An Introduction London Internet Exchange November 2016
Background The London Internet Exchange (LINX) is one of the worldâ€™s leading Internet exchange point (IXP) operators. Our company ethos and aspirations result in constant growth and improvement in our services. As a result, members have access to the most attractive peers at the lowest cost. With more than 720 members connecting from over 60 different countries worldwide, LINX members have access to direct routes from a large number of diverse international peering partners. Using LINX allows a reliable exchange of traffic with increased routing control and improved performance. As a not-for-profit organization, we focus on investing our service and membership fees into strengthening LINX network services. This ensures that our infrastructure is as up to date as possible and that we remain at the forefront of the IXP industry.
From feedback, we know that LINX members really value all of the support that is available to them, alongside the outstanding service we offer. Best effort at LINX means something completely different to most organizations, as a not-forprofit mutual, we really do have the members best interests at the heart of what we do. We remain committed to being a member focused organization, now and in the future.
Joining LINX and exchanging traffic could not be easier. We have a simple sign up process with an annual membership fee of less than $1,600 for all members. This mean you can connect at all six LINX LANs, including LINX NoVA, for one membership fee without needing to sign any new IXP contracts or agreements. We are committed to ensuring that our service provides value for money. Thereâ€™s no additional charge for 1G ports, and 10G ports are only billed when the member averages more than 1G of traffic (at 95th percentile) in a month. Additional ports are chargeable dependent on the port size.
Why is LINX doing this?
Not only do we believe it to be fundamental that LINX is able to provide a robust network with first class engineering support, but also that the membership has confidence in us representing them on matters of public policy. By doing so, we are not only working towards the good of our members, but the Internet as a whole. This has led us to become an extremely well regarded organization, with new members finding that once they have joined they have improved their own recognition within the industry.
Vision Statement Create an open community of network operators interconnecting and passing traffic, to maintain and grow an Internet for everyone without interference
History & Motivations From humble beginnings, LINX has evolved into one of the world’s leading Internet exchange points – not only keeping traffic local in areas of the UK, but also providing an international exchange point which is an established part of the global Internet infrastructure. A History of Keeping Traffic Local
Motivations for LINX NoVA
The gestation of LINX began when pioneering ISPs (Demon Internet, PIPEX and Uknet – along with the UKERNA, the academic network) started linking their UK networks together. This was to save the cost and time delays involved in routing data across the Atlantic to US Internet exchanges. It was a painful process, and when BT indicated a willingness to join in, the idea of establishing LINX was born. The goal was to keep traffic local, and that has been a key part of our ethos ever since those pioneering days.
As LINX is guided by its membership, the decision to build an Internet exchange in North Virginia was prompted by its members. UK members had highlighted that the European style multi-site distributed IXP model was simply not available in the North Virginia area and the desire for a neutral IXP driven by ‘good of the Internet’ motives rather than profit was strong. It was felt that the presence of such an entity would offer a valuable choice of connection points and colocation partners that would bring flexibility to the market.
In 1994 the then Chief Technical Officer of PIPEX, initiated a meeting to discuss the creation of a Londonbased Internet exchange. PIPEX provided the LINX founders with a Cisco Catalyst 1200 switch with eight 10-megabit ports, and rack space was leased at a virtually empty data center operated by Telehouse International Corporation of Europe Ltd at Coriander Avenue in London’s Docklands.
Part of the LINX vision is to maintain and grow an internet for everyone, local exchanges keep traffic local which means the internet service becomes more efficient for all. A more efficient and reliable service encourages growth.
As a mutual organization, we are 100% committed to serving our members. That naturally means we are satisfied that expanding to NoVA will benefit our existing members as well as welcoming new members to our community
Collateral Benefits • An alternative model to complement the existing USA exchange point landscape • Creating an opportunity to work with data center operators in other ways • To become part of a community with similar needs and goals • Improve resilience and reliability of services • Contributing to the growth of the interconnect eco-system in the region and associated benefits
Governance LINX is a mutual, neutral organization. We are owned wholly by our members making it a unique place where competitors work together towards common objectives.
Structure of LINX
Relationship with Members
LINX is governed by a Council (Board of Directors), elected from amongst our members.
The relationship between LINX and its members is governed by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Our members meet at a conference four times per year, which also acts as a general meeting of the company. This means our membership continues to exert direct control over the key strategic decisions of the company – such as our decision to expand to NoVA. Members who join the LINX NoVA exchange will be full members of LINX, with the same rights and privileges as every other member, including equal voting rights on a onemember one-vote basis.
LINX Memorandum and Articles of Association Since 1995 LINX has been a company limited by guarantee. The legal basis of the company is laid out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
As a neutral, mutual organization it is very important to us that we do not give special privileges to any particular members, so the MoU applies equally to the whole membership. Any member – or prospective member – is welcome to suggest changes, but these would need to be ratified by LINX members (or occasionally staff) so that the same terms continue to apply to all members equally.
