A challenging but rewarding year has just passed for NaMeX on the technical side, a year that saw our staff involved in several projects at different levels of the infrastructure.
Datacenter environment in Rome
On the datacenter side, we completed the activation of two new PoPs in Rome: the Augustus site in Ponte Galeria, in the western side of the city, hosted by Unidata, and the Tiberius site in the eastern neighbourhood, hosted by Interxion; both sites were connected by fiber rings to Caesar, the historical main site in Via dei Tizii, hosted by CINECA. This latter site also went through an ambitious expansion plan, which brought us two new datacenter rooms, expanded power capacity and enhanced redundancy and fault-resiliency.
Peering and related services
We ended up the year with a +55% increase in public peering traffic and a new peak record exceeding 70 Gbps. This comes in the first place as a result of new content providers added – such as Facebook and Google’s AS15169 networks – as well as new access providers connecting to the infrastructure. However, also other factors contributed to our traffic growth; the careful work of promotion, upgrades planning and development of new tools, have certainly contributed to raising awareness of public peering traffic development and optimization.
We launched a new technical portal, MY NAMEX, based on the well known INEX IXP Manager software suite, which provides members with detailed information and insights on their peering connections, as well as other technical aspects. This new tool gives NaMeX staff useful tools to support provisioning and monitoring of platform status. Public peering matrix, detailed sFlow peer-to-peer traffic graphs, latency graphs, prefixes analysis are now available at a glance.
An additional route server platform was deployed, based on BIRD routing software: our route server infrastructure now relies on two diverse platforms – OpenBGPd/OpenBSD and BIRD/Linux – to provide redundancy and software diversity. Both platforms are automatically configured on a daily basis and support IRRDB ingress prefix filtering and basic export policy expression via community tags.
We made also a great effort in the deployment and enforcing of best practices, which gained us the achievement of MANRS compliance. MANRS is a global initiative, supported by the Internet Society, that provides crucial fixes to eliminate the most common routing threats.
We are observing an increased interest in public peering in Rome. This is due both to a strategic trend in large content networks and a raised awareness in medium and local access providers; the former are approaching Rome to better serve central and southern areas of Italy while the latter are increasingly discovering and appreciating the benefits of keeping local traffic local. We try to foster these trends not only through a constant dialogue with large national and international players but also working on the professional training, promoting initiatives such as the NAMEX Academy and the itinerant appointments of ITNOG on the Road.