Engineer fun stuff peering

UK & Ireland Peering Forum Social

Informal social event for Network Engineers and Peering coordinators during London Technology Week – UK & I PF Social

Once again LONAP is joining forces with the other mutual IXPs in the UK and Ireland to promote Peering and facilitate the exchange of ideas in an informal atmosphere. Attending this event will enable you to network and engage in technical discussions with participants of all the major UK and Ireland Internet exchange points.

This event is specifically for Network Engineers, Peering coordinators and anyone who has organisational responsibility for arranging settlement free interconnection across one of the organising IXs.

This informal Social event is being held in London during The London Technology Week on the evening of the 12th June, address and registration link below.

Please do register early as places are limited.

I look forward to seeing you on the 12th June.

PS I’ve had lunch a the the Fellow, the venue for this UK & Ireland Peering Forum Social. It is very convivial and we are guaranteed to have a pleasant and useful networking evening. The pub is on York Road down the side of Kings Cross Station.

Loads of other peering posts on this blog. LONAP btw is  a ‘not for profit’ Layer 2 Internet Exchange Point (IXP) based in London. Our data-centres host a network of interconnected switches providing free-flowing peering to help minimise interconnection costs. We provide exclusive connectivity between members, who are effectively LONAP stakeholders. This ensures that LONAP members enjoy excellent value and maximum benefits.

Traffic exchanged between LONAP members, reduces volumes sent through upstream providers, reduces IP transit cost and bandwidth usage. Our membership includes ISPs, network operators and content providers with their own data networks. We provide regular opportunities for members to network and meet new suppliers, and support operators in growing their portfolio and reselling LONAP connectivity to networks outside of London.

Engineer peering

RIPE74 is in Budapest

RIPE74 report from Budapest

Sat in the RIPE74 meeting having arrived at tea time last night. Every time I come to these meetings I am reminded at how good these events are. It’s not just the content. It’s the opportunity to meet folk relevant to your business that you wouldn’t normally see on a day to day basis. Here they are all in one spot and you spend your time catching up with them and their business.

These meetings – RIPE and their ilk – are how LONAP do our marketing. We are a bunch of engineers rather than sales types. We chat with engineers about engineering at engineering events. LONAP is an Internet Exchange Point for engineers.

RIPE74 happens to be in Budapest. I’m a Budapest virgin. It looks an impressive place.  At first glance. The featured image is the view from my room. I’ve not really had a chance to get out of the hotel yet although Richard Irving and I did get out for a quick bite around the corner last night. The opportunity will come. RIPE74 finishes Friday and I don’t fly home until Saturday lunchtime.

I’ll be sticking more pics from Budapest up on Facebook as and when I get the chance to take some. Budapest, I found out from the taxi driver en route from the airport is divided into two halves separated by the river Danube, Buda is the historic area seen in the pic and pest is the newer less interesting bit. Apparently. Famous for it’s outdoor spas. Will have to see if we get a chance to go to one. The days are pretty busy.

If you want to chat about peering at LONAP just tap one of us on the shoulder. We are proudly wearing our black LONAP polo shirts. Loads more peering posts on this blog by the way. Check ’em out.

Engineer peering

LONAP traffic continues to grow with new peak

LONAP traffic up and to the right

LONAP traffic continues to grow with a new peak this month of over 240Gbps. I’d just been thinking of rattling off a quick post telling you we have broken through the 200Gigs mark at 206Gbps when lo and  behold that post became instantly obsolete.

There have been 3 or 4 record levels of traffic in the last month and it can only go in one direction.

Traffic growth is being helped by some of our large eyeball and content provider members who have been provisioning 100Gbps ports this year on our new Arista based core network.

It’s such a pleasure to be involved with LONAP. A pleasure and a privilege. The team is great and the members are all great. Andy Will and I are going to be at RIPE73 in Madrid next week catching up with existing members and prospects. Look out for a little competition we are going to be running on Facebook.

Don’t forget to sign up for our  Workshop and Christmas Party on 8th December. Password is lonap.

For those unfamiliar with the Internet Exchange Point world The London Access Point [LONAP] was first established in 1997 as a ‘not for profit’ Internet Exchange Point for London. Today, our list of active members includes global brands, London businesses and FTSE100 companies, all of which are joint stakeholders in the organisation. As members, they all have exclusive interconnectivity and direct input into the configuration of the network and enjoy the commercial, operational and social benefits of working with a vibrant and dynamic exchange.

Our growing membership includes ISPs, network operators and content providers with their own data networks. LONAP members exchange traffic using a network of interconnected switches hosted in our data centres across the City of London and Docklands.

Ciao amigos. See you in Madrid?

other peering posts on

Engineer peering

@LONAP sponsors NLNOG meeting in Amsterdam

At NLNOG points mean prizes

LONAP were pleased to be one of the sponsors at NLNOG 2016 last Friday. This is the Amsterdam gathering of Dutch based Network Operators. NLNOG has around 400 subscribers to its mailing list. There were 180+ attendees which puts it on a par with the UKNOF meetings – if I recall right UKNOF 35 in Manchester had around 170 in attendance.

We donated a prize to the very hard network engineering related quiz – a wireless hotspot:

UBIQUITI NETWORKS UBI-UAP-AC-PRO 24/5Ghz 450/1300Mbps 122m

It was won by SinnerG BV sys admin Mark Scholten – – for coming fourth in the quiz

We had two guys there and the third prize was won by our very own Richard Irving. As a sponsor he graciously declined the prize but was very pleased to have come third:)

You may wonder what LONAP, a London based Internet Exchange Point, were doing sponsoring a network engineering event in Amsterdam. Well a great many of LONAP’s recent new members are overseas organisations wanting access to UK content and eyeball networks. Even as I write we have just announced @AIS_Thailand (Advanced Wireless Network) – the first network to connect to @LONAP from Thailand.

Things have moved on from the early days where LONAP was a small UK centric IXP serving UK customers. We still are UK centric actually but as internet traffic grows the rest of the world wants in on the act.

There are great benefits from including Peering in your internet access strategy. Performance is one and cost is another although it is fair to say that a network has to include their own cost of managing peering on top of the relatively low IXP port prices.

