AMS-IX Comes to CME’s Chicago Data Center
350 East Cermak in Chicago is a key hub in the region’s digital economy and one of the most connected buildings in the country. (Photo: Rich Miller)

AMS-IX Comes to CME’s Chicago Data Center

Internet exchange operator moves into 350 Cermak, in talks with another Chicago data center provider

AMS-IX subsidiary AMS-IX USA has lit up an Internet exchange in the CME Group’s data center at 350 E. Cermak in Chicago.

The non-profit Amsterdam Internet Exchange operator has been expanding in the U.S. aggressively since it first entered the market earlier this year. It has been expanding as part of the Open-IX initiative, meant to create alternatives to the largest Internet exchanges in the country, most of which are operated and controlled by Equinix.

Moving into the data center owned by CME, operator of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, is a major win for AMS-IX. The Internet exchange now gets to sell to CME’s content and financial services customers that lease colocation space there.

The building, owned by Digital Realty Trust, is also one of the most important carrier hotels in the country and home to numerous other data center providers, including Equinix and Telx, both major AMS-IX USA competitors.

After launching a distributed exchange in three data centers in the New York market – two in Manhattan and one in Piscataway, New Jersey – AMS-IX USA lit up a PoP at Digital Realty’s 365 Main facility in San Francisco in September. The big benefit of a distributed exchange is the ability for users in different data centers make peering agreements with each other to reduce inter-data center transit costs.

Each distributed AMS-IX exchange is limited to a single metro. The three New York locations are one exchange. The San Francisco PoP is going to be linked to another one at a CoreSite data center in San Jose. AMS-IX said it was also working with another data center provider in the Chicago market to establish a second PoP in the key Midwestern metro.

“Tenants of CME’s Cermak Hosting Facility benefit from reduced transit costs by peering directly with AMS-IX Chicago,” AMS-IX CEO Job Witteman said in a statement. “This means they also have the ability to peer with parties that are connected to the AMS-IX Chicago from another data center location.”

Role of the Open-IX Foundation, originally started by a group of big network users, such as Netflix and Google, is to standardize. The foundation has released a set of certification requirements for Internet exchanges and for data centers that host them. Certified exchanges hosted by certified data centers can link to each other to become distributed exchanges.

AMS-IX Chicago is “compliant” with the Open-IX standards, meaning the company considers it compliant but it has not actually gone through the certification process. Its Bay Area exchange has the same status.

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