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Telehouse’s New York International Internet Exchange (NYIIX) has been a partner of Epsilon since 2017. Today, Epsilon enables remote peering connectivity to NYIIX for its customers from around the world.

We had the opportunity to speak with Akio Sugeno, Vice President, Internet Engineering, Operations and Business Development, Telehouse America, to learn more about NYIIX and its partnership with Epsilon.

Epsilon: Could you describe NYIIX’s journey since its founding in 1996?

Akio: It was not exactly a smooth road. When I was tasked to create an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in 1995, I had no idea about the Internet or IXP.

There were no schools or books about IXPs. There were some search engines, Alta Vista or Yahoo!, but I was unable to find the information I needed. The only way to learn was to meet people. And so I started attending North American Network Operators’ Group (NANOG), which I believe was NANOG 4, and other events to meet people and learn. After intensive research, I finally founded NYIIX in 1996 at 33 Whitehall Street, New York where we had a small data centre.

Since the launch of NYIIX, my daily life was filled with challenges. Initially, I didn’t have network engineers and had to take care of NYIIX 24/7 all by myself. I had to wake up in the early morning, work on weekends and even cancel my vacation in the middle to return to New York.

At that time, the major IXPs were MAE, Sprint NAP and PAIX. I’d never imagined NYIIX can catch up with them in terms of traffic level or the number of members. I even remember debating what interface is better – Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Ethernet (100M) or Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) (100M). A few years later, we opened LAIIX (now NYIIX-LA) in Los Angeles.

After opening a data centre at 25 Broadway, we relocated both NYIIX and the members from 33 Whitehall Street to the new location. The main reason was 33 Whitehall Street was too small to grow and 25 Broadway has much larger space to expand. This was a tremendous project at that time, but we did it!

Since then, NYIIX gradually increased the traffic and the number of members. The fastest selling ports changed from 100M Ethernet to 1G Ethernet. Due to strong demand, we extended NYIIX beyond 25 Broadway. We started with 60 Hudson Street and then extended to 111 8th Ave and continue to grow.

When we opened a new data centre at 85 10th Ave in 2011, we completely redesigned the NYIIX architecture and switched from layer 2 architecture to Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)/Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) for increased reliability. A few years after the opening of 85 10th Ave, our 100G ports became very popular!
In 2019, NYIIX expanded to Philadelphia to help grow the Internet in the area.
Epsilon: That’s a really amazing story. Great to learn about the humble beginnings of NYIIX!
As a connectivity provider, we have seen the increasing importance of peering at IXPs in recent years. From your point of view, what are the benefits of peering at NYIIX and why businesses choose to peer at NYIIX in the US?
Akio: There are two benefits of peering. The first one is cost savings. Peering is free and peering allows the members to receive and send traffic to the other party bypassing expensive transit providers. The second one is performance enhancement. Latency is significantly reduced by peering.
Why NYIIX? First of all, NYIIX is the largest Internet Exchange (IX) in the New York and New Jersey peering market. Our Points of Presence (PoP) cover all major data centres in the area such as 85 10th Ave, 7 Teleport Drive, 111 8th Ave, 60 Hudson Street, 32 Avenue of the Americas and 165 Halsey Street.
A member can join NYIIX from any of the PoPs to peer with 200+ members from all over the world including, but not limited to North America, Europe, Asia Pacific or South America, providing various services such as eye-balls, contents, search engine, Content Delivery Networks (CDN), online gaming, cloud, cell phone, streaming, and the list goes on.
In addition, our route server has 150+ participants. Therefore, one single peering with our route server will enable peering with 150+ networks instantly. Last but not least, we have a high reputation for operation service quality.
Epsilon: Establishing long-term partnership is important for NYIIX. What do you look for when choosing your partners?
Akio: Firstly, I look for openness and honesty. I understand things can go wrong sometimes and therefore, it is important for partners to share even the bad news with us. Secondly, communication and responsiveness. Today’s business is running at the speed of light. I expect good communication and quick response from partners coupled with responsibility. These are also the reasons why we partner with Epsilon.
Epsilon: We are happy to know that. In your opinion, how has digital transformation and industry change influenced the peering landscape?
Akio: Computing power will increase while computing cost will decrease in the Internet. As a result, huge amount of data will be poured into the Internet, get computed and flow between locations. The traffic will continue to increase over IXPs and the reliability of IXPs becomes crucial.
Peering should also be made easy, allowing businesses to seamlessly connect to the IXP. Our partnership with Epsilon made this possible by enabling customer to peer remotely via a single connection to Epsilon’s network fabric. Together, we are building a richer peering ecosystem that benefits everyone.
Epsilon: You mentioned the increasing traffic and amount of data. What has NYIIX done in the past year to further adapt to these changes?
Akio: Last year, we fully upgraded the platform to support many 100G ports. The new platform is 400G ready. I believe in the importance of continuous improvement and driving new change in our business.
Epsilon: We are excited to hear about your plans for NYIIX in the coming years. What will be NYIIX’s business priorities in the next 18-24 months and how do you plan to achieve your goals?
Akio: Our highest priority is to promote NYIIX-Philadelphia to establish a true IXP in the area. Philadelphia is such a big city and it deserves a good IX to enhance IP connectivity and performance for Internet Service Providers, Carriers and Enterprises.
Epsilon: Thank you for your time, Akio!
Get in touch with us to learn more about our Remote Peering solution and how you can peer remotely at NYIIX.
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