Changes to the MoU are binding on all members, who are therefore encouraged to stay engaged and aware of their own undertakings as signatories.
LINX NoVA Who owns it?
LINXâ€™s worldwide headquarters are based in the City of London. We operate six peering LANs across the UK and USA as a single membership organization.
As a mutual, LINX is run for its members, by its members
As we have shown elsewhere in this document, LINX believes in the mutual, membership-based model of an IXP. We have been this way for almost 25 years, and have championed this very strongly wherever we can. When this was challenged, in 2000, by an attempted demutualisation, our members rejected the buy-out proposal and reaffirmed their strong commitment to the mutual model. We have remained fully committed to mutuality ever since. It is therefore completely natural for us to want robust North American community engagement. Fundamentally, we are one membership body, and therefore the ultimate governance of LINX is still that same membership body (you can see how this is formally expressed via links in the Governance section of this document). LINX is now operating a set of exchanges outside of our original base in London. We already have three of these exchanges open in the UK, in Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff. More are expected to follow. In each exchange that we open, we first
Community Engagement & Involvement establish a local community of interest, and then encourage them to set up a local steering committee. We are following the same approach in NoVA and have begun to build up group of volunteers from the local community to do this. We believe it is essential to have a local community to cherish an exchange, and to guide its development. We will therefore do our best to involve the local community in every aspect of the exchange, whether that be basic issues such as the exchange fabric, data center PoPs (and deciding how and when to expand the exchange) and connectivity between them, or whether it be the inevitable ‘public affairs’ issues associated with running an exchange.
See elsewhere in this document for our definition of ‘public affairs’, and the role of public affairs in the dual mission of LINX. The Ashburn and Northern Virginia region represents more than just a local community however. Of course there is a great density of network operators with presence in the area, but as NoVA is a national as well as regional peering point often the network engineering teams of those companies are spread across the country. Much like in London, the LINX NoVA community is there to bring those national a regional networks together, giving them opportunity to connect in both the technical and the personal sense.
Service and policy decisions are debated and voted on by LINX members
More than 90 LINX members are from the North American network community Monitoring and Measurement LINX publishes performance metrics for the availability/reliability of the exchange fabrics that we operate. We are proud of the fact that the LINX NoVA exchange consistently performs above the aspirational ‘five nines’ so rarely achieved for a multi-site Internet exchange. Indeed, we are so confident of these performance we are the only IXP to publish any such availability statistics. New port provisioning and upgrades are carried out extremely quickly, and we intend to publish statistics to back this up as we upgrade our internal systems (to automate it). We will attempt to service any other requests for performance feedback from the local community or local steering committee.
North American Organizational accountability to stakeholders Ultimately, LINX is accountable to our members, and many of our existing members – more than 90 – are from the North American network operator community. North American members have always been quite active in LINX governance (and hence accountability to stakeholders), and we have had a North American representative on our Board for the last twelve years. We expect the local steering committee
to play a key role in this aspect, both to provide a focus for concentration on the development of the NoVA exchange and also by providing them with the means to speak directly to the whole of the local community. We believe that transparency is healthy and breeds trust.
North American Collaborations and Partnerships with both the networking and data-center community For some years now, LINX has made it a habit to always be represented by staff at NANOG meetings, which are the most obvious manifestation of the North American operator community. Our staff have previously been part of the NANOG steering committee, given the occasional presentation, and we routinely take advantage of the proximity of significant numbers of our members to hold outreach events at NANOG. We also support the NANOG organization through regular sponsorship of its events. Specifically for the peering community, we are one of the host sponsors of the Global Peering Forum (GPF), and have had a LINX representative on the GPF Board since it’s formation as an official organization
Elsewhere we support and work closely with the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (I2C) and ISOC, both active partners in the regulatory space, enabling us to keep members informed on matters of public policy of relevance. We network with the data center operator community in a number of ways. Firstly, some are members of Euro-IX, a trade association for Internet exchange point operators co-founded by LINX, and one in which we have always played a significant part. We also meet the operators at a number of other events on a regular basis, and do, of course, collaborate very closely with those that become our hosting partners in the USA. LINX tries to be neutral in all that it does, so we don’t form exclusive partnerships, and are therefore always open to talk to new data center operators.
Operating as a non-profit LINX America Inc is a fully owned subsidiary of our LINX Trading services company, which itself is a subsidiary of LINX. This structure has been devised for the best interests of our members, following extensive advice, but overall LINX America will be operated on a not-for-profit basis, consistent with the overall aims of LINX, where LINX is a UK not-for-profit organization.
LINX Member Relations are a dedicated team who offer top level help and support regarding all aspects of LINX membership. This includes the co-ordination of events and advising on products and services LINX has a member relations team dedicated to supporting BGP peering members. As a result, they have detailed knowledge of Internet exchanges, how they function and are able to offer a first-class level of support comparable to any other multiple service provider offering Internet exchange connectivity as part of their portfolio. Technical support is provided through our network operations center on a 24x7 basis.