If anyone is interested in chatting about joining LONAP, a not for profit members organisation of which I am honoured to be chair, please do get in touch.

A ton of internet peering related posts on this blog.

Engineer peering

@LONAP reaches for Sky

Sky has joined Internet Exchange Point LONAP –immediately boosts traffic

Pleased to announce that UK eyeball network Sky has joined Internet Exchange Point LONAP. Sky, as most of you will know are one of the largest ISPs in the UK and this move is really an endorsement that the London based IXP has come of age.

LONAP, which was established 19 years ago, has moved on from being seen as just a peering point for smaller networks in the UK. The membership list now includes the vast majority of the world’s giant content providers: Google, Apple, Akamai, Amazon etc. Now with Sky onboard we are seeing the connection of millions of UK broadband subscribers.

This news comes after LONAP’s recent announcement of their investment in a brand new 100GigE core based on equipment from California networking company Arista. We now have a healthy number of 100Gig connections in the pipeline.

LONAP is a not for profit membership organisation operated with two and a half full time employees with occasional contributions from members and the board of directors.

Check out other internet peering posts on

If you re interested in hearing more about what LONAP can do for your network please do get in touch. I am trefordavies on Facebook and have had the privilege of having served on the LONAP board for three years or so now.

btw in case you didn’t get it the featured image is of sky. Blue sky. It is summer after all. There’s a bit of tree in there too:)

Engineer peering

UK and Ireland Peering Forum in Dublin – with @dantartic

UK and Ireland Peering Forum success

Terrific UK and Ireland Peering Forum in Dublin. Mostly attendees from the republic but plenty of people made the trip over from the UK. It was followed by the regular INEX meeting which had a superset of attendees – bit of a pun – they were all v nice – geddit.

The day was closed by Danny McFadden (@dantartic) who spoke about his two year stint as IT manager of the British Antartic Survey base in Rothera which is on the sticking out bit. An interesting life experience.

Rothera has recently upgraded its satellite internet connection to 1.5Mbps which costs them £150k pa. Next time you think of changing broadband suppliers and whinge about pricing just think of that.

It is currently winter in Antartica and the bases are either closed or trimmed down to a skeleton staff of 18 or so persons. It was interesting to get an insight into the difficult nature of the live in wintertime and perpetual darkness. For example there was at the time of his talk, a medical emergency happening at the South Pole base. An American scientist was ill and needed emergency evacuation to hospital.

This is harder than you think. Two planes had to fly in to Rothera. One then switched to skis and flew on to the pole. This is a ten hour flight in darkness. It was also a very expensive job. One barrel of fuel costs $1,000 by the time it has been transported to Rothera. To get it to the South Pole costs another $9,000. That’s a ten thousand dollar barrel of fuel. And the plane needs 5 of them to get from Rothera to the pole.

So the return flight for one plane from the edge of Antartica to the pole cost $100,000 in fuel alone. Science is an expensive business. Governments support it because the Antartic treaty comes to an end in 2050 and countries want to maintain their presence as an investment towards the land grab/bun fight that is expected to happen at that time.

It could spell disaster for Antartica because they are all interested in the mineral rights.

As a footnote my sister Sue went to Antartica on a cruise a few years ago. Aside from the fantastic wildlife the high point was the 10 thousand year old ice cubes they used in their gin and tonics – hacked from a nearby ice shelf 🙂

A big thanks to INEX and especially Eileen for such a well organised event. The UK and Ireland Peering Forum is run by LONAP, INEX, LINX and IXLeeds (in no particular order of preference).

Other peering posts here.

Engineer peering

The great wiring challenge

Cables r us

poor wiringThe great thing about working with LONAP is that I get to meet interesting people in interesting places. Yesterday my daughter Hannah and I met with Barry O’Donovan (INEX) and Mara Novakovic (LinkedIn) for early door at Slattery’s pub in Dublin. It’s a big rugby pub that is heaving when there is a match on.

Apart from the Guinness and the considerable choice of beers the one thing that stood out about Slattery’s was the wiring. I challenge anyone to produce a picture with a worse tangle of wires that in the featured image.

It’s so bad it’s a wonder anything gets fixed when it breaks – how would you find the right cable?

Over in Dublin with LONAP for the UK and Ireland Peering Forum. It’s been a very good morning – a morning of talks and opportunities to chat with colleagues, members and potential members.

Other peering posts on this blog. Pic courtesy of Barry using my phone.

Engineer internet peering

First @LONAP 100GigE port connected

Akamai hook up with LONAP 100GigE port

Excited to tell you that Content Distribution Networks and LONAP member Akamai have connected at Equinix HEX with our first 100GigE port. This is a testament to the great work done by our engineering team Will, Rob and Tom.

If you aren’t in the business this might not mean that much to you. 100Gigabits per second of connectivity seems difficult to get your brain around. However if you consider that when streaming HD video from the internet you could be using several Mbits per second and that millions of people are also doing this all at the same time then the core of the internet needs to be able to handle a lot of traffic.

When it comes to shifting internet data around the bigger the pipe the better and 100GigE is the current state of production art. The project at LONAP is still only part way through. We are replacing our old Extreme switches with a brand new LAN using Arista.

This is a big investment for LONAP but one that has to be repeated every few years as internet traffic grows and capacity requirements increase. This time around we have been under some pressure from our content provider members to get the 100Gig ports installed. The timing on this occasion is good as the Euro2016 football tournament gets into full sway and folk start watching the matches on the internet. The 100Gig port adds instant capacity. We like to have plenty of headroom on our network at LOANP.

The member and port count at LONAP continues to grow up and to the right. It is a good place to be right now. We are very lucky to have a great community of members. If you haven’t yet registered but plan on coming to the UK and Ireland Peering Forum in Dublin next Monday I’d get your name down. See you there.

PS For what it’s worth I’ll be helping to reduce the pressure on the internet by watching the Wales v England game on the TV in the beer garden at the Strugglers pub in Lincoln. C’mon Wales.

More peering posts on

Engineer peering

UK & Ireland Peering Forum – Monday 20th June

A chance to talk peering in Dublin

Peering in Dublin. If you haven’t already got your name down and work for an organisation that is a member of one of the UK Internet Exchange Points you should seriously consider coming along to the UK and Ireland Peering Forum. This is being held in Dublin on Monday 20th April.

Members and prospective members of INEX, IX Leeds, LINX and LONAP will be gathering for a day of talks and discussions on subjects of real interest to the network engineer.

The UK&I Peering Forum takes place in the morning and participants are invite to the INEX meeting in the afternoon. Regular participant at UKNOF meetings will be familiar with some of the regulars who come across for the events. This is a chance to meet and talk with the rest of the Irish networking community.

We are going to be covering peering tools, take a peek at what is happening on the regulatory front and how this might affect they way you have to run your network, together with a couple of technical sessions.

The biggest benefit you will get from this meeting is the opportunity to set up new peering relationships. Attending will also allow you to meet your peers (pun intended) at other networks and catch up on what are the issues of the day.

I will be announcing the full peering in Dublin line up in the next few days.

Peering in Dublin – UK & Ireland Peering Forum Hosts

There are four host exchanges of the UK & Ireland Peering Forum. These are INEX in Dublin, Ireland, IXLeeds in Yorkshire and LINX and LONAP who are both based in London.


INEX is a neutral, industry-owned Association, founded in 1996, that provides IP peering facilities for its members. INEX membership is open to all organisations that can benefit from peering their IP traffic. There are currently 96 members. Our objective is to provide high-speed, reliable and resilient IP traffic exchange facilities for both Irish and International organisations, allowing them to route IP traffic efficiently thereby providing faster, more reliable and lower-latency internet access for their customers. The INEX switching centres are located in six secure data centres around Dublin; Telecity Group in Kilcarbery Park, Citywest Business Campus and Northwest Business Park, Interxion DUB1 and Interxion DUB2 in Park West, and the Vodafone data centre in Clonshaugh. The infrastructure is connected by dedicated resilient fibre links.

For more information, please visit


IXLeeds is one of three internet exchange operators in the UK and the only operator based outside of London. It’s aims are to promote regional cooperation between network operators and to raise awareness of the purpose and importance of a solid internet exchange fabric in the UK. IXLeeds is a limited company with a board of four directors and a company secretary. IXLeeds’ first board was elected on 21st September 2011 by its founding members and comprises of Andy Davidson, Allegro Networks (Chair), Mark Fordyce, York Data Services (Finance Director), Tom Bird, Portfast (Director), Thomas Mangin, Exa Networks (Technical Director) and Adam Beaumont, aql (Company Secretary)..

For more information, please visit


The London Internet Exchange (LINX) is a global leader of Internet Exchange Points (IXP). Our company ethos and aspirations result in constant growth and improvement in our services and as a result, members have access to the most attractive peers at the lowest cost. With over 690 members connecting from over 66 different countries worldwide, LINX members have access to direct routes from a large number of diverse international peering partners. In addition to its dual LAN topology in London using equipment from Juniper Networks and Extreme Networks, LINX has three UK regional exchanges (IXManchester, IXScotland and IXCardiff) and another in North Virginia, USA (LINX NoVA). Using LINX allows a reliable exchange of traffic with increased routing control and improved performance. As a not-for-profit organisation, we focus on investing our service and membership fees into strengthening LINX network services. This ensures that our infrastructure is as up to date as possible and that we remain at the forefront of the IXP industry. By doing so, we can confidently provide our members with improved network performance, low latency and more control.

For more information, please visit


The London Access Point [LONAP] was first established in 1997 as a ‘not for profit’ Internet Exchange Point for London. Today, our list of active members includes global brands, London businesses and FTSE100 companies, all of which are joint stakeholders in the organisation. As members, they all have exclusive interconnectivity and direct input into the configuration of the network and enjoy the commercial, operational and social benefits of working with a vibrant and dynamic exchange. Our growing membership includes ISPs, network operators and content providers with their own data networks. LONAP members exchange traffic using a network of interconnected switches hosted in our data centres across the City of London and Docklands.

For more information, please visit

Engineer fun stuff peering


LONAP is at RIPE72

Wearing my LONAP hat again today. Actually that is a figure of speech. You can see from the featured image that I’m really wearing my LONAP shirt. Facebook friends will know that I’m at the RIPE72 conference in Copenhagen.

We, LONAP, get a lot out of these conferences. Not only is there a lot of good content but it is a fantastic place to meet existing and prospective members. The LONAP community is growing.

LONAP are also slap bang in the middle of a total core network upgrade. Our new network is going to be based on Arista 100GigE kit. 100GigE has been around for perhaps four years but the first generation of equipment was very expensive. The introduction of cheaper more powerful silicon has brought the pricing down with the timing being just right for our roll out. It feels as if 100Gig is only now reaching the same stage of commoditisation that 10Gig was at 7 years ago.

Other benefits that Arista bring include programmability (API) and VXLAN for loop free layer-two. It’s worth noting that the Internet Exchange Point market has specific technical needs that aren’t addressed by all vendors.  The fact that Arista has an industry category specifically for identifying IXPs in its customer sign up page is very telling. I’ve not seen this in any other vendor (am prepared to be corrected here).

Check out the image


It’s an exciting time to be at LONAP. Our IXP in the middle of a transition from being “just a small exchange run by people with other day jobs” to a professional outfit that is attracting big players from both the content provider and eyeball network communities.

We still like to think of it as a family business though. We are a community that does things on behalf of the community. Our low overhead base means we are amongst the most cost effective IXPs in the game.

More in due course. In the meantime if you are  at RIPE72 and want to chat to us look out for our LONAP branded shirts.

Check out all peering posts here.

Engineer peering

LONAP networking dinner is great success @JoeBaguley @LONAP

Industry peers get together for LONAP networking dinner

The LONAP networking dinner held in a private dining room  at Kettner’s last Thursday night was as usual a huge success with guest speaker VMWare CTO Joe Baguley providing some stimulating thoughts for debate. Joe was speaking about Network Function Virtualisation.

LONAP as you may know is an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) of which I have the honour of being Chairman. Now the whole point of an IXP is to provide eyeball networks and content providers a meeting place for them to share their network traffic (peer) cost effectively and get the best performance out of their networks. The typically lower latencies obtained by peering at an IXP result in the best experience for their end user customers.

