We wrote recently about the convergence trends in interconnection for Internet and Cloud Exchange Points (IXP/CXP). There are a variety of challenges in reducing costs and increasing revenue opportunities:
Cost/port is a key factor as customer connections and services migrate from 10Gbps to 100Gbps. Ultra-high density 10Gbps/100Gbps platforms are essential with the right mix of technologies (e.g., VPLS and EVPN, etc.)
IXPs/CXPs are confronting the inefficiencies of manual tasks or one-off non-reusable and inflexible, partial automation. There are rising operational costs associated with handling increasingly complex infrastructure for growing numbers of customers who need cloud services (private and public).
Slow service delivery means longer time to revenue, poor customer experience (at an extremely impressionable time) and stalled access to auxiliary revenue streams. This also increases chances for human error and opens the potential for customers going to competitors.
Further revenue loss can come from not offering a variety of connection services. For example, IXPs/CXPs could benefit from offering more tiered service options such as a fractional service (e.g., 20G off a 100G link).
What Do Enterprise Customers Expect of IXPs?
When enterprises select exchanges to meet their mission-critical business requirements and budgets, they are increasingly demanding lowered costs and more stringent SLAs. This makes it incumbent on the IXPs/CXPs to automate common tasks to free up their cycles, and offer new troubleshooting tools and value-added services.
IXPs and CXPs are in a price-sensitive business. A very high-density platform with future proofing (example: 1.5RU blades on SLX 9850and very deep tunable buffers) helps IXPs continue to offer competitive advantages in dealing with the current explosion in traffic rates.
Without the required technology mix and automation, IXP/CXP OpEx can continue to be very high. Lack of a future-proofed platform and agility could lead to higher TCO, margin erosion, and suboptimal/rigid customer support tools.
How Are Leading IXPs/CXPs Addressing This?
Executives in these intersecting industries are asking themselves how are they can address its challenges and opportunities:
Reduce solution costs, both initially and over time; this involves architectural choices (for service agility and variety) and the need for scalable platforms for future proofing – capacity, density, modularity, etc. are factors
Reduce time to revenue (identify and deliver new opportunities)
Drive up operational efficiency (resolve issues faster and more permanently)
Henk Steenman, their CTO, noted that, “This development is helping us prepare our infrastructure for the future. This not only supports ongoing growth, but also fulfils the need for more bandwidth. It will help us manage the increasing amount of traffic, deliver more 100G-ports and get things done in a more cost-efficient way. This, in turn, will allow us to reduce prices further.”
By leveraging Brocade solutions, IXPs/CXPs have a pathway to reduce time to revenue (example: they can leverage automation to turn up and start billing for new services in minutes, hours or days instead of weeks or months). Use of Brocade Workflow Composer including the IXP Automation Suite can lead to higher margin services and free cycles to develop new service and application offerings.
Call to Action
To obtain the maximum CapEx and OpEx efficiency, IXPs/CxPs (and indeed all operators) must optimize:
Density: Achieve the lowest cost per bit of data that moves across the network using a highly efficient platform
Scalability: need a more continuous way of scaling their Infrastucture to meet short-medium term requirements
Visibility: Increase service uptime and tighten SLAs (without increased costs) to enable greater competitiveness and/or perceived value; also provide the collected data needed for intelligent automation
Automacity: Leverage intelligent automation to create margin opportunities for services delivered
For more information, see the links in this article and the following: