December 20, 2021
Last month, the IX-API founders DE-CIX, AMS-IX and LINX organised a virtual consultation workshop for other global IXPs, member networks and customers. The session was a success and created a positive platform to share ideas, answer queries and as a working group, to take improvement recommendations away to work on.
In 2019, the world’s leading Internet Exchange Point (IXP) operators AMS-IX (Amsterdam), DE-CIX (Frankfurt) and LINX (London), launched version 1 of the IX-API, a universal application-programming interface. This was a revolutionary collaboration for the IXPs, with the API being a first of its kind for the industry. The IX-API was initially adopted and utilised by the founders and a small handful of their common partners.
Version 2.1 was released this summer with the clear principle to drive wider adoption, and to benefit all types of IXPs, customers and members. This version updated schemas and the product offerings catalogue while at the same time included support for port management (incl. LOA handling), service decommissioning and account deprovisioning.
The goal of the workshop in November was to get feedback from the community for new features for a version 3.0 of IX-API. In addition, the workshop was a great platform to update the wider community on progress of the project.
“It is important that whilst we build more functionality into the IX-API we maintain good documentation, ease of adoption and scalability in the model, so that other IXPs can benefit from the development work we have done and continue to do."
The first adopters of the IX-API attended the workshop and shared their user stories. The outcome of this was valuable feedback that has now been captured and put into a specification document that will become a working project over the next few months.
“Now we have developed the foundations, driving additional functionality that our customers need is the highest on our priority list. This is supporting cloud connectivity and making monitoring and statistics data available for customers. Additionally, we are supporting the integration of the IX-API in third party open-source tools such as Peering Manager.”
The discussion of wider adoption and the ease to deploy remains high priority. AMS-IX, DE-CIX and LINX already have other contributors to the IX-API discussion and model, through IXPs such as Netnod (Sweden) and IX.BR (Brazil) but they continue to look at how they can further support global IXPs of all sizes, to benefit from this project.
“As we drive development at AMS-IX and the other IXs we look to progressively share our experience, development models and tooling in an open and standards-based way so we can foster greater community benefit and trust in the IX-API in the long term”.
Most large global networks connect to anything from 10, 20 to 30 or more Internet Exchange Points around the world. The founders realise that they need a model and a solution that can be readily adopted so the customer experience is seamless and efficient across each and all IXPs.
Independent development work is running in parallel with the open-source BGP session management solution, Peering Manager. This promises to provide open-source tools to enhance the peering process that will ultimately integrate with the IX-API.
On 30th November Peering Manager released version 1.5, which is now able to retrieve data from IX-API instances for IXPs. It displays data found in the remote IX-API that matches what Peering Manager knows about the IXP. Missing connections to an IXP, if found in IX-API can be setup with few clicks thanks to this feature.
All in all, work on IX-API is full steam ahead and confident that 2022 will bring wider adoption and further progress so stay tuned!