Joe Baguley in his talk highlighted an interesting use for NFV that was highly analogous to the way an IXP works. He discussed the scenario where a betting firm could set up a virtual network at the datacentre closest to a specific sporting event. This would in theory give the betting firm’s customers the fastest response time and best experience. ie help them to lose their money more quickly.

Once the event is over they just tear down the virtual network. A click of a virtual switch. Highly cost effective.

Virtual network functions we are told are just as good as hardware implementations these days. When you think about it unless your need requires high end state of the art ASIC silicon everything is realisable in software these days.

These LONAP networking dinners are always successful, helped on this occasion by the very generous support of the IPv4 Market Group (IPv4 address proker) and Xantaro (network integrator). I think both sponsors will have had great value from the exposure into a fast growing and high spending community of network operators. Take a look at their sites.

The attendees were a great mix of LONAP members and non-members/prospects ranging from small but agile communications providers to some of the biggest eyeball networks and content providers in the country.

These are top class networking events. If you are in this business, a LONAP member or otherwise, look out for the next dinner which will be sometime in the spring. If you want to sponsor a LONAP networking dinner by all means drop me a line. Vendors get really good exposure into a wide network engineering community.

Last week’s dinner did have a hint of that end of an era feeling. It was the last  week  of trading for Kettner’s, a legendary Soho bar that has been around for 149 years. Kettner’s has been sold to the SoHo House Group who are turning the whole block into a hotel. This is a shame because I’ve been holding private dinners for a few years now and only discovered Kettners in the last year. I’ll have to find another venue.

The sadness at the closure of Kettners was tempered by the fact that because they had been running down stocks of wine we got the most expensive plonk on the wine list for the lower price of the wine we had ordered but which had run out:)

Ciao amigos. Keep peering! A few pics of the evening below including some colourful ones taken en route. Oh and a big thank you for Joe Baguley for coming along and speaking:) Loads of peering content on this blog if you want to read it.

LONAP networking dinner

LONAP networking dinner
LONAP networking dinner guest Joe Baguley gets animated

LONAP networking dinner

LONAP networking dinner

LONAP networking dinner

Business peering travel

First train to London – just leaving town

Stardate 4th November Editor’s vlog early morning report

Catching the 19.06 back from King’s Cross if anyone else is around at that time. FIrst train to London – just leaving town – I’m not sure i like the term vlog but this is the beginning of me doing more of this kind of stuff. It’s quicker and easier than writing it:)

PS new pic of me – good quality capture though not sure it captures the essence – needs the right combination of niceness and rebelliousness.

Engineer peering travel

Lovely to have you with us

Return from Euro-IX Berlin

I don’t know whether it’s just hotel living or the exposure to different cultures but it’s always nice to come home after a trip overseas. For the first part of this week I was at Euro-IX Berlin. It was the usual useful meeting of Internet Exchange Point operators from mostly Europe but also around the world and I always get a lot out of it.

Our hotel in Berlin put on a fabulous spread for breakfast every day and indeed I took along a bottle of HP Sauce knowing that outside the UK you rarely find such condiments at the table. I knew however in my heart of hearts that the bacon and sausage on offer that would go with the HP were not going to meet spec. They didn’t. After the first day I stuck with croissants and fruit. Very sensible really.

I also find myself making up sandwiches for lunch. These conference hotels always put on a substantial buffet but just think about it. How many of us have a large lunch at work every day (ok outside of France, Spain, Italy etc 🙂 ). We usually have a sandwich or similarly light nosh. So in Berlin I took some bread and whatever meat was on offer and just made a butty.

Dinners I am ok with. Usually international fare served up in every country and accompanied by moderate amounts of beer and wine in keeping with being compos-mentis for the next day of conferencing (bed by 11pm etc :)). However how many of you go out for dinner or to the pub on several consecutive nights when you are at home? Right.

So whilst we all enjoy a bit of travel we all like to get home to our own comfort zone. In very recent memory I recall coming back from consecutive trips to Bucharest and Toledo. After having had a week of rich living I was beginning to suffer (I’ll leave it to your imaginations to decide how). My first action back in the UK was upon leaving Luton Airport to stop at the services on the M1 and purchase a cheese sandwich and a pint of milk. After consuming said items my constitution returned to normal. Hey presto. Amazing really the effect of a cheese sandwich and a pint of milk.

On the trip to Berlin the recuperation began the moment I entered the BA lounge at Telgel Airport. Then when on board the captain welcomed us over the tannoy saying it was “lovely to have us aboard” my shoulders began to relax.

I’m not really a big fan of British culture especially when abroad but there was something very comforting in that use of language. You aren’t going to get it anywhere else. It was as if Sgt Wilson from Dad’s Army was at the controls. Lovely.

The trip home was greatly assisted by technology – Uber. It’s got to a point when travelling that its a real disappointment to arrive somewhere that doesn’t have an Uber service. The rest of the day was beans on toast, hot bath and early to bed to avoid the Apprentice on TV (which really annoys me).


PS check out my talk at Euro-IX Berlin about getting stuck in a lift.

PPS the featured image is of some grappa being poured for me at the Aigner restaurant on Tuesday night

End User peering

The Berlin Conference – Euro-IX Berlin

My name is Harry Palmer – Euro-IX Berlin

Sunday was a grey day in Berlin and the stark concrete surroundings of the Olympic Belltower provided an atmospheric background for a short video.

The Belltower, incidentally, was the British Rugby Club clubhouse in Berlin. A suitably indestructible place for rugby players to get drunk (and play rugby obvs).

I am in town for the Euro-IX Berlin forum conference. Other peering posts.

Engineer peering

UK & Ireland Peering Forum Sheffield

Live blogging from the UK & Ireland Peering Forum


Engineer peering

Linkedin links to Lonap

internet traffic growthLinkedIn LONAP membership announcement

Exciting to announce that LONAP has Linkedin as another new member. This follows on from the recent announcement of Apple hooking up with the IXP.

AS 14414 LinkedIn joins an exciting roll call of members in what is a rapidly growing marketplace.

