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INX Frequently asked questions
Equipment and Connectivity
Q: What equipment is required for connecting to an INX?
A: You can connect to the INX switch fabric using either a suitable router, or a MetroEthernet service. INX switches have copper based Ethernet connections and single-mode or, at older locations, multimode fibre Ethernet interfaces available. You require a router that supports BGP4 since all peering is done using BGP. Speak to your router vendor in order to obtain the best hardware. It is common to have dozens of BGP sessions with other members at the exchange and your hardware should be powerful enough to handle this, and the related traffic.
Q: From whom can I get backhaul links to an INX ?
A: Backhaul links into the INXs are typically provided as either MetroEthernet or SDH circuits over fibre. You can approach any licensed ECNS holder to provide you with these services. A number of ISPA’s large and medium members will already have a point-of-presence (PoP) at or near the INX environment and may be able to provide these services.
For larger capacity circuits it may be feasible to obtain dark fibre pairs or DWDM wavelengths into the INX environment.
Q: Can I get wireless access to an INX?
A: Yes, although roof or tower space near the INXs is normally limited and it is preferable to connect to an INX via a fibre based circuit. Ultimately, it would be up to the facility provider to determine the rules and processes for installation of radio equipment.
Q: Can I get international bandwidth via an INX?
A: A connection to an INX merely provides you with the opportunity to exchange traffic with the other networks connected to the same INX. Exactly what traffic you exchange depends on the arrangements you make with those other networks. Some of the other participants may be willing to provide you with an international transit service. There is nothing in the INX policies preventing a member from offering such a service, but it is not a service that the IXP provides.
Q: Why can’t I host my server at an INX?
A: INX-ZA is not in the server-hosting business. Most of the INX participants provide hosting services, and INX-ZA does not compete with its membership. Technically, while it may seem appealing to host a server at a central location, there is a negligible difference in performance if the server is hosted on the network of an peering participant with a high-speed connection to the INX. From time to time certain exceptions are granted for services of critical Internet infrastructure, like DNS server operators or monitoring services at the exchange. These exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the INX Committee.
BGP and Peering
Q: Is there a looking glass available?
Q: How can I see statistics of the exchanges?
An exchange in other locations
Q: Why isn’t there an INX in location X?
A: INX-ZA is constantly on the look out for additional data centre facilities in order to either expand one of our existing INXs within a particular city or to develop new peering points in other towns and cities to encourage the local exchange of traffic. Please contact us to discuss any opportunities.
Q: Who sets the rules/policy for the INXes?
A: INX-ZA's Management Committee is in charge of INX policy. This committee is elected by participants at the exchange points and is responsible for developing and implementing policy, for the benefit of the peering community at the INXes. As far as possible, the INX committee will give the exchange point user community an opportunity to comment on and reach consensus on any decisions regarding INX policy.
Q: Why is there a port fee for the INXes? Surely IXP-x is better because it's free?
A: Aside from the regular operating costs of operating the Exchanges, INX-ZA uses the port fees collected to subsidise many community projects, all geared towards improving the Internet ecosystem in South Africa. These include the provision of Critical Internet Services (eg. DNS Roots), training and capacity building, and advocacy for a continued open Internet environment. INX port fees are set by the community-elected representatives from the peering community.
Contact & Administrative
Q: How do I get hold of someone at the INXs?
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