Who is LINX?
The London Internet Exchange (LINX) is one of the largest Internet exchanges in the world, connecting over 700 member ASNs from 67 countries around the globe and accessing approximately 80% of the global routing table.
As a mutual membership organisation, whose members make up a large part of the global internet, the London based IXP is in a unique position to make a difference for all as it’s mantra ‘Working for the Good of the Internet’ indicates. As a not-for-profit organisation, LINX focus on investing their service and membership fees into strengthening LINX network services.
This ensures that their infrastructure is as up to date as possible and that they remain at the forefront of the IXP industry. By doing so, they can confidently provide their members with improved network performance, low latency and more control.
LINX continues to expand their London presence with over 11 PoPs across the capital along with regional exchanges in Wales (IXCardiff), IXManchester in the north of England and IXScotland. LINX also operates an Internet exchange in the Ashburn metro area in the US just outside Washington DC, LINX NoVA.
For more information, please visit www.linx.net
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
@LINX_Network at https://twitter.com/LINX_Network
As the primary home of London Internet Exchange, Telehouse and LINX have been working together for 20 years supporting Europe’s internet infrastructure.
Relationship with Telehouse
“The relationship with Telehouse has enabled us to transform London’s Docklands into one of the world’s leading global internet hubs. This partnership is only going to grow in importance as the introduction of 100G technology takes hold and the UK requires ever greater connectivity and capacity as traffic grows.”
John Souter, CEO of LINX
“The partnership between Telehouse and LINX has driven innovation and progress in the UK and worldwide over the past 20 years. The construction of North Two will further drive the industry to reach new heights and allow businesses to grow exponentially.”
Hiroyuki Soshi, Managing Director of Telehouse Europe
Significant collaboration was required for the London Olympic Games in 2012:
• Massive infrastructure upgrade -> LINX doubled core capacity (all in Telehouse)
• LINX has >7Tb/sec of connected capacity
• LINX have ~12Tb/sec of core capacity in Telehouse alone
• Much of this was due to LINX being the first in the world to go live with giant PTX core routers from Juniper Networks, the driver was the 2012 Olympic Games
• Also implemented their first 100G edge port. This was put in for BT, again driven by the 2012 games
Back in November 1994, using a donated piece of equipment no bigger than a video recorder and without any legal contracts, five UK-based Internet Service Providers (ISPs) linked their networks in order to exchange data.
That moment was the birth of the London Internet Exchange (LINX) which is now one of the world's largest Internet Exchange Points (IXP).
Today LINX has members from the UK, Europe, the USA, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Africa.
In the beginning...
The gestation of LINX began when pioneering ISPs (Demon Internet, PIPEX and UKnet - along with the UKERNA, the UK academic network) started linking their UK networks together to save the cost and time delay involved in routing data across the Atlantic to US Internet exchanges. This was a painful process, and when BT indicated a willingness to join in, the idea of establishing LINX was born. The goal was to keep traffic local, and that has been a key part of the LINX ethos ever since those pioneering days in 1994.
Keith Mitchell, then chief technical officer of PIPEX, initiated a meeting to discuss the creation of a London-based Internet exchange. PIPEX provided the LINX founders with a Cisco Catalyst 1200 switch with eight 10-megabit ports and rack space was leased at a virtually empty data centre operated by Telehouse International Corporation of Europe Ltd at Coriander Avenue in London's Docklands.
Switching the first data through the Telehouse hub was a momentous event that was accomplished by primarily technical specialists who were unconcerned about the formalities of legal contracts. However, while PIPEX continued to provide administrative and technical oversight, the need for a formal constitution was eventually recognised.
Leading the way
In summer 1996 LINX became the first Internet exchange in the world to deploy a 100-megabit switch - a Cisco Catalyst 5000. In January 1999 it pioneered the implementation of a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) running over gigabit Ethernet connections.
LINX continues to develop industry-leading initiatives. In 2000 a training manager was appointed to introduce an accredited training programme for Internet engineers and technicians.
As the Internet grew in popularity, legislators and law enforcement agencies inevitably decided it must be regulated. LINX increasingly found itself providing expert advice on behalf of members (and, therefore, the whole industry) to a wide range of official agencies.
In 2001 LINX amended its corporate structure to make the post of chairman non-executive and appointed its first chief executive officer, John Souter, previously UK managing director of German-owned Varetis Communications.
In 2002, LINX was the first exchange to introduce 10G Ethernet operation, using equipment from Foundry Networks - in fact the second of their world-wide customers to deploy their technology.
The year 2003 saw the launch of the 'LINX from Anywhere' service, a facility that permits smaller ISPs to utilise the networks of existing members to obtain a secure, virtual presence on the LINX exchange without incurring the manpower and rackspace costs of having their own installation in London.
In 2004, LINX considerably expanded its footprint, with four new points of presence (PoPs) - all in the Docklands area of London.
LINX membership reached 200 in mid-2006.
In 2008, LINX again expanded, opening three new PoPs, this time adding considerably to the geographical diversity by doing so in the City of London, North Acton and Slough.
2011 saw a major development with the primary LAN being both redesigned and switched to a new vendor. Working with Juniper Networks, the new primary London LAN is VPLS-based.
In 2012 LINX became the first Internet Exchange (and the first Juniper customer) in the world to install a Juniper PTX5000 in a live network.
Also in 2012, the first 100G member port went live (for BT), just before the start of the London Olympic Games. LINX added 800G of additional member capacity in the month before the games. IXManchester - a new LINX exchange - went live in June 2012.
In 2013, LINX became one of the first IXPs to start using 100G technology in our backbone connections.
Members of LINX vary from the telecommunication, IT, finance, government to the gaming and education sector.
• 65 of the top 100 global networks
• Almost all UK ISPs
– BBC, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo!…
• Content Delivery
– Akamai, BitGravity, Edgecast, Limelight, …
• Many of the largest access networks
– AboveNet, DT, Level3, NTT, Telefonica, XO, …
• Education and Research
– Eduserve, JANET, NORDUnet, TENET
How customers benefit from LINX?
Peering offers many benefits to network operators:
More efficient routing for ISPs - Enables latency sensitive services (e.g. VOIP)
Saves money– Lower cost to end users and/or more profit
Gives ISPs and content providers more control - Better services to end users, lower dependency on things they can’t control