13 January 2022

Stable Internet despite Omicron: DE-CIX sees its critical infrastructure well prepared for new Covid wave

Frankfurt (Germany), 13 January 2022: Against the backdrop of rising infection rates globally in connection with the new Omicron virus variant, the world’s leading operator of Internet Exchanges, DE-CIX, believes its infrastructure is well prepared for the new wave of Covid-19 infections. The company’s crisis preparation rests on three pillars:

1. Employee health and emergency plans: “The health and well-being of our employees is our top priority,” explains Dr. Thomas King, CTO at DE-CIX. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have therefore further developed existing emergency plans and security measures for the DE-CIX workforce and implemented these changes. This includes a home office obligation and separation of teams, but also early vaccination and booster offers for all employees. In addition, for example, should fewer personnel be available for a period of time, expansion plans within the DE-CIX infrastructure can be scaled back as necessary without impacting ongoing DE-CIX operations.”

2. Automation and virtualization: “We've relied on automation for years, so much of our interconnection ecosystem can be maintained and monitored remotely. This means that only in rare cases is manual physical intervention required in the data centers,” according to King. DE-CIX offers an open customer interface (API) to its platform, as well as a self-service portal through which customers can independently adjust bandwidth requirements, for example. The implementation is largely automated, thanks to the extensive virtualization of the infrastructure.

3. Advance planning for capacity: Already in the early stages of the pandemic, back in March 2020 during the first global lock-down, questions were raised as to the capacity limits of the Internet and the resilience of the DE-CIX infrastructure. “Capacity in our own network is expanded on a regular basis and for the long term. We always plan around 12 months in advance. As soon as we reach approx. 60% of existing capacities, we expand our capacities further. The remaining 40% of free capacity is needed, firstly, for redundancies and, secondly, so that we always have enough free capacity for increases in data traffic,” Dr. Thomas King explains the systemic expansion of capacities at DE-CIX locations.

DE-CIX operates 32 locations worldwide in Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Asia, connecting over 2400 carriers, Internet service providers (ISPs), content providers, and corporate networks from more than 100 countries. Together, the DE-CIX Internet Exchanges form the world’s largest neutral interconnection ecosystem, with a connected customer capacity of more than 90 terabits. DE-CIX in Frankfurt am Main is one of the largest Internet Exchanges in the world, with a data throughput of almost 11 terabits per second (Tbps) and over 1,000 connected networks.