CloudPOST recently sat down with Ed d’Agostino, Vice President of North America for DE-CIX.  Ed shared with us the ongoing success of the DE-CIX New York exchange, which now includes 100’s of networks connected to the company’s peering platform. He also focused on the continuing adoption of the company’s Dallas metro area exchange, which is the region’s only network and data center neutral peering platform. A key theme of our discussion is the ongoing ‘Layer 2 revolution.’

Through DE-CIX’s leading global exchange platform available in North America in New York and Dallas metro markets, company networks can interconnect on a single port and leverage Layer 2 connections to access local MetroVLANs, DirectCLOUD and GlobePEER Remote. The latter, GlobePEER Remote, available in New York, allows networks to reach the company’s leading global platform in Frankfurt, Germany. DE-CIX’s platform enables private virtual connections to an array of providers via a single interconnect to its peering platform. This solution enables companies to have one connection reaching multiple networks, streamlining costs, improving quality and creating a more efficient way to manage relationships. This is the basis of the Layer 2 revolution.

CloudPOST – Editor, Kathy Xu (CP-KX):  Congratulations on the ongoing success of DE-CIX North America. Three years in, how are you doing keeping up with demand in two markets?

DE-CIX – Ed d’Agostino (DC-ED): Very well, thank you. New York has a tremendous presence now and the critical mass of ongoing adoption and use of the DE-CIX platform in the metro market continues to help us attract more customers. One example of a unique solution that network operators are leveraging is our GlobePEER Remote service, which enables companies connected to DE-CIX in Frankfurt or New York and vice versa to access different networks via a VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) connection. This increases connectivity options from nearly 150 unique ASN’s in the New York metro market to over 750 unique global networks currently available in Frankfurt.

CP-KX: How about Dallas?

DC-ED: Up until a year ago, the Dallas metro market did not have data center neutral peering exchange option. When DE-CIX launched in 2016, we were the first to offer a network-neutral solution that could be accessible from multiple different owner/operated data center and colocation providers. By continuing to build out and expand our partnerships with additional data center proviers, our MetroVLAN solution in the Dallas metro market enables network operators to directly peer, publicly or privately, with others that may be either within their own colocation or data center facilities, or to peer or connect with network operators located in other colocation or data center facilities.

Today, DE-CIX Dallas is located and accessible in over five unique facilities in the market, including Cologix, Digital Realty, Infomart, Peak10/ViaWest, Zayo/Zcolo, Databank and other pending connections. Customers connected to DE-CIX in the Dallas metro market are able to have one cross-connect to a port on the DE-CIX peering platform that can reach multiple network providers connected to our platform regardless of what local facility they are in. This capability, in my opinion, is driving the Layer 2 revolution.

CP-KX: The ‘Layer 2 revolution,’ that sounds interesting. Can you explain what you mean by that?

DC-ED: With the ongoing adoption of cloud network solutions by all types of companies, including enterprise and small/mid-size entities to consumers like you and I, the emergence of ‘on-ramps’ to the cloud is changing the way companies design and deploy their networks.  Couple this with cloud enablement and access providers such as Epsilon, MegaPort and PacketFabric that are providing VLAN connections to the different cloud platforms such as AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure, Oracle and more, the way companies are using technology and network connectivity options is changing the way companies design their networks.

The Layer 2 revolution, as I call it, is enabling companies to do more with a direct network connection than they previously could. For example, with one of the cloud enablement access providers mentioned you can get one port and leverage individual VLAN connections to and with numerous cloud providers or networks. Each port can be configured to have multiple VLANs to connect to numerous solutions. By leveraging Layer 2 connectivity in such a way, companies can reduce costs, segregate data and the direction of that data to ensure greater security, and gain more control over the way they allocate bandwidth to and from different providers to manage their networks more efficiently.

DE-CIX not only enables the Layer 2 revolution by interconnecting its peering exchange with these cloud providers but we also provide our own Layer 2 connectivity solutions such as our MetroVLAN and GlobePEER Remote services, which extends VLAN connectivity to other markets and access to our DirectCLOUD capabilities, including our own connections to AWS Direct among other cloud providers. While our platform is a ‘peering’ exchange we enable companies to do much more than just peer. For instance, by leveraging DE-CIX’s Layer 2 capabilities, a non-peering network in a data center or colocation facility can order a VLAN to another network (peering or non-peering) on our platform in a metro region or beyond. This Layer 2 revolution is providing flexible network to network connectivity solutions from what we would traditionally consider our ‘on-net’ facility between those traditionally considered ‘off-net.’  So now you have options such as private VLAN to VLAN; one port to many and on-net VLAN to VLAN connectivity as well as on-net to off-net VLAN connectivity. The array of options is why I call it a ‘revolution.’

CP-KX:  Thank you, Ed. This certainly sounds exciting. We appreciate your time today.

After speaking with Ed our key takeaway is that the industry is evolving quickly in order to address the concerns companies have in connecting to the cloud and beyond. While our conversation focused on Layer 2 connectivity solutions it is clear that technology deployed by DE-CIX and other providers such as Epsilon, Megaport and PacketFabric, are helping to shape the connectivity landscape to make it more malleable, reliable and secure. Certainly it sounds like the value of a Peering exchange is much greater than just peering – it’s the amalgamation of its interconnected networks, the technology capabilities of its platform and its extended partnerships that are shaping and driving the Layer 2 revolution.

Looking forward to more from DE-CIX in the coming year.

For information about DE-CIX North America, visit www.de-cix.net or contact Ed d’Agostino at North-America@de-cix.net.