Not all readers will be familiar with the internet peering model whereby content providers and eyeball networks meet at an Internet Exchange Point (IXP). This is a means of getting content from providers servers (eg Amazon/Apple/LinkedIn) content to your broadband ISP and thence to your laptop/tablet/phone.  Connecting via an IXP normally makes for lower cost connectivity and almost more importantly better performing, lower latency (read faster page loads) connectivity.

Membership of an IXP is therefore essential for organisations where quality of their customer experience is very important. VoIP service providers for example. Commercial website owners are also able to express faster page loading in terms of improved profitability – the faster the page load the more likely you are to make a sale.

The LinkedIn LONAP membership is yet another great piece of news for the IXP. The internet industry is just an exciting place to be at the moment. Long may it continue. A full list of LONAP members can be seen here.  LONAP is a member owned not for profit organisation.

I should declare an interest as I am on the board of directors of LONAP. It’s a true pleasure to work with Will Hargrave, Andy Davidson and Richard Irving who are time-served veterans of the peering industry.

London, together with Amsterdam and Frankfurt is one of the major meeting points for the worldwide internet community which is very much run on a basis of mutual benefit.

Most recent LONAP post (on growth) here. Loads of other peering related posts can be found here.

Business internet Net peering

Valeria Rossi defends the not for profit IX model

Valeria Rossi, general manager of MIX is passionate about not for profit IX model

I am in front of the typical “blank page” …

I read “Women in tech – a blog written by women, not a blog about women”, and I wonder if a woman would write about technology differently from a man. But this does not matter, this is not the subject.

In reality I have never much felt gender differences in my job, nor have I suffered from it. At the beginning of my career, I had the chance to work in the IP networks field within the academic world. There, despite “networks design” being predominantly a male activity, gender has never been an issue. I realise that it is not always the case, but either I was lucky or I have always behaved neutrally with respect to gender, avoiding to making it an issue.

I must admit, nevertheless, that things changed 15 years ago, when I started to manage MIX, initially as the technical director and later as its general manager. There I had to make double the effort to persuade a board, composed then and ever since entirely by men, that one specific strategy could be winning rather than an other, or that a particular chance had priority over others.

Nobody has ever challenged my technical choices, but often I had to make an extra effort to assert my credibility in business management and general overview. Do I believe that this has been due, at least partially, to the fact that I am a woman? Yes, I believe so, but now, even in this respect, fortunately or thanks to my skills or perhaps only to my strong determination, this belongs in the past.

I think of how many times I had to act with, and sometimes against the governing board, in order to develop MIX, company that started very quietly and kept with a low profile for several years. This as in a highly vertical Italian market where peering seemed both the keystone and a service competing with the transport and transit services of those offering the peering.

It took years before achieving the IX (Internet Exchange) model which is now recognised everywhere in Europe, open and without barriers, where anyone in possession of an AS is welcome … But effort is part of the game.

In this effort I was supported by my colleagues – who along the years have become friends – and co-founders of Euro-IX. Euro-IX is a successful example of open forum where we debate and coordinate efforts for the benefit of the whole Internet community.

This experience shared together, at the very beginning just with a few people taking the first steps towards the achievement of the IX model, later with a larger community representing every European country and many others in the world, has been for me and consequently for MIX itself a source improvement and growth. Doing it with my friends, was also a life gym.

Actually, those have been important years of learning, both for the people and for the market itself.

Perhaps MIX reached some goals more slowly than others.

Why such an effort?

Well, because in such a rapidly evolving world we have faithfully adhered to the successful European models that espouse openness of the market – firstly in Italy but strongly linked to that of our foreign friends.

Amongst all this only one thing is really written in the stone:

never act in direct competition with our members’ business,

operate neutrally  and

never considering a peering service as a money source in itself.

Every internal battle, every ‘lost’ opportunity, everything has been justified by the strong belief that we had to maintain the super-parties role of IXes and in particular of MIX, without discrediting it by giving in to market dynamics which we do not believe is compatible with the role of an Internet Exchange.

IXs are born within the ecosystem of Internet as neutral substrate, functional to its development. IXs can optimise Internet paths, while enabling the freedom and autonomy of traffic routing, favouring openness against closure, protecting the market from monopolies, and balancing the market logic of transports.

Therefore I do believe that an IX has a big responsibility and must be an example of neutrality. The stability and growth of an IX must guarantee this type of ecosystem.

Rethinking to the Euro-IX experience, I’m now certain that in the domain of IXs, the concept of ensemble is the keystone to success:

On the one side every IX is born to operate primarily inside its country of origin – where it knows the actors, the market dynamics, the political-economical implications, where it knows where it can ‘touch’ the ecosystem to improve it

On the other hand, the ensemble of  IXs can act at a global level, intervening on the dynamics of the overall Internet, which by construction is a whole and only entity.

Unfortunately though, the millstone of the business-oriented is slowly but more and more clearly encroaching on our micro-world, where nowadays the strategy of the ‘IP routes trawling’ seems to prevail over a more global stability and growth.

I do not believe this is the right way ahead, I believe that attempts to predominating can only bring confusion in favour of old market logics.

But when things are changing and moving, there’s more fervour, passion, need to exchange new ideas and possibly to battle too. New efforts? Yes, but this is the amusing part of my job.

Tons of peering content on this blog – see here

Other posts in our women in tech week include:

Geeks do drink prosecco
Network filter bypass solutions
Network Automation

Engineer Net peering

Apple connects to LONAP exchange and pushes connected capacity over 1Tbps

Apple LONAP hook up pushes connected capacity above 1Tbps

Apple Europe (AS714) has  hooked up its network to the LONAP Internet Exchange and taken the London based IXP’s connected capacity to over 1Tbps.

Apple has been busy over the last few months hooking up with Internet Exchanges around the world. We in the industry figured that this made sense as you often hear of ISP network traffic noticeably bursting when the likes of Apple issue software releases. Use of Peering exchanges is not only an economic way of delivering data but normally a better performing solution.

Now that Apple Pay availability has been announced in the UK for July it becomes even clearer in my mind. Speed of connection is important for financial transactions and although Apple have not officially commented on this subject, connecting to LONAP will greatly help with the lower latencies experienced with a connection to an IXP (Internet Exchange Point).

