Engineer internet

20th Anniversary of FICIX at Euro-IX 23 Helsinki

euroixI’m at Euro-IX 23, the 23rd six monthly get together of the people that run Europe’s internet peering exchanges. Without these mutual not for profit exchanges your internet connection would cost a fair bit more.

Euro-IX 23 is in Helsinki because 2013 is the 20th anniversary of the founding of FICIX, the Finnish internet exchange.

It’s very much worth looking at the connectivity provided by FICIX over the last 20 years.

1993 10Meg Ethernet hub soon upgraded to a switch
1996 155Mbps ATM
1999 622Mbps ATM
2002 1GigE
2004 10GigE
2013 100GigE ready with first ports expected to be provisioned in 2014

This roadmap is interesting because it is an illustration of how the internet has grown over the last 20 years. It also shows the flow of technology during that time including the demise of ATM.

Time was all your home broadband surfing would have been made over an ATM backhaul connection (the link between the telephone exchange and the internet. Now it is almost certainly done over 10GigE.

Unless you are in the business the chances are you won’t understand any of these terms in which case just note the flow – 10>155>622>1,000>10,000>100,000 millions of bits per second. Remembering that the average broadband speed of something like 14Mbps is faster than the total aggregated connectivity of the whole of Finland in 1993.

Cop this Euro-IX video to understand how the internet works and what peering is all about – you don’t need to be a techie to watch.

Video and header image/logo courtesy of Euro-IX.