In a digital world that sees the growing presence of Internet service providers, cloud service providers, content delivery networks, points of presence, data centers, and OTT players — Internet Exchanges Providers (IXPs) play a crucial role in tying it all together to bring these services to customers at cost-effective rates and the lowest latency. And with the growth of data traffic in India, latency and cost become vital factors for service providers.
In an email interview with DIGITAL CREED, Ivo A. Ivanov, Chief Operating Officer, DE-CIX Group AG and CEO DE-CIX International explains the role of his company in this ecosystem. DE-CIX has a growing presence in India and currently interconnects more than 270+ networks including ISPs, content networks, cloud providers, DNS root servers, and OTT players, with peak traffic of more than 1 Tbps.
Ivanov is responsible for the global business activities of the Internet Exchange Operator. He has more than 15 years’ of experience in the regulatory, legal and commercial Internet environment.
Ivo joined DE-CIX in January 2007. In recent years, Ivo has been deeply involved in the establishment DE-CIX sites in Istanbul, Palermo, Madrid, Marseille, New York, Dallas, Dubai (UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX) as well as Mumbai (Mumbai IX powered by DE-CIX), and several DE-CIX consultancy projects in Africa, Asia and Europe.
DC: What is your business model? What service do you provide?
DE-CIX India is a carrier and data center-neutral Internet Exchange (IX) operator, and primarily interconnects networks by providing interconnection services like GlobePEER and DirectCLOUD. In terms of the peering service, we act as the facilitator for networks to get the benefits of peering without negotiating agreements to each other manually. With access to our content-rich interconnection platform, networks can enhance and adapt their services. The highly improved latency, high-speed, access to local peer-to-peer traffic and reduced transit costs could be a game changer for customer networks. With DE-CIX DirectCLOUD, ISPs can offer their customers a direct connection to cloud providers; secure and with guaranteed bandwidth.
DC: In which markets do you operate?
DE-CIX India is part of DE-CIX, a global IX operator headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. DE-CIX India runs carrier and data center-neutral IXs in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai. Originally founded by Mumbai CH, it is now operated by DE-CIX Interwire Internet Services Private Limited, which owns a nationwide license for India. DE-CIX India’s Internet Exchanges currently interconnect more than 270+ networks including ISPs, content networks, cloud providers, DNS root servers, and OTT players, with peak traffic of more than 1 Tbps. We have over 12 point of presences (PoPs).
DC: Does DE-CIX operate its own data centers or do they operate through other data centers?
We do not build datacenters; we are tenants in partner data centers with our infrastructure. We focus on interconnection and cloud services across our carrier and data center neutral network.
DE-CIX India is a carrier- and data center neutral Internet exchange present in 12 data centers, pan India.
The DE-CIX business model involves Cloud Exchanges and Internet Exchanges which are operated through carrier neutral data center operators across the world. In India, we are partnered with GPX, ST Telemedia, Netmagic DC, Web Werks DC and Sify.
Each DE-CIX location is interconnected with its own DWDM network paths. Customers can directly connect their network at any PoP and get access to the ecosystems.
DC: Can you explain how you partner with ISPs and CDNs? What role do you play here?
We onboard the CDNs and ISPs at any of the 12 point of presences we have, by giving them access via a port (the port size can vary between 1GE and 100GE, depending on the customers’ needs). Then, every connected customer can exchange traffic internally with any other connected customer through settlement-free agreements. At times we also assist customers or partners in negotiations or speeding up the interconnection process using our close relations within the market. In summary: we make interconnection easy, anywhere.
DC: How does your service compare with Akamai’s edge network and Limelight CDN? Are those companies considered as competitors?
DE-CIX India interconnects CDNs and other networks with each other and their customers. In fact, Akamai and Limelight are not competitors – they are our customers at most of the DE-CIX Internet Exchanges globally. We provide an ecosystem that interconnects OTT´s and CDN’s to reach customer networks through our infrastructure.
DC: Can you explain the demand you are trying to address? How do you do this?
Through our basic peering service (GlobePEER), we help our customers to save on bandwidth cost, while improving their latency to top content networks. Therefore, all connected networks are able to exchange data very fast and secure with their customers. Our DirectCLOUD service enables enterprises to connect with many top Cloud providers where they have hosted their workloads through physical connectivity. Both of these products can be configured over a single cross connect.
DC: What investments are you making in India?
DE-CIX is investing in digital infrastructure in India, in line with the government’s Digital India initiative. During the last few months, we have not only added more datacenter locations in all four markets, but also have upgraded several core backbone capacities to serve customers better regarding their needs, and also to meet the future demands of Internet users in India.
DC: What medium do you use for interconnectivity across continents? Satellite, terrestrial, or submarine cable?
DE-CIX India uses terrestrial and submarine cables for interconnectivity across continents.
DC: Why has the role of IXPs become more important today?
Without any doubt, the Internet is an essential part of life. Everything and everyone exist digitally these days. During the current COVID situation, we have seen over 192% growth of overall data traffic in India. This is of course due to the increased demand — people are in the home office doing more video calls and online communication; use of home-schooling tools; digital entertainment. We made significant infrastructure investments and will continue doing investing in the market.
DC: What role does an IXP play in data governance, privacy?
DE-CIX, in India as well as globally, believes in user privacy and law of the land. Therefore, we do everything in our power to protect privacy and private data. DE-CIX India holds a pan India license and always followed the local rules and regulations. As a carrier- and data center neutral IX, we provide infrastructure for our customers to exchange data and make the most out of their connection to DE-CIX – at a maximum secure and resilient level.