One of the largest influencers on the evolution of the Internet is the element of connectivity – namely, the ways in which we connect to various locations via the Web. Managing the flow of data and content across networks is a difficult yet critical task for the success of virtually any organization with an online presence. Today, enterprises around the world are turning to Internet Exchanges (IXs) to connect with a wide array of networks from a single point for fast, easy and cost-effective exchange of global traffic.

Public peering through an IX also provides control over routing and traffic flow with connectivity to hundreds of network providers. By using an exchange, it’s no longer just about buying connectivity from an individual carrier and leaving the rest up to them. Users are now able to take total control of traffic delivery to their customers and end-users in a way that benefits their organization. By utilizing an IX peering platform, companies gain visibility into how much traffic is flowing over its port and where it goes, and avoid the frustration of overbooked IP transit routes. Instead, it can choose which network it sends its traffic to, and bypass congested IP transit routes, thereby improving performance. In addition, in the event that peering sessions fail, transit services provide backup connectivity to peer networks, and if the transit connectivity fails, the peering connectivity remains unaffected.

Security has also become a major concern throughout the industry as major DDoS waves flood networks around the globe. In order to combat these malicious attacks, it is critical to decentralize networks utilizing multiple routes to reroute traffic. Recognizing this need, advanced peering platforms utilize a process known as Blackholing to effectively alleviate traffic, unburdening routes to leave more capacity for non-malicious traffic. This process dramatically reduces the size of an attack as well as the collateral damage in the region of origin.

Because bandwidth requirements for services like cloud, video or VoIP grow continuously, and for these technologies very millisecond is important, peering provides the lowest latency path and therefore greatly enhances the end-user experience. Additionally, the more networks you reach with one cross-connect, the fewer cross-connects you need to pay for. With just one cross-connect, an IX allows organizations to reach hundreds of networks. Reaching a multitude of networks also reduces its IP transit costs.

By leveraging low-latency connections, enhanced control of traffic routing, and advanced security and privacy, today’s enterprises are thriving with help from international internet exchanges. These exchanges are building healthy ecosystems all over the world by supporting peering and allowing organizations to experience greater growth and success.

As a result, peering has become a core requirement across local, regional and global commerce. By lowering overall IP transit costs and delivering enhanced end-to-end network performance, speed and reliability, Internet Exchanges will play a major role in advancing the digital economy in which businesses are demanding increasing levels of interconnection to accelerate performance.