Akamai Becomes First DE-CIX New York Customer

Major CDN player has potential to make German exchange operator's New York City infrastructure an attractive peering location for others

Jason Verge

May 13, 2014

2 Min Read
Akamai Becomes First DE-CIX New York Customer
The exterior of 111 8th Avenue, one of the premier carrier hotels in Manhattan.

Akamai, one of the leading content delivery network providers, has become the first customer of the new Deutsche Commercial Internet Exchange (DE-CIX) Internet exchange at 111 8th. Ave. in New York -- a Google-owned building that is one of the most important carrier hotels in the U.S. and home to many data centers.

DE-CIX NY is part of the European interconnection wave hitting U.S. shores. In addition to DE-CIX, Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) has launched an exchange in New York and London Internet Exchange (LINX) is launching the LINX NoVa exchange across several sites in northern Virginia.

A big reason behind the European interconnection movement coming to American shores is Open-IX. This is an organization seeking to adopt the European model for Internet exchanges to the North American market. Its aim is to create a new network of Internet exchange points (IXPs), creating neutral, member-governed exchanges that allow participants to trade traffic. The group is embracing a non-profit model that is widely used in Europe and spreads exchange operations across multiple data centers in a market.

In the past, the European open model for Internet exchanges has struggled to establish itself in North America. In the current U.S. model, data center operators operate commercial exchanges, serving primarily their own on-campus tenants or connecting customers with passive Private Interconnects (PIs). This has resulted in a concentration of exchange activity at locations controlled by a handful of providers, most notably Equinix.

Akamai is a longstanding DE-CIX customer in Europe and the Middle East and is a big name to land for the newly established exchange. The CDN operator has the potential to make peering there more attractive for others. Akamai started delivering data packets over DE-CIX New York on May 9.

Steven Schecter, senior manager of network architecture at Akamai, said, “Having this new Internet exchange in New York will enable us to connect with other peering partners across a resilient Ethernet platform.”

DE-CIX NY recently introduced the Apollon platform, which is an Ethernet interconnection platform which consists of a 100 Gigabit Ethernet-capable switching system that supports a large number of 100 GE ports across the switching fabric. One port from a DE-CIX site now delivers access to any other customer at the same site or 110 other locations in the New York metro and more than 600 customers at the operator's primary Frankfurt exchange.

DE-CIX NY was first announced in September 2013 and first opened for customer orders in November 2013. Its New York area Internet exchange has scaled across more than 100 access points across Manhattan, New Jersey and Long Island.

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