Virtual INX-ZA Interconnects Mean Free Peer-to-Peer Data

Networks currently interconnecting through SA’s Internet Exchanges (INXs) for higher speeds and lower costs can now use their peering ports to make Virtual Private Network Interconnects (VPNIs) to other networks, at no cost.

That’s according to INX-ZA Manager, Nishal Goburdhan, who said this additional INX service is available at all data centres linked to the Johannesburg Internet Exchange (JINX), Cape Town Internet Exchange (CINX) and Durban Internet Exchange (DINX).

“Finding cheaper ways to enable networks to interconnect will help grow the domestic Internet by keeping costs low. This benefits the SA Internet user and the wider country,” explained Mr Goburdhan.

Managing physical interconnections to external entities within data centres can be complex and costly. The VPNI service helps maximise efficiencies by enabling peering networks to re-use their existing peering ports to connect to other partners through a simple software configuration.

The VPNI service represents another step on the journey towards further INX-ZA expansion that has already seen the addition of multi-sites to JINX and DINX, with CINX on the cards. INX-ZA has an enviable reputation for stability over the past two decades.

“Peers are already cabled-up and running existing services so it literally just takes a few minutes for us to enable the service. That’s a fraction of the time that it would take to get completely new cables run across a data centre, tested, and connected to two individual parties,” said Mr Goburdhan.

INXs enable networks to interconnect so that domestic Internet users benefit from faster connections and more efficient access to online services. Network operators benefit from lower costs, resulting in more affordable bandwidth. SA’s first INX, JINX, began as a project of the Internet Service Providers’ Association of SA (ISPA) in 1996 and is now independently managed by INX-ZA which currently operates the only community-run, public Internet exchanges in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Mr Goburdhan concluded with further good news for SA’s peering networks: “There are no bandwidth restrictions placed on the service or how it is used.”

Published: Thursday, February 9th, 2017

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