Growth continues in the Netherlands, albeit at a slightly slower than in recent years. We opened two new POPs in the Amsterdam metro area and began selling Cloud Interconnections to cloud platforms, including Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Across Europe, reseller partners such as EvoSwitch and Megaport added a significant number of new customers.
In Hong Kong, we saw an increase in the number of 100G ports and we’re growing as we’re adding more partners. We started AMS-IX India with plenty of interest from parties wishing to connect. Local partner Sify is focusing on the needs of local clients. We, in turn, are working to bring in high-volume content parties, many of which we serve in other regions. In 2018, we will add the Mumbai GPX datacentre, which will help add local and international players.
Curaçao also showed slow but steady growth. Our presence brings opportunities for regional connections in the future, thanks to capacity on existing sea cables to South America and Cuba as well as sea cables to be installed in coming years.
Our new partnership with Packet Fabric allows us to connect to 150 additional locations across the US. In Chicago, we went from 10G to 70G peak traffic in six months - a significant increase.
In 2017 we started the migration from Brocade MLXe-based hardware to Extreme SLX 9850 (formerly Brocade SLX 9850). Initial implementation in the spine (core) of the network went very smoothly. Throughout the remainder of 2017, we worked with Brocade on preparing the software for replacement of the platform’s access switches.
Implementation of Huawei OSN902 DWDM transmission equipment in our Amsterdam platform was completed, replacing a vast amount of 100GE over dark fiber by 200Gbps waves. We opened two POPs in the Amsterdam Metro area, at Digital Realty’s Amsterdam Data Tower, and at The Datacenter Group (TDCG).
For an operation point of view, our 24-hour NOC supported by Quanza is now fully integrated with AMS-IX operations and running smoothly. And in 2017, we built AMS-IX India. Our partner Sify owns and operates the Exchange and AMS-IX provides the brand and operations.
On security, the Falcon route servers were made the default route servers. Their main additional functionality is that by default all invalid routes based on RPKI or IRRDB route objects are dropped. And another milestone, the ISO27001 certification auditing took place in Q4 2017, resulting in certification in March 2018.
On Software development, my.ams-ix and reseller API were enhanced. We developed the API for operational interaction with the PacketFabric portal. PacketFabric customers can order an AMS-IX connection through this portal.
Overall 2017, we saw that bandwidth demand increased, reflected by the uptake of 100GE ports (+52%) in Amsterdam. GRX peak traffic reached 82 Gbps (+193%). We had predicted this would happen in June 2017, when new European roaming regulations forced Mobile Network Operators to abolish retail roaming charges in the EU.
With a peak traffic of 5.5 Terabits per second (Tbps) and a total yearly traffic volume of 13 Exabytes (EB), AMS-IX Amsterdam continues to be one of the world’s leading Internet Exchanges. in 2018, we are focusing on further implementation of Extreme/ Brocade SLX and developing and reworking our automation platform. We are also working on obtaining a presence in more data centers in the Netherlands and Europe.
AMS-IX remains a leading Internet Exchange with an established global presence. We’ve seen growth in the US and expansion in India. However, our ecosystem is changing fast. Becoming more competitive. Now the cost of transit has fallen, we’re seeing competition on price. Intense consolidation means there are fewer players, but they are more formidable than before. Now cost and technology are no longer key differentiators, we need to determine and communicate our added value. The diversity of our membership means we need to stay flexible and rethink the IXP model.
The highlight of 2017 was our strategy development. Innovative consultants helped us expand our thinking and look at different business models. The entire team’s response has been overwhelmingly positive. We have the skill, talent, energy and the good ideas on board. In 2018 we’ll be focusing on developing our software and tools, taking my.ams-ix further and staying in the lead.
After 17 and a half years, CEO and co-founder Job Witteman left AMS-IX last year. We are grateful for his contribution to AMS-IX. His successor Peter van Burgel’s business and leadership experience and his expertise in digital transformation and business models is exactly what needs AMS-IX today.
At the end of 2016, we continued to count on Alex Bik and welcomed three new board members: Mark Cooper (Megaport) Eric Loos (BICS) and Bart van der Sloot (LeaseWeb). This is my sixth and last year on the board. It has been an extremely rewarding experience to work with a dedicated board and a collaborative management team.
Staying in touch with the market will be even more important in 2018. We have made a number of decisions that will ensure IXPs remain successful, in the face of many changes to come. Our vision, strategy, technology and know-how are coming together and I am very confident about the future of AMS-IX.
On behalf of the Executive Board of the Association,
In March 2018, AMS-IX received ISO 27001:2013 certification, which specifically deals with information security. Aris Lambrianidis, Information Security Manager. “This certification instantly makes it clear to everyone that AMS-IX has a well-rounded, highly systematic approach to information security. Internet Exchange Providers’ methods of operation aren’t clear to everyone. That’s why it is important that we can demonstrate we’re taking all the right steps and are compliant with new and old EU regulations - especially because we’re classified as critical infrastructure.”