Having Apple on board is a milestone for LONAP and the 16 x 10Gbps ports they have ordered takes the IXP to over 1Tbps of connected capacity. Apple is the latest in a series of high profile names connecting to LONAP. Recent new members include Netflix and Microsoft.

Peering via an Internet Exchange has become a no brainer in the internet networking world. This is shown in the growth of the traffic over LONAP. In 2014 the peak traffic at LONAP doubled and this trend is looking like continuing for 2015.

The fact that LONAP is attracting such high profile members to the exchange is an endorsement of the IXP’s strategy to maintain a high quality network that is very good value for money. The first singlemode fibre 10GigE port costs only £375 a month with subsequent ports at £300.

The internet industry is a great place to be at the moment. Long may it continue. A full list of LONAP members can be seen here.  LONAP is a member owned not for profit organisation.

Most recent LONAP post (on growth) here.

Engineer engineering internet peering


I have to tell you about RIPE70.

RIPE70 was held in the Okura hotel in Amsterdam. Very nice hotel. Nice pool, sauna, bars etc etc. Amsterdam was very nice too. Great restaurants, picturesque streets and canals. Only downsides were the lethal nature of the roads and the beer. Re the roads you have to look out for cars, cyclists and trams. All on different roadways. I made it back alive. As far as beer goes all I can say is Heiniken. Nuff said.

So far so good. The purpose of this post though is not to tell you what a great time I had. 5* hotel, beer, cocktails, great food etc. It is to reinforce the value of attending such meetings.

Even if you don’t go to the talks, and I did go to a few, the real value is in the corridor chats. At RIPE, just as at most internet conferences, as long as you don’t spout rubbish, you can expect to be sitting down for a coffee with some real heavy hitters in the networking game. Or a beer. Or food.

This industry must be amongst the most egalitarian going. The opportunity to make useful contacts is very real in attending these conferences. You do have to understand how to play the game though.

I remember at the last LINX meeting there were a couple of sales guys stood wearing suits talking to themselves. That’s because they didn’t get it. If the sales people had turned up in jeans, or shorts and t-shirts it would have been a different story.

LONAP attends these meetings because a big proportion of our membership sends engineers to them. It’s a great place for sorting out ongoing issues (planning bandwidth upgrades for example) and meeting new prospects.

It isn’t unusual to have over 50 conversations during a RIPE meeting.  Conversations that might normally be categorised as sales or customer support touch-points. You try having that many useful conversations during a normal business week

They don’t have to be sales conversations. Could be pure engineering idea swapping.

Anyway if you’ve never been you need to sell it to the boss. See ya.

PS check out a load of posts from RIPE69 here.

PPS just got some meeting stats off RIPE:

– 678 attendees checked in
– 166 first-time attendees
– Attendees from 58 countries
– 143 presentations
– 2,691 ratings for presentations submitted

Engineer internet peering

Lonap traffic contines to grow apace

Internet traffic growth at Lonap

The chart in the featured image is the yearly 1 day average internet traffic growth at Lonap.

What you see is effectively a reflection of how the internet is growing. The Lonap traffic includes organic growth plus the addition of new members but the details needn’t concern us really – it’s all up and to the right. It’s pretty much the same story in every IXP (except IXP Cardiff but more on that anon). Also peak traffic on the exchange is quite a bit higher than the numbers shown.

internet traffic growthIn 19 months the traffic has almost quadrupled. It’s also interesting to note the drop off at holiday times – notably Christmas and the school summer holidays .

Lonap, in case you didn’t know is an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) and is one of the two main players in London. London in turn is one of the key points of presence on the internet, Amsterdam and Frankfurt being the others in Europe.

It makes sense for networks to employ peering via an internet exchange for both cost and performance reasons. It also makes sense to use multiple IXPs. Only yesterday the Amsterdam based exchange AMS-IX had an outage. It was apparently human error on the part of a member connecting to the exchange.

This type of issue could happen to anyone, despite lots of efforts to minimise the likelihood of a problem. The point is that when an unplanned outage like this happens networks need a back up solution. Whilst IP transit does the job it would be far better to have a suitable IXP alternative.

These alternatives aren’t always available at a given location but where they are then you should consider using one.

In the meantime internet traffic growth is making this industry an exciting place to be. Check out our other internet peering posts here.

Engineer peering

Euro-IX 26 Day 2 live blogging

OK kids it’s day 2 at Euro-IX and the conference is in full swing with a packed room at the Pullman Palm Beach in Marseille. Last night was the usual humdinger with dinner at La Nautique in the Old Harbour followed by a bit of community singing on the bus and then dancing to Abba back at the bar in the hotel. We know how to live in the IXP game.

Engineer peering

Euro-IX 26 live blog from Marseille

Euro-IX 26 comments from sunny Marseille

Morning all. Trust we are bright and breezy on this fine Mediterranean morning. I am in Marseille for Euro-IX 26. These Euro-IX fora (not forums) happen every 6 months and are a great way for keeping up with what’s going on in the world of Internet Exchange Points (IXP). Keep this page open for updates as they happen at the conference together, of course with insightful comments.

Now on Franck Simon from our hosts France-IX.

Business Net peering

Cost of transit versus peering cc @lonap

Transit costs plummeting but not as fast as peering

Last time I looked at transit costs I was paying something like 60pence/Mbps, admittedly only for a 1Meg commit. My habit of sharing blog posts on Facebook seems to be attracting an eclectic bunch of ads and this morning I was pushed one from Hurricane Electric for transit pricing!

This pricing, which is being touted as a special offer at $3,700 a month for 10Gbps. That’s 37 cents a Meg or about 25 pence according to Google. Much cheaper than I was paying a couple or three years ago.

However nota benne the LONAP 10Gig port price which is currently £375 a month for the first with subsequent ports a rock bottom £300 a month. That’s less than four pence a Meg. Even cheaper if you have more than one port.

Now it makes sense to have a blend of transit and peering, particularly as you can’t access all routes via peering but you can see how it makes real sense from a cost perspective to bias your network towards the latter. And it’s not just pricing. Using a peering exchange such as LONAP also makes technical sense as you get better adjacency – fewer router hops on average between you and your destination. Lower latency connections.

