In 2013 IXScotland was launched in Edinburgh, powered by the London Internet Exchange (LINX). LINX is a not-for-profit organisation itself established with the aim of keeping traffic local and working for the good of the internet — by facilitating peering, the free exchange of traffic between individual service and content providers.
After much success in London, with multiple sites, a programme was developed to expand the organisation’s presence and focus on bringing regional exchanges to various cities. IXManchester was rolled out in 2012, followed by IXScotland and Linx NoVA, the first international exchange based in Northern Virginia in the US, and IXCardiff a year later.
The selection of sites for these regional exchanges was based on the appetite of local businesses, local community interest from a technology point of view, and network operator support. In addition, these exchanges are built in areas where they could, if needed, be self-funding in the long term, and ideally need to be located in a carrier neutral datacentre.
For IXScotland the local conditions were conducive to setting up the exchange — especially as LINX elected to work with technology partner Pulsant. The IXScotland infrastructure is hosted in Pulsant’s tier 3 datacentre in South Gyle. The site is ISO 27001 accredited, features 24/7 security and is linked to the company’s 14 other datacentre facilities via an interconnected fabric, ensuring resilience and high performance. It is also carrier neutral, making it very attractive for the IXScotland project.
Making the internet better
“LINX is run by its members, as are the regional exchanges, so whatever we do is taking a longer-term view and ensuring that we are always working to the benefit of those members, ultimately making the internet better and faster. And what puts us in the perfect position to establish these regional shared platforms is that we have the infrastructure in place, from a management, monitoring and network operations centre perspective, and can rely on the support and expertise of companies like Pulsant,” explained Jo Fereday, head of product and marketing at LINX.
“In addition to the connectivity options that the company’s carrier neutral approach brings members of the exchange, we chose to work with Pulsant because of its reputation in the industry and because of the support and expertise it offered IXScotland.”
Pulsant also provides LINX with space within the datacentre’s racks, and discounted colocation services that it passes on to members in order to offer them a more complete service.
“Being part of an initiative like IXScotland makes sense for Pulsant because our presence in the region has always been about supporting local businesses and communities,” said Chris Shields, regional sales director, Pulsant. “This is particularly important given the government’s push for Digital Scotland 2020, a vision of a fully connected region with world-class digital infrastructure throughout the country.”
Members of LINX are offered a 1GB capacity in all regional exchanges as part of the package, and there are currently 23 members connecting into Scotland.
“IXScotland has been tremendously successful since its launch and is delivering great benefits to both organisations and end-users as they are getting faster, more efficient internet services because traffic no longer needs to go through LINX. We are committed to keep this momentum going and making the region even more attractive for businesses of all kinds, but especially those in the digital space and tech start-ups,” concludes Fereday.
Chris Shields, Regional sales Director, Pulsant
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