Growth in global cloud, content and digital communications is driving the need for efficient exchange of traffic in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Large enterprises in the region are looking at new networking models to ensure their users get the best possible experience from cloud-delivered applications and content.
Cloud adoption is rapidly accelerating across the APAC region, with Singapore and Hong Kong emerging as major cloud hubs. According to IDC, the region’s spending on public cloud services is expected to almost triple with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 33.9%, reaching $76.1 billion by 2023.
The increased consumption of cloud-delivered services is challenging these enterprises to deliver even better digital experiences. Demand for connectivity will continue to grow as Asian enterprises expand within and outside of their home countries. This means bringing them as close as possible to their end users.
To capitalise on the business potential abroad, business leaders in APAC must realise new global networking capability to accelerate their presence in new markets. However, many enterprises do not have the expertise to build an entire network to connect to markets across regions.
Some may not be able to afford a local workforce to manage multiple network service providers in every single market. It only gets more complicated as they enter new markets with multiple public cloud connections and peering agreements with local internet service providers (ISPs).
Connectivity in the Experience Economy
Content itself is king, but in the experience economy, it is all about how efficiently you can deliver them to end users. APAC enterprises with global endeavours have to recognise the power of peering to bring their applications and content closer to end users in Europe, Africa and the US. This is even more prevalent when considering the dominance of the hybrid cloud model.
Over-the-top (OTT) providers, media companies and digital service providers need to establish local presence to exchange traffic with local ISPs. Many are opting for a more cost-effective way by peering at an internet exchange (IX), but connecting to these exchange points can be complicated and hard to manage.
The challenge for these businesses is to continue to expand and grow their connectivity as they enter new markets, in order to deliver a consistent, high-quality user experience. This usually requires large investments to establish a physical point of presence (PoP) to exchange traffic locally at an internet exchange point (IXP).
Is There a Better Way to Peer at IXPs?
Peering is the arrangement of traffic exchange between networks. A large ISP could allow traffic from other ISPs in exchange for traffic on their backbone network, and also exchange traffic with smaller ISPs to reach regional end points.
An IX provides a neutral peering point between service providers and networks, facilitating the exchange of internet traffic within an enabled physical location known as an IXP. To peer at an IX, members will need to have a point of presence (PoP) at the exchange point.
For enterprises that prefer a fuss-free way to peer at IXPs, remote peering offers direct access to exchange points without the need for a PoP. This reduces the need for additional installation costs in deploying hardware or colocating in the same facility where the IX is present. This makes it much more cost-efficient and flexible to connect and peer at multiple IXPs globally.
IXPs help to reduce the number of hops between service providers, which helps to lower network latency. This significantly improves end users’ online experiences when using bandwidth-sensitive applications such as video on-demand and online gaming.
The Power of Software-Defined Networking
On-demand connectivity delivered via a self-service platform puts the control in the hands of the enterprise and enables them to reach IXs anywhere in the world at the click of a button. Many network service providers have applied software-defined networking (SDN) technology to build network fabrics with access to IXs globally.
These service providers have pre-existing connections with the IXs to make these service locations visible on the SDN platform. It allows self-service provisioning of connectivity services to the IX of their choice, whilst having complete visibility over the network performance via a single user interface.
The centrepiece of SDN is the use of application programming interface (API) in service delivery. Management of network resources can be orchestrated at the application layer and integrated between platforms to enable higher levels of automation. This streamlines the delivery process and significantly improves the speed of provisioning.
Adapting and Growing
Remote peering enables enterprises to benefit from peering at a greater variety of IXPs globally. As digital consumption continues to accelerate in the APAC market, remote peering will become the most efficient way to deliver the best online experience for applications and content. With SDN platforms, they have the freedom to scale their connectivity across a global peering ecosystem at their fingertips.
Wtitten by Chadwick Kinlay, Director, Marketing & Communications, Epsilon