The IXP Marketplace Panel
Euro-IX Forum 2020 - 19 January 2021
The historical scope of Internet Exchange points (IXPs) is to provide a technical peering platform where network operators can share their Internet traffic, meaning interconnecting their networks and exchanging their own traffic.
Over the years the role of IXPs has changed, with such a large and diversified membership a further opportunity came to light: to extend from simple peering to facilitating a marketplace where IXPs members can buy different services they need from the others participants (e.g Anti-DDoS as well as access services such as IP Transit).
Although they started as just peering points, many IXPs have developed and become more general interconnection points, in the broadest sense of the term. This new nature mostly represents an advantage for IXPs: they can attract even more operators which see them as new business opportunities.
As this change happens, participants at IXPs can benefit from a wider range of services, and IXPs are helped in facing, among other things, a new challenge; to facilitate the marketing of those services by providing members the right tools (technical and non-technical), for this purpose.
Indeed, one of the needs of IXP participants is to know which operators sell which services, where (especially for larger IXPs, those that have a geographic distribution across multiple datacenters) and how technically they can consume the services themselves.
Some IXPs in the community built a ‘marketplace portal’, which is a structured container of information that aims to satisfy the needs mentioned above. These are local and independent initiatives, which have the purpose of simplifying the services marketing inside the single IXP.
All these aspects were discussed during the first Euro-IX virtual forum 2020 entitled "Looking into the Future" within the panel "IXP Marketplace", moderated by Flavio Luciani (Namex), and which involved five representatives of some of our community of IXPs: Angela Stanescu (Interlan), Maurizio Goretti (Namex), Jennifer Holmes (LINX), Michalis Oikonomakos (GRIX) and Aleksi Suhonen (TREX).
The IXP marketplace panel was a great moment to hear different points of view, with an intense discussion and analysis from the five panelists, all of whom shared their opinions about the positive and negative impact of the use of a Marketplace portal.
If you missed the discussion, you can find the video recording here.
Use case: Namex Marketplace portal
On December 2019 Namex started its own Marketplace. It was decided that provision would be made for members and customers to have a new portal dedicated to the marketing of wholesale services between network operators (http://servicedb.net).
Namex replaced its logo with a new neutral one and added a feature to allow other IXPs to join the portal to build a federation of services database from different countries. The portal has been designed as a tool to be used by the different IXP Marketplaces; one federated portal for different IXP marketplaces.
Namex is convinced that IXP Marketplaces can help member based IXPs to strengthen their rule in the ISP community to provide a new useful service to their affiliates.
IXP Federation around the ServiceDB portal can give this possibility even to the small IXP contributing to having a more open and varied market for the good of the Internet community.
Namex will start soon a trial with other IXPs; if you are interested in joining, drop an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Authors
Flavio Luciani is the CTO at Namex and a member of the Euro-IX FPC, and Maurizio Goretti is the CEO at Namex.