The pricing in this post is relevant now but one thing is certain and that it has further to go down. We continue to be in boom times in the internet networking game and there is no sign of it letting up. 10Gig ports on the exchange have long since replaced 1Gig as the bread and butter and the world is only waiting for 100Gig to become cost effective before moving en masse.

Currently the main cost benefit in moving to 100Gig is that you need fewer wavelengths. ie fewer fibre strands which makes it more manageable physically. Otherwise 100Gig kit costs 10 x 10Gig kit. Second generation equipment should bring down both costs and footprints.

Note not all peering providers will have pricing as low as LONAP but they will almost certainly all be cheaper than transit. Also I only quote what HE pushed me. Experience tells that you can always get a better price by haggling – the internet market. Alright darlin’? Do you a fantastic price on 10Gig?!

Loadsa peering posts here.

Engineer internet peering

Solar eclipse drives dip in UK internet traffic @lonap

internet traffic dip during eclipseInternet traffic dip during eclipse – unusual behaviour for a big news event

We saw an unusual internet traffic dip in traffic across the LONAP network this morning as presumably people downed their devices and went outside to watch the solar eclipse.

I only found out the eclipse was happening yesterday as the papers started to publish guides on how to watch it without looking directly into the sun.

The chart thumbnail on the left shows the traffic building normally for the day. Then as the scheduled time for the event draws nearer you can see the upward curve stops abruptly and then drops down again.

These solar eclipses are, we are told very rare events. The internet traffic pattern that resulted is also rare:)

I was having a late breakfast in London at the time of the eclipse. Between mouthfulls I kept popping outside to see if there was any sign of it. Not a single ray! In fact the sun was nowhere to be seen in London. V disappointing.

LONAP is a London based Internet Exchange Point and I have to say that I am privileged to be on their board. You can check out other peering posts here. As far as I can recall there are no other eclipse related posts:)

internet traffic dip during eclipse – exciting though the eclipse was a disappointment.

Business Engineer internet peering

Internet bandwidth trend continues to new peaks almost daily @lonap

Internet bandwidth trend – usage continues to grow

The title of this post might encourage the odd wise crack. Bear s&*%s in woods etc. Of course internet bandwidth use is growing. The point is though that in the past we have occasionally seen big spikes in bandwidth that have subsequently driven average usage and growth. The Olympic games, football world cup and general elections spring particularly to mind.

What we’re seeing now is different. We now have an almost daily general trend upwards rather than a big spike that breaks new records followed by a bit of up and down on the graph. There doesn’t seem to be any one thing driving it. It’s all general internet use.

LONAP is an internet exchange point (IXP) where networks connect with each other to share traffic (called peering). It’s not just general growth in internet traffic that drives the LONAP graphs up and to the right. There is also a realisation that peering is a far better means of accessing the internet than the alternative of commercial transit. Peering at an IXP is not just cheaper. It’s also better quality. Faster. Fewer hops.

There are a number of highly publicised business cases for use of Peering in IP connectivity in the wider commercial internet:

  • Amazon quote a 1% increase in revenue for every 100ms improvement in page load time
  • Yahoo increased traffic by 9% for every 400ms of improvement
  • Google – “slowing down the search results page by 100 – 400 ms has a measurable impact on the number of searches per user of -0.2% to -0.6%”

Using Peering helps to lower latency and underwrites these business drivers. Content providers also like the better user experience that fast page loads bring and they are increasingly moving to join internet exchanges such as LONAP.

From what I can see all IXPs are growing. In London we have two: LINX and LONAP. Both are globally significant. In a world where infrastructure resilience is important operators are increasingly adding to the resilience of their own networks by peering at both London exchanges. London is said to have more AS number (individual autonomous networks or Autonomous Systems) POPs than any other city.  The presence of two major exchanges may be both a reflection of this and a reason why.

These drivers point to a growth in IXP traffic that exceeds that of the general internet. The chart in the featured image above shows the trend at LONAP over the past 12 months. It shows a pretty dramatic doubling of bandwidth usage over the year. This other chart (inset) shows the growth over the last few days. Ignoring weekends you can see a daily trend.


Looking back five years LONAP has been highly successful in growing its business. 5 year membership has grown from 90 to 145 organisations. Bandwidth usage has rocketed from 10Gbps to 100Gbps (151 ports to 256 connected ports) and the turnover has seen a steady growth from £190k to £409k. It must be remembered that as a not for profit organisation the objective is not to grow sales revenues but to hand as much as the profits back to members. The increase in membership numbers and bandwidth is seen as the real added value.

This year we are seeing significant momentum in both new membership applications and bandwidth growth. My gut feel is that when it comes to the end of 2015 we will be looking back at an even greater level of growth. With the internet bandwidth trend only going one way it’s an exciting time to be around. 

Check out other LONAP posts here (I’m on the board of directors so there are a few). General peering posts here and LONAP themselves here.

Business Engineer peering voip

ITSPA Awards 2015 tickets now on sale – I’ll be there with LONAP at the Tate Modern

ITSPA Awards 2015 – 2.30 – 5pm, 19th March, Tate Modern

Yo y’all. Tickets for the ITSPA Awards 2015 are now available here. If you are in the Internet Telephony Service Provider community or supply to them you need to be there. These events are always fantastic networking opportunities. You get to mix with most of the players in the UK hosted VoIP community.

If you are a supplier, most of your prospects will be there. If you are a service provider your competitiors’ CEO is likely to be there and very approachable. I’ll be there for a chat as well (fwiw).

As an added bonus some of the LONAP board will be there – I include myself. LONAP as most of you will know is an Internet Exchange Point (IXP). Quite a few ITSPA members are also LONAP members. We have also recently had a number of enquiries from other ITSPA members re joining LONAP.

The benefits of joining LONAP for ITSPA members are clear. Lower latency and lower internet access costs for your traffic – the use of peering in this situation has a well established business model.

So in the interest of world peace and low latency networking LONAP are inviting their members and prospects for a few beers after the Awards themselves. We will thereafter be decamping to a curry house of good repute.

