London Internet Exchange Enters U.S. Market With EvoSwitch in Virginia

Fiber Ring Will Connect Three Sites

EvoSwitch’s WDC1 data center in north Virginia is the first of three data centers in the region to reach an agreement with LINX for its initial footprint as a multi-site Internet Exchange (IXP).

“Before we launched into the north Virginia market, we already knew we wanted a strong, neutral Internet Exchange partner to provide our customers with best-in-class peering services.” said Eric Boonstra, CEO of EvoSwitch. “The North American market for network interconnection services has developed very differently from Europe. In Europe, carrier-neutral data centers work closely with neutral IXPs to provide a layer of transparent peering services that are available from multiple, competing data centers in the same market.

“Over time, it will provide our network and content provider customers with real choice on where to colocate, because their peering needs can be met from anywhere in any given metro market,” said Boonstra. “If you’re a data center operator and you want to be on the map, you want to have an Internet exchange. It attracts a lot of operators. Having a LINX point of presence in my data center will create a lot of new business. Some customers we normally would not see will come to us, especially with the space and pricing we have available. I think it will open the market.”

The European approach seeks to extend the exchange across multiple data centers, offering participants a choice among providers and facilities.

“A crucial part of Open-IX is to get exchanges to span buildings,” said Souter. “Without this, you can get lock-in factors, and people can exercise control on the customer base. The operator community is saying loudly and clearly that they want to have exchanges that span multiple buildings. The data center has to compete. EvoSwitch has showed a willingness to compete to succeed in our market.

“We’ll set up a dark fiber ring that connects the three initial data centers together,” Souter continued. “This is the first in the chain. We need other sites to open with LINX too, for the strength of the European model. We do not fear the neutral internet exchange model.”

Aligning With Open IX

The way Open IX  is being framed, any operator and data center can achieve endorsement. The Open IX committee hasn’t figured out all the details, but the essential details are clear. EvoSwitch and LINX here are going to be putting many of those ideas in practice. “We want to be aligned with Open IX,” said Souter.

“EvoSwitch invited us to meet them in Amsterdam” said Souter.  “We used that opportunity to see what EvoSwitch’s angle on the world is: they’re a relatively new entrant to the market, they had to have an edge. We needed to feel they were someone we could partner with and have a good relationship.”

Souter said network equipment maker Juniper Networks has been an important partner for LINX in establishing extremely reliable infrastructure in London, where the exchange can handle up to 1.6 terabits a second of peak traffic. Souter said LINX has discussed the U.S. initiative with its members and received strong support – with some members already lining up a presence at EvoSwitch in Manassas.

“It’s good to hear that some of our members are already making commitments,” he said. “This is not a speculative venture. The scale of ambition is significant.”

DCK’s Rich Miller contributed to this story.

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About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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