16 December 2021

IX-API gains momentum as partners build an IX-API ecosystem

Last month, the IX-API initiators DE-CIX, AMS-IX and LINX organised a virtual consultation workshop for other global Internet Exchange Points (IXPs,) member networks, and customers. The goal of the workshop was to get feedback from the community for new features for a version 3.0 of IX-API  and give the wider community an update on the progress of the project.

The first adopters of the IX-API attended the workshop and shared their user stories. The outcome of this was valuable feedback that has now been captured and put into a specification document that will become a working project over the next few months.  

“Now that we have developed the foundations, driving additional functionality that our customers need is the highest on our priority list. This is supporting cloud connectivity and making monitoring and statistical data available for customers. Additionally, we are supporting the integration of the IX-API in third party open-source tools such as Peering Manager,” commented Thomas King, CTO of DE-CIX.

Supporting global IXPs and networks

The discussion of wider adoption and ease of deployment remains a high priority. Other parties have already contributed to the IX-API discussions and the further development of the model, including IXPs such as Netnod (Sweden) and IX.BR (Brazil), but the initiators AMS -IX, DE-CIX, and LINX continue to look for further ways to support global IXPs of all sizes to benefit from this project

Most large global networks connect to anywhere from 10 to 30 or more IXPs around the world. They need a model and a solution that can be readily adopted so the customer experience is seamless and efficient across each and every IXP. 

Integration with Peering Manager

Independent development work is running in parallel with the open-source BGP session management solution, Peering Manager. This promises to provide open-source tools to enhance the peering process that will ultimately integrate with the IX-API.

In November, Peering Manager released version 1.5, which is now able to retrieve data from IX-API instances for IXPs. It displays data found in the remote IX-API that matches what Peering Manager knows about the IXP. If the IX-API detects any connections to IXPs that are missing, these can be setup with just few clicks thanks to this feature.

Revolutionary collaboration

The version 1 of the IX-API, a universal application-programming interface, was launched in 2019 by AMS-IX (Amsterdam), DE-CIX and LINX (London). This was a revolutionary collaboration for the IXPs, with the API being a first of its kind for the industry. The IX-API was initially adopted and utilised by the founders and a small handful of their common partners.

Version 2.1 was released this summer with the clear principle to drive wider adoption, and to benefit all types of IXPs, customers, and members. This version updated schemas and the product offerings catalogue while at the same time including support for port management (incl. LOA handling), service decommissioning, and account deprovisioning.

All in all, work on IX-API is full steam ahead and the collaborators are confident that 2022 will bring wider adoption and further progress. Stay tuned!