If you are a LONAP member or prospect and are going to the ITSPA Awards let me know in advance if you want to come for the curry as I will need to pre-book the numbers. If you fit into one of these categories but are not coming to the Awards themselves and want to come for the curry also let me know. No freeloaders, time wasters or snake oil salesmen:)

Just as an fyi for the ITSPA Awards 2015 we have had 66 entries from 34 companies for the categories below:

  • Best Consumer VoIP
  • Best Business ITSP (Small Enterprise, Medium Enterprise and Corporate)
  • Best VoIP CPE
  • Best VoIP Infrastructure
  • Best VoIP Innovation

We aso have as separate awards

  • The ITSPA Members’ Pick
  • The ITSPA Champion

Exciting eh? Not everyone can win at the ITSPA Awards 2015 but you are guaranteed to have a good time and chat with useful people. Book your tickets now:)

Amazingly posts about the ITSPA Awards on this blog go back to 2008! Check em out here.

Engineer fun stuff peering

PRIZE COMPETITION – guess who’s wearing the sandals #LINX88


Guess who’s wearing the sandals at LINX88. There may be more than one person wearing sandals, this being an internet engineering meeting. Steve Lalonde plus the wearer of the sandals may not enter.

The prize is either I’ll buy you a beer or I’ll buy breakfast at Silva’s Caff on Shaftesbury Ave at 8am tomorrow morning. Steve and I will be there from 8am. It’s one the of the best.

If you want to add a caption for effect feel free.

Engineer peering

LINX88 notes thoughts and ramblings

LINX88 notes and thoughts

LINX is without doubt a big outfit. The stats speak for themselves:

  • 603 member ASNs
  • 22 new applications in 2015
  • 1454 connected member ports
  • 851 member-facing 10GigE ports
  • 13 member-facing 100GigE ports
  • over 2.53 Tb/sec of peak traffic
  • 10.212 Tb of connected capacity
  • 583 members
  • 62 member countries

The internet plumbing game is an exciting place to be. It’s a place of constant growth. And change. Where there is growth and change there is opportunity.

The model hasn’t really changed much over the years. It’s all about connecting networks with increasingly faster links. We have seemingly only just started talking about 100GigE but now LINX has 13 live 100Gig ports. It’s only a matter of time before we see their first 400Gig connection. The first Petabit per second peak will surely follow.

The thing about the internet plumbing game is that there doesn’t seem to be any sign of an easing off of growth. We still have bandwidth drivers in the early stages of the hype curve. 8K TV for example. Internet of Things? How about 8K TV over IOT? Why not?

The engineers that run the internet are simple folk. Don’t get me wrong. They are highly intelligent but they see life quite simply. Give them enough beer, food and fine wines, fly them business class and put them up in comfortable hotels and they are happy. Given this they will happily work long hours and keep the internet running on your behalf.

LINX is 21 years old in 2015. That gives you a feel for how old the actual internet is. It also allows us to have a load of coming of age parties to follow on from the 20th birthday bashes last year but that is by the by.

Look out for the next post which is all about sandals and socks.

Engineer peering

@lonap AGM 2014 cc @SteveGlen @prt2m

You will all be aware that society publications such as OK Magazine, Allright, Hello and Hiya major on publishing photos of as many people as they can to guarantee that someone buys them. They at least get as many sales as people in the pics.

Well we’re a bit like that at, the Xmas bash being an example. This is not always the case though. Sometimes we go for sheer artistic merit.

On this occasion the background for said art is the Court Room 7 St Andrew Street and the venue of the Lonap AGM 2014. In 2015. St Andrew Street is so called after the church of that name and the Court Room looked as if it might be the vestry or simlar. Very nice room it was.

I only have two pictures for you. One is of Warwicknet’s  Steve Glendinning praying. Those of you who know Steve will attest that he is a very spiritual man. Steve, Steve, Steve, praying isn’t going to stop that network problem 🙂 Note the LONAP phone chargers and biros on the tables. No expense spared us.

Steve Glendinning at prayer

The second photo is simply surreal. Paul Thornton is sat in a highly meditative pixiesque position in the fireplace. What goes Paul? Course I might have suggested he sat there – for the art and the subsequent publicity:) (fwiw).

paul thorntonIf you want to know what goes on at a LONAP AGM and the subsequent social why not sign up. It’s a terrific organisation to be part of with serious engineering and business benefits for your own company.

Engineer peering

IXLeeds 4 this Thursday

IXLeeds 4 is on this Thursday – that’s the day after tomorrow

If you’ve been umming and ahing about going umm and ahh no more. The IX Leeds people are a great crowd and they put on terrific meetings. They do of course have the benefit of AQL’s conference centre at Salem Chapel which again, if you haven’t been to you need to go.

These meetings are attended by a wide range of engineering types including people who are real experts in their subject. Their beauty lies in the fact that everyone is very approachable – you could be sat having coffee with someone who turns out to be very handy for advice when it comes to solving your latest problem/pointing you at suitable suppliers etc.

Having spoken at a previous IXLeeds I can tell you that the audience is very receptive and asks highly intelligent questions so you’re going to learn stuff you hadn’t considered before turning up.

The other great aspect of the meetings is the post conference social. These are usually very generously supported and the pubs around the Salem Chapel are great. Moreover they are a short walk from Leeds train station so it is easy to get in and out. IXLeeds 4 is an afternoon job – the agenda is here.

I was last at the Salem Chapel for EuroIX earlier this year. The output was a load of guest posts which can be viewed here:

UK internet history – The Early Days of LONAP by Raza Rizvi
INEX’s IXP Manager – Tools to help manage an Internet Exchange by Barry O’Donovan
Regional Peering in the UK by James Blessing
Co-operation makes internet exchanges future proof by Pauline Hartsuiker
Experience of launching an IXP in North America by Ben Hedges
The evolution of an IXP network engineer by Rob Lister
Why does Scotland need an Internet Exchange? by Charlie Boisseau
IX Manchester – It’s quiet up North by James Blessing

I expect quite a few of the guest authors to be at IXLeeds 4 so tap them on the shoulder and say hello.

That’s the plug for IXLeeds 4 over and done with. I guess we are coming up to the party season with conferences supplemented with socials. I will be at the ITSPA Christmas Lunch this week and of course next week is the culmination of the season with #trefbash2014. If you’re coming see you there. If not there is always next year:)

Ciao amigos.