The community is fostered through different events and communications throughout the year. A mailing list for exclusive use by the NoVA members is available to enable group discussions and to receive instant feedback on any collective issues that the community may be experiencing. A LINX member magazine is distributed quarterly with industry news and updated member information.
The member relations team also conduct member consultations and satisfaction surveys as well as ordering or moving ports and assisting with peering requests. They also help with invoice and billing queries plus much more besides.
LINX NoVA Community Events
We follow up this detailed support by creating member communities including the LINX NoVA advisory board. The communities create a friendly environment enabling networking professionals to exchange best practice ideas in a non-competitive environment. It also allows them to build more peering relationships helping to maximize any investment in the Internet exchange connectivity.
As already stated LINX staff regularly attend the leading telecoms conferences in North America. Spin-off events are often scheduled for members to enable them to meet face to face with our staff and other local members in a relaxed environment.
Local Events • Regular dedicated local member meetings • Access to wider international member conferences • Outreach forums linked to industry events
LINX also hold specific member meetings for the LINX NoVA community, again to encourage discussion and the setting up of peering relationships. Whilst facilitated by LINX the local community set the agenda for the meetings, and the sessions are often combined with training sessions. In addition there is an open invitation to all North American members to attend any of the four LINX member conferences (held in the UK) and the European Peering Forum.
LINX Member Relations: Serving the needs of the membership community
A Comprehensive Range of Products and Services are Available LINX NoVA offer the full range of product and services expected at a world leading exchange. These include peering ports at 1GE, 10 GE and 100GE. If there is sufficient demand we will also consider offering private peering services. Connection to LINX can be enabled either directly by the member or indirectly by using one of our ConneXions partners or the LINX from Anywhere service.
Product & Service Offerings As a member, what services do you want to see at LINX NoVA?
These services will be supported in the following way:
LINX NoVA Services • •
Traffic statistics (per port, per member, per exchange, etc.) 24x7 support services (including a 24 hour NOC service) • On line portal for ordering services, raising support tickets etc. • Route server, for multilateral peering
“We are able to provide our full range of services at LINX NoVA including LINX from Anywhere, ConneXions, IXP Reseller and colocation resales” Ben Hedges, CEO LINX America
Data Center Partners
LINX NoVA is a three site exchange, based in Ashburn, Reston and Manassas. Discussions are already underway to extend this, based on our open stance towards data center operators – subject only to there being sufficient demand to justify building and operating further points of presence.
• CoreSite 12100 Sunrise Valley Dr, Reston, VA 20191 • DuPont Fabros 44521 Hastings Dr, Ashburn, VA 20147 • EvoSwitch 19651 Hornbaker Rd, Manassas, VA 20109
Why more than one location?
Topology & Engineering LINX NoVA uses the same Juniper MX960 configuration used so successfully on the primary LINX LAN which currently carries 2.5Tb/s of peak traffic Peering LAN
LINX NoVA is located at three different sites. At each one we have installed high-end Juniper hardware and line cards. Various devices are used to support each local site as well as connectivity to the other two locations. Additionally two route servers are available to enable multi-lateral peering plus a BGP speaking router to monitor the number of prefixes advertised at LINX NoVA.
Networks can connect and peer at LINX NoVA in a number of ways. Options include remote peering via carrier partners, using the LINX from Anywhere and ConneXions remote peering products. By accessing our peering facilities remotely your BGP router can be anywhere in the world. In addition, networks can also reach LINX NoVA via one of its Virtual PoP partners and also through Equinix. Again,these connections are either provided via a LINX approved Layer-2 carrier or via a DWDM connection operated by LINX.
Intersite Connectivity The sites are connected together by a diverse dark fibre ring, over which we use DWDM passive muxes to run multiple 10G wavelengths to provide the required capacity. The peering LAN itself is a VPLS instance, which ensures fast failover via backup LSP paths in the event of a fibre cut or other link failure.
Any network that has a router within one of the LINX NoVA enabled data centers can connect and peer very easily by ordering a cross connect.
Please note that the LINX NoVA peering LAN will not connect back to London - all traffic will be switched locally
Infrastructure Support and Monitoring Extensive work has been put into developing suitable support and monitoring facilities at LINX NoVA. In addition to all the online tools that have been developed over the twenty year history of LINX, we have put in place a number of important additions: • Dual out of band systems connected back to our 24/7 NOC in the UK; • Specific dark fibre monitoring, in conjunction with our supplier partner; • Local ‘smart hands’ arrangements with our colocation partners; • On site spares for important components, and a fast turnaround spares holding and support arrangement with our equipment supplier partner; • A relationship with a local engineering consultancy company, to supplement things speedily, should we need it.
Contact LINX London Internet Exchange Ltd 5th Floor, 24 Monument Street London EC3R 8AJ United Kingdom London America Inc 44121 Harry Byrd Hwy Ashburn, VA 20147 US Phone: +1 571 364 0190 UK Phone: +44 20 7645 3501 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.linx.net
LINX America is a subsidiary of the London Internet Exchange Limited