APIX #22 - Our First Fully Online Meeting

Member News - APIX Association - 5 October 2020

On Mon 7 September 2020, the 22nd APIX meeting was held, and it was our first fully online meeting. The APIX is an association of IXPs in the Asia Pacific region, established in 2010. Currently their member IXPs are 32 from 18 countries/economies in APAC. This time approximately 50 people joined the meeting from 22 APIX members, 1 person invited from AWS, and a few people from APNIC, a full-time supporter of APIX activities. APNIC supported us by providing a remote conferencing tool.

In the General Meeting, we discussed the sponsorship fee for our new Patron Sponsor, and decided the fee and welcomed a new sponsor, ISOC. In the presentation sessions, the following topics were presented: 

(1) “Osaka is Good Place for Happy Peering”; Haruki Isshu and Yuki Ikuno of BBIX talked about how the second largest city has become another hub of the networks in Japan. They pointed out that connection between the main data centers at Dojima in Osaka has become more inexpensive, so both contents and eyeballs are getting easier to interconnect in public/private peering. They also encouraged peering persons to come to Osaka and enjoy local food which is cheap but delicious!

(2) “New Zealand Internet Traffic Transition During COVID-19”; Tom Paseka of NZ-IX/Cloudflare talked about the New Zealand Internet traffic from the NZ-IX perspective. New Zealand is one of the well-controlled countries regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and the traffic during the lockdown increased 40%, and even after the end of lockdown, the traffic level is higher than before and more networks are joining the NZ-IX.

(3) Benyamin Naibaho of IIX, an Internet exchange in Indonesia, talked about its update; Their traffic was also at the peak on 20th April, during lockdown of the cities. After lifting emergency, traffic began going down, but month by month the traffic has been increasing again.

(4) The Panel discussion: “IXPs, Best Practices and Future During the COVID-19 Age"; Kenneth Chan of HKIX, Vivin Varghese of DE-CIX India (formerly MumbaiIX), and Vijay S. of Equinix AP were the panelists and Katsuyasu Toyama of APIX moderated the discussion. Kenneth, Vivin, and Vijay talked about the COVID-19 situation in their country/economy and its impacts on IXP operations. Also some APIX members shared their own experiences. Like other countries in the world, they also suffered from the lockdown. Their engineers and operators could not go out from their homes, so physical work, like cabling could not be done. Even if they were allowed to go out, in some countries/economies, the data center did not allow people to enter their facilities without certificates from the authority. These situations had an impact on their work and some of the provisioning work could not be performed as scheduled.

Also in some countries/economies, the capacity of the network was not enough, therefore urgent upgrades were needed. IXPs did their best to achieve it under restrictions, while other countries/economies did not do urgent upgrades of capacity, as network operators usually prepare enough capacity.
From the perspective of emergency actions and policy on peering activities, there have been no special actions such as the Italian case, the incumbent carrier has connected temporarily to the IXPs and started to peer with local ISPs in order to avoid congestion due to sudden Internet traffic increase. 

Lastly, IXPs in APAC have dealt with traffic surge during lockdown period better than expected, but we learned a lot from pandemic and following lockdown:

  • Capacity should be prepared enough
  • Remote hands should be prepared for provisioning and troubleshooting
  • Avoiding the situation that all the employees could not work at the same time

This was our first fully online meeting, so attendees may have felt many inconveniences. The APIX members and Steering Committee will learn and improve the meeting operation much better. Wishing to have a meeting in person in the near future.

If you are interested in the APIX association and its activities, please contact the Steering Committee:
 sc (at) apix.asia. Thank you very much!


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