German Internet Exchange DE-CIX Enters NY Market

The European Invasion of internet exchanges continues, as Germany's DE-CIX is bringing its open Internet exchange to New York City. This follow London's LINX recent move in bringing its open exchange to northern Virginia. The European model is picking up steam stateside, bolstered by the recent Open-IX movement.

Jason Verge

September 19, 2013

4 Min Read
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The European invasion of open Internet exchanges continues, and the landscape of Internet exchanges is drastically changing. DE-CIX (Deutsche Commercial Internet Exchange) is opening a new exchange in New York City, following the recent, similar move by the London internet Exchange (LINX) to open a site in northern Virginia. Both efforts are bolstered by the Open IX movement, which continues to gain steam stateside.

DE-CIX is a major Internet exchange operator headquartered in Frankfurt Germany, where it can handle more than 2.5 terabits per second of peak traffic from the 500 participants in its platform. DE-CIX successfully operates and manages Internet exchanges throughout the globe, including UAE-IX in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), which recently announced record growth; and DE-CIX in Frankfurt, Germany.

In the past, the European, open model for Internet exchanges has struggled to establish itself in America. In the current U.S. model, data centers primarily serve their own on-campus tenants or connect customers with passive Private Interconnects (PI). This has resulted in a concentration of activity in a handful of providers, most notably Equinix. The recent rise of the Open-IX movement has reinvigorated efforts to bring in the open, European approach to exchanges.

The plan is for DE-CIX to establish Internet exchanges in major U.S. metro regions. New York City is the first to receive a DE-CIX distributed, carrier- and data center-neutral Internet Exchange. Built on the successful open model as DE-CIX in Frankfurt, DE-CIX North America will engineer the new Internet exchanges in the U.S. for high-capacity, high-performance Layer 2 interconnection known as Peering.

Following the open Internet exchange approach, DE-CIX will continue to support the Open-IX initiative, which is a new industry group that supports, among other topics, the creation of neutral and cost-efficient Internet exchanges that are backed by the Internet community at large.

DE-CIX will deploy a large-scale Ethernet switching fabric, combined with an all-fiber metro optical backbone that supports traffic volumes of up to numerous Terabits per second across multiple data centers in the selected metropolitan areas. This will enable all types of Internet providers to exchange traffic across the neutral, distributed infrastructure.

New York City Ideal Starting Point

The City of New York has already taken action to address digital infrastructure development with programs such as the ConnectNYC Fiber Access program. These efforts are an essential element of making the city a better place for both companies and individuals.

“We are in the midst of transforming New York City into the world’s leading digital city,” says Rachel Haot, New York City’s Chief Digital Officer. “Our work is about ensuring that digital technology touches all New Yorkers to improve their lives. Implementing this neutral Internet exchange in our City is an important step forward in improving the fundamental technology infrastructure that fuels our New York City and enables it to compete globally with other digital hubs.”

DE-CIX is tackling New York first, while LINX has chosen Northern Virginia as its initial entry point, providing European-style exchange plays in the two biggest data center hubs in the U.S. DE-CIX says it will follow up with exchanges in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.

“New York is a world-class city with an active interest in evolving its digital infrastructure to the highest levels,” said Harald Summa, CEO for DE-CIX. “The city is the top choice for Internet companies right now. We therefore selected New York City as the headquarters of our new U.S. operations and also decided to make New York the home of our first Internet exchange deployment in North America.”

“NYC is home to a huge concentration of ISPs, including broadband providers, content companies and a thriving and growing tech community,” said Summa. “Establishing and developing the new exchange will go far in elevating New York’s reputation as one of the world’s great technology hubs, in addition to its other first-rate attributes. DE-CIX’s new exchange in New York will be operational soon, while we are also planning for deployments in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. DE-CIX will help these selected cities to grow their role as Internet hubs and finally achieve the major role they deserve in the global Internet ecosystem.”

So far, no specific sites or providers have been mentioned, as the company isn't disclosing this. "Our typical approach is to follow our customers," said Frank P Orlowski, Head of Marketing, DE-CIX. "This means we build out to facilities where we find a lot of potential clients. For NYC, we plan to add some other interesting sites, too. There is a window of opportunity for new carrier Hotels such as 325 Hudson and we are ready to take a look at some of those new facilities, too."

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