to your office.
Therefore, you should always check with your data storage provider whether they have any maintained internet exchanges close to your proposed new business locations. Otherwise you may be paying a premium for keeping your data stored somewhere else and this may not be financially viable for your business.

Internet exchanges are what make the internet a fast and fluid tool for business use. They help you retrieve and send data across the internet and perform tasks. Being close to a network can bring your organization great benefits and help it to achieve more as costs will be lower, response time to data retrieval will be lower and your data will be more secure."



    Mike Allen

    "When you are locating your business' office there are a number of different considerations. The first thought is often how will staff get to the new location, is it serviceable for your current suppliers or will new ones have to be found? One of the considerations is rarely whether the ...