INX Frequently asked questions

Equipment and Connectivity

Q: What equipment is required for connecting to an INX?

A: You can connect to the INX switch fabric using either a suitable router or a MetroEthernet service. INX switches have copper based Ethernet connections and singlemode or multimode fibre Ethernet interfaces available. You require a router that supports BGP4 since all peering is done using BGP. BGP4 is supported on numerous devices from many vendors. Speak to your router vendor in order to obtain the best hardware. It is common to have dozens of BGP sessions with other members at the exchange and your hardware should be powerful enough to handle this.

Q: Who can I get backhaul links to an INX from?

A: Backhaul links into the INXs are typically provided as either MetroEthernet or SDH circuits over fibre. You can approach any licensed ECNS holder to provide you with these services. A number of ISPA’s large and medium members will already have a point-of-presence (PoP) at or near the INX environment and may be able to provide these services.

For larger capacity circuits it may be feasible to obtain dark fibre pairs or DWDM wavelengths into the INX environment.

Q: Can I get wireless access to an INX?

A: Roof or tower space near the INXs is normally limited and it is preferable to connect to an INX via a fibre based circuit. Contact the host of the INX you wish to connect to in order to determine the rules and processes for installation of radio equipment.

Q: What’s the price of a link between Rosebank and Parklands?

A: Existing cables between the Rosebank and Parklands cages are only for peering traffic on the switch fabric. ISPA is not able to provide these links to members. Members should speak to the host or a licensed operator to obtain these cross-connects.

Services

Q: Can I get international bandwidth via an INX?

A: ISPA isn’t in the business of selling international capacity. Connecting to one of the INXes will not get you any sort of bandwidth local or international. A connection to an INX merely provides you with the opportunity to exchange traffic with the other networks connected to the same INX. Exactly what traffic you exchange depends on the arrangements you make with those other networks. Some of the other participants may be willing to provide you with international capacity (or, more correctly, an international transit service). There is nothing in ISPA’s INX policies preventing a member from offering such a service, but it is not a service that ISPA provides.

Hosting equipment

Q: Why can’t I host my server at an INX?

A: ISPA is not in the server-hosting business. Most of ISPA’s members provide hosting services, and ISPA does not want to compete with its own members. Technically, while it may seem appealing to host a server at a central location, there is a negligible difference in performance if the server is hosted on the network of an ISPA member with a high-speed connection to the INX. From time to time certain exceptions may be granted to DNS server operators or monitoring services at the exchange. These exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the INX Working Group.

Administrative

Q: How do I get hold of someone at the INXs?

A: Physical access into the environments is arranged through the hosts. Any other correspondence can be directed to inxadmin [at] ispa.org.za.

Q: How can I see statistics of the exchanges?

A: You can access statistics JINX here: http://stats.jinx.net.za
You can access statistics CINX here: http://stats.cinx.net.za

An exchange in Durban

Q: Why isn’t there an INX in Durban?

A: ISPA has received proposals from potential hosts of a Durban exchange point. Details of this will be released shortly.

Policy

Q: Who sets the rules/policy for the INXes?

A: ISPA’s INX Working Group is in charge of INX policy. This committee is open to all of ISPA’s members. As far as possible, the INX committee tries to give ISPA’s general membership an opportunity to comment on any decisions regarding INX policy that may be contentious. ISPA’s Management Committee must approve any policy decisions that have an impact on ISPA’s budget before they come into effect.

Contact Details

Tel: 010 500 1200 or 087 550 1200
Fax: +27 (0) 87 606 4066
Email: queries [at] ispa.org.za