The process took almost two years. Together with all stakeholders, a wide variety of procedures were developed, refined and documented. Following this, a number of processes required by the standard were introduced. A number of critical controls have also been implemented. The finance department, NOC and Engineering already had very structured operational methodologies, which were a good starting point.
“We were helped by the fact that a great deal of up-to-date documentation was readily available. It was interesting to see that many of the required (technical) controls and policies were already in place for our core business, simply because staff had decided to implement them some time ago.”
“ISO certification is a continual process, which requires ongoing awareness and vigilance. We will keep working hard in order to maintain our current security standards.”
“This certification instantly makes it clear to everyone that AMS-IX has a well-rounded, highly systematic approach to information security.”
In 2017, commercial and political interests continued to affect the workings of the Internet and the way in which online services are provided and used. We’re still closely involved with DINL (Stichting Digitale Infrastructuur Nederland / Dutch Digital Infrastructure Foundation), which focuses on education, security and the importance of well-functioning digital infrastructure for future economic growth. We engaged in discussions with the newly elected Dutch government and are pleased to see that sector-wide efforts contributed to increased attention and budgets.
The infrastructure layer is essential to companies that create jobs, wealth and value. When it comes to attracting these businesses and accommodating developments, such as 5G and Internet of Things, global competition is increasing. Governments need to carefully consider regulatory and financial stimuli for infrastructure and connectivity.
In 2017, AMS-IX was officially recognized by the government as ‘vital infrastructure’. We’ve been examining how this affects our ways of working, partnerships and relationships with regulatory authorities. Furthermore, the Network Information Security Directive entered into force in August 2016. This places Internet Exchanges - including AMS-IX - in the ‘Operators of Essential Services (OES)’ category. As a result, we will be overseen in a way comparable to the financial and energy sectors. Our recent ISO 27001 certification plays an important part in demonstrating to regulatory authorities that we are on track.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), effective for all EU states, will be coming into force in 2018. This also impacts AMS-IX and we expect to inform customers in due time of any additional measures we will take.
In 2017, we saw several attacks on critical infrastructure resulting in increased attention for this topic. Cybercrime needs to be tackled through collaboration between industry and the government. We have placed DDoS mitigation for critical infrastructure on the agenda. We are actively linking customers that work with critical data and systems to connected parties that can help prevent or mitigate attacks. We are also working to revitalize the cooperation between Dutch access providers and content providers to create a common framework to ward off DDoS attacks.
2017, in Amsterdam, cloud interconnection services were launched, enabling direct and reseller customers to order Microsoft Azure, Amazon and Google Cloud on their physical ports. We improved the Customer Experience Order Flow on my.ams-ix.net, implemented API changes to our portal in cooperation with the Web Dev team, sent out announcements, updated our website and documentation and prepared a Q&A. We worked on Terms and Conditions for cloud services. Workshops for customers were held with Microsoft Azure and Megaport. Port provisioning was tested at the two new Amsterdam POPs.
With Packet Fabric, we worked on making AMS-IX accessible from 130 new locations in the USA. Terms and Conditions and customer contracts were prepared. We also conducted pre-flight and end-to-end testing of the process of adding a new customer, tested notifications, documented the order workflow and worked on API integration between the my.ams-ix.net and Packet Fabric portals. We decommissioned the DuPont Fabros and 325 Hudson colocations and worked on related customer migrations. We also continuously supported migration of partner Megaport’s customers from Mega IX to AMS-IX Hong Kong and AMS-IX USA.
In India, we developed an end-to-end order placement solution at the Rabale data center with local partner Sify. We provided my.ams-ix.net user portal guidelines, focusing on functionalities available to Sify customers. With the NOC and Finance teams, we clarified a wide range of topics.
A report on downgrades and disconnections and the duration of contract termination was prepared and the team looked into automating contract management. An in-house legal research was carried out into electronic signature legislation (in EU and USA). Steps were also taken to simplify and streamline the customer application and order process.
We began work on JIRA issue tracking software in September. We established integration touch points between my.ams-ix.net and JIRA projects, JIRA behavior of various notifications triggered by my.ams-ix.net, internal collaboration and automated escalations between us and other teams, documentation and so on.
Port prices were adjusted (prior to January 1st, 2018), as is the case each year. KPI research brought some interesting findings, including the positive fact that the median time from order created to order activated for physical ports is only 22 minutes.
2018: we will continue to improve and shorten time for orders and contract management for customers and will be involved in a cross-company project on Easy Access. We will be examining the effects of the new GDPR data privacy registration legislation, ensuring we conform to the standards. A survey about Customer Service and NOC will also be held. Of course, many other plans are being developed!