Think Connect has been a member of the London Internet Exchange (LINX) for over 10 years and LINX has become a major component of The Think Cloud and our network’s connectivity backbone, enabling us to offer an enterprise level hosting solution to customers from over 50 countries.
Cameron Jennings, CTO of Think Connect, answers question to explain what LINX is and why membership of it is beneficial to our customers:
Firstly, what is public peering?
“This might not be a term most business owners, some IT managers or likely any media managers are aware of, but it is a service their business or brand benefits from daily.
Public peering is essential to delivering a high performance hosting and data connectivity solution like ours. In essence, public peering is the most efficient way networks like ours can work seamlessly together to pass traffic through the internet without third party involvement. Aside from negating unnecessary transit costs, public peering provides greater control over traffic by keeping it ‘local’, this in turn improves performance and network efficiency, particularly at peak times.”
So, What then is LINX?
“We have partnered with LINX (London Internet Exchange) to provide public peering for our clients. This is a large and trusted organisation with the most unique member ASNs peering across the UK. LINX have ports in London areas, Manchester, Cardiff and in Scotland, each with a large number of reputable peers, meaning we can route our internet traffic highly efficiently across our network and data centre sites.
For the techies…LINX uses what is known as a shared switching fabric based on layer 2 Ethernet technology, and we, like other members can either host hardware in the same data centre as the shared switching fabric, or use the layer 2 carrier network to connect from miles away. Our network is therefore able to peer with any of the companies in their system, connecting through either a single physical port or multiple ports together creating one large virtual port.”
How does this affect yours or your customer’s website hosting performance?
“Through improving the performance of our network and focusing on exploiting a keeping data ‘local’ principle, all our customers see a number of important benefits to their hosted server, SAAS, co-located solution or website.
You may wonder whether the largest players use public peering, and the answer is yes. Significant network providers may be directing your traffic anywhere, including through different countries and through unsecured networks liable to problems and vulnerabilities.
Trust and security being such important values to our business, we joined LINX knowing that if we are transferring our customers’ traffic through a trusted network of likeminded peer’s networks, we can ensure that traffic is not directed anywhere untrusted, and can avoid problem areas.
We also believe that having greater control over where your traffic is routed also means that if there are any unexpected network issues, they are easier to identify and minimise quickly without needing to rely on a globally scaled transit company to remedy the issue which could take a lot longer.
From yours, our customer’s perspective, this means that using public peering through LINX improves your server or website’s resilience, improving user experience.”
Cameron Jennings is the CTO at Think Connect and Co-Founding Partner at Think One Communications.
Connect with Cameron on LinkedIn