Latency has always been a problem digital businesses can’t avoid. Businesses can always ramp up bandwidth over an internet transport, but they will have limited control over latency as distance increases.
Also, cyber-threats are also becoming a critical issue in the interconnected digital business economy, making the public internet an increasing security challenge.
Therefore, ensuring that key IT and networking functions at the digital edge, close to huge populations of users and partners as well as high concentrations of applications and data, is a critical first step to mitigating the risks associated with both latency and security.
This is one crucial role the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) is playing in localising traffic in the country as highlighted by the Managing Director of Rack Centre, Dr. Ayotunde Coker, during a recent virtual media interactive session.
An Internet exchange point (IXP) is a physical infrastructure that allows several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and network operators to exchange traffic between their networks, generally referred to as autonomous systems, by means of mutual peering agreements, which allow traffic to be exchanged at no cost.
Historically, in year 2006, the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), under the leadership of the then acting Executive Vice Chairman’, Dr. Bashir Gwandu, approved a proposal to partly fund the setting-up of Internet eXchange Points (IXPs) in Nigeria, with a collaboration between NCC and ISPAN.
The present structure of IXPN berthed on February 2011 with a vision to provide a national core infrastructure that facilitates internet operations in Nigeria and to localise traffic as well as reduce local internet routing cost.
Dr. Coker while identifying how the activities of IXPN will help Nigeria become a hub for digital infrastructure, said, “We are half the latency from South Africa to Europe. We also provide more efficient connectivity to the United States. We connect five of the undersea cables to enable efficient transmission. So, that is a fantastic geo-physical location. We have awards for these. We host Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN).
“We have maintained 100% uptime since 2013 (it is something we will continue to maintain). One of the key things we are doing presently in collaboration with the IXPN – with respect to driving efficiency of services and interconnections through the internet – is now to offer our customers free interconnect to the internet through IXPN.
“The IXPN has done a remarkable job in localising the Nigeria traffic. What we are doing is providing that free interconnect. So, our customers enjoy the ability to optimise their services. Imagine a Fintech application now that things are going paperless and contactless, where the performances are instantaneous, the customer experience is excellent, because the data doesn’t have to transit through to other parts of the world only to come back here affecting service performance. We deliver much more efficiency for our customers.
Rack Centre as carrier-neutral data centre:
“We have a domestic cloud neutral ecosystem. We don’t provide cloud services directly to the customers rather we provide platform for cloud services like Microsoft Azure, Stack and other local cloud capabilities.
“Of all the data centres in Africa, we are the most decorated (awarded) and we won those awards in competition with the best data centres in the United States and UK”, he said.