By Enes Halilovic, BHNIX
How it all started: An overview
The official launch of the first Internet exchange point (IXP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the BHNIX, took place 27 November 2019, at the University of Sarajevo Rectorate. Since Bosnia and Herzegovina was the only European country without an IXP, a group of professionals from relevant fields and enthusiasts started talks about establishing one. The initial talks started at the national Internet governance forum (IGF) in 2017. Upon consulting several national Internet Service Providers (ISPs), we decided to start working on the first ever national IXP. The next meeting with the dominant ISPs in the country was co-organised with the Ministry of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in January 2018. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between University of Sarajevo and three ISPs was signed in April 2018.
What establishing the BHNIX means for the country:
The initial platform for the future development of this project has been created together with our local partners BHTelecom, Logosoft, and Telemach, recognized as leaders in these fields.
Technically, BHNIX is implemented as a Layer 2 Internet Exchange located in Sarajevo. Its networking equipment consists of a switching platform with a combination of 1G and 10G ports. The BIRD-based route servers are used for managing peering relationships. IXP itself is managed through the IXP Manager, an administrative portal and access system for BHNIX members.
BHNIX activities in the near future
We see BHNIX as a strong basis for establishing and developing local IT community and a provider of hosting services for the "common good". Given that the current number of affiliated members is the result of a predefined initial project goal, we expect the number to increase in the coming period.
Hosting anycast DNS root servers, secondary ccTLD servers, as well as NTP servers will certainly be one of BHNIX's top priorities.
BHNIX plans to engage the local community through capacity building meetings, workshops, and other practical educational activities.
We are supporting the establishment and development of local internet technical community in the form of local Network Operator Group (NOG). The key goals of this community are to provide collaborative space, share information and operational experience, and to organize workshops, meetings and conferences.
With the help and support of… Thank you note
From the start, we have been encouraged by the continued support of numerous organizations and individuals, which helped the team solve challenges.
We would like to highlight the valuable support to the Internet Society (ISOC), also the donor of one of the peering switches. Kind thank you goes to Mr Jan Žorž (ISOC) for his selfless dedication and helpful advice throughout.
Special appreciation for the dedication, helpful professional suggestions, and continuous encouragement goes also to Packet Clearing House (PCH), Serbian Open Exchange (SOX), Arnold Nipper from PeeringDB, and Hisham Ibrahim from RIPE NCC, for which we are grateful.
Last but not the least, thank you to the EURO-IX Association and its representatives for the opportunity to attend the 35th EURO-IX Forum held in Zaandam (Netherlands).
The University Tele-Informatics Center (UTIC) was established in 1996, becoming the first Internet access provider (ISP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. UTIC has also been assigned a significant role of the national registry of .BA domain, a key resource for the development of the Internet in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Within the University of Sarajevo (UNSA), UTIC is the leading institution in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT).
UTIC sees itself as a neutral entity with enough knowledge, experience and ability to initiate and lead the establishing of the first IXP in Bosnia and Herzegovina, BHNIX, and common good services.
Euro-IX welcomes new addition, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), to the community!
CIRA is best known for managing the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. As a member-based not-for-profit organization, CIRA also develops and implements policies that support Canada's internet community, and represents the .CA registry internationally. CIRA has long been an advocate and supporter of the expansion of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs). Over the past few years, the organization has supported the growth, performance and security of Canada’s domestic internet infrastructure by donating resources, infrastructure and governance advice to IXPs in Canada and beyond. CIRA is happy to contribute to Euro-IX’s work and looks forward to sharing the lessons learned in the Canadian IXP community.
You can learn more about CIRA’s work to support the development of domestic IXPs on their website here.
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AMS-IX, DE-CIX and LINX completed a successful IX-API workshop in Amsterdam
The Sunday workshop of the 35th Euro-IX forum saw many IXPs from around the world attend, hosted by AMS-IX, DE-CIX and LINX. Whilst this is still early days in terms of developing a common external facing API for IXPs, there was clearly a great level of interest from the community.
Following feedback, the IX-API website (https://ix-api.net/) will be updated to show those partners and IXPs that are starting to onboard the open standard based IX-API and additional ‘how to’ information will be made available.
A common theme from the discussion was on how the internal business and operational support systems at the IXPs can be adapted to fully utilise the external facing IX-API. This area needs further discussion and follow up, this could be met through a BoF group approach.
We are very happy to announce that Sri Lanka Telecom Internet Exchange has joined Euro-IX as a Remote Member.
SLT-IX was founded for improving the local internet experience of Sri Lankan internet community by offering a common platform for direct peering for all locally registered internet service providers. In addition, all local ISPs benefit from an additional saving of international bandwidth which is an expensive resource for the island. With the current growth of internet in the country, SLT-IX will be migrated into an open Internet Exchange where any network is free to join with standard commercial practice in operation. For that objective, SLT-IX identifies with the value of being a member of Euro-IX, for the recognition of global scope and capacity building objective.
Find out more about Sri Lanka Telecom.