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An Internet Exchange (IX) or Internet Exchange Point (IXP) is a physical infrastructure which lets Internet service providers (ISPs), content delivery networks (CDNs), and other network providers exchange Internet traffic with one another, typically on a cost-neutral basis. Being connected to the infrastructure allows each network to connect to other networks and share traffic (also known as “peering”). This reduces costs for the networks because they do not need to pay for transit on all of their Internet traffic. By having direct access to the infrastructure and to networks you want to peer with reduces latency by reducing the length of the path that traffic needs to travel. In the end, an IX increases the resilience of the Internet by providing many more redundant routes for traffic, allowing congested routes to be avoided.
Peering is the exchange of data on a cost-neutral basis. All kinds of networks like carriers, Internet service providers (ISPs), and network operators need to exchange data in order for the Internet to work. The data exchange is either agreed on a bilateral payment basis (for transit/upstream) or on a cost-neutral basis, also known as peering.
An Autonomous System Number (ASN) uniquely identifies every network on the Internet. An Autonomous System (AS) is a group of IP networks operated by one or more network operators, with a single and clearly defined external routing policy. The ASN both identifies the network and enables it to exchange routing information with other ASes.
Every Internet service provider (ISP) requires their own ASN, but also the individual organizations that connect to the Internet through an ISP require one. After an application from an organization, ISP or other entity has been approved, ASNs are assigned by regional Internet registries. It is necessary for any network wanting to peer at a public Internet Exchange to have a public ASN.
To peer at an Internet Exchange, you need an ASN, which you can request at one of five regional Internet registries. The DE-CIX Academy video “What is an AS number and how do I get one” explains the basics. ACIX itself does not offer consulting services to accompany the process of getting an ASN, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We can either assist you or recommend someone who can.
PeeringDB is a nonprofit, member-based organization that facilitates the exchange of user maintained interconnection information, primarily for peering coordinators and Internet Exchange, facility, and network operators.
Having a well maintained PeeringDB entry is a must-have for all networks engaged in interconnection, especially for all peering administrators. It gives you information about networks and shows other networks who might be interested in peering with you the basic data they need to know.
If you do not have an entry yet, you can register here for free. If you already have one, we recommend checking your entry from time to time to make sure it's up to date.
Blackholing is a security measure for protecting a network against a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. The method allows packets to a specific network to be “dropped” so that they do not reach the recipient and overload their resources. The network under attack can announce the affected prefixes as Blackholes by using the BGP BLACKHOLE community. ACIX offers Blackholing free of charge.