Public peering has been the primary method of exchanging traffic in Europe for over 20 years. Used by both large and small networks to aggregate groups of peers on to an efficient and cost-effective service. This is done by using a shared switching fabric based on layer 2 Ethernet technology.
Networks are able to connect using a single physical port or use multiple ports together to create a large single virtual port. Once connected to a public peering exchange networks can setup or remove interconnections to other networks without needing to physically re-provision any circuits. Members can host their hardware within the same data centre that hosts our shared switching fabric or they can connect from many miles away and peer remotely via a layer 2 carrier network. LINX has two remote peering solutions one called LINX from Anywhere and the other is called ConneXions.
Launched in 2013, the Scotland Exchange (IXScotland) is located in one site in Edinburgh, which belongs to Pulsant data centre.
IXScotland has 20 member connected ports, three of which are LINX reseller ConneXions partners. IXScotland is one of the smaller exchanges in Europe. However IXScotland was set up to help enhance the UK’s Internet infrastructure with the aim of keeping traffic local.
Bilateral & Multilateral Peering
To generate traffic in Scotland you will need to set-up sessions with the other participating networks. Traditionally this was done via bilateral peering agreements. Networks would either meet face to face or request to peer via email. The administration of dealing with hundreds of peers lead to the development of multilateral peering (MLP). Instead of negotiating with each network present, networks can use a single agreement / BGP session to access tens of thousands of route prefixes. A network can arrange instant peering with a large group of peers. MLP is recommended for new members who want traffic flowing from day one.
Public Peering Consultations
The LINX mission has always been to keep traffic local. Over the years the Internet has evolved and access speeds have increased. The definition of what local means has also needed to be redefined. Responding to this challenge LINX has consulted with network operators all round the UK about enabling networks to publicly peer outside of London. We have called this the local peering initiative.