NaMeX has been a proud sponsor of ALNOG2, the second meeting of the Albanian Network Operators’ Group. NaMeX worked close with Albanian players to promote the first Albanian Network Operators Forum (ALNOF) last year. The aim was to create a network operators’ community in Albania, following the steps of other European groups. This objective was successfully reached: ALNOG was established as an informal community at the end of 2017, with its own website and mailing list.
The ALNOG2 event hosted several international speakers, such as Jan Zorz from ISOC, Paolo Lucente from NTT, Marco D’Itri from Seeweb and Petrit Hasani from RIPE NCC. There were also a couple of presentations by local players (Kledi Andoni from ANIX and Mariglen Hysko from RASH). In the afternoon, two tutorials on BGP communities and collecting Netflow with pmacct completed the programme. About 100 people showed up for the event, which was held at the Albanian National History Museum in Tirana.
We are particularly committed to the development of the Albanian network and we also promoted the birth of the first Albanian IXP, ANIX. ANIX started its operations at the end of March 2018 and it has now five active members and six other operators that are planning to join. The daily aggregated traffic grew proportionally with the growth of members and has now peaks of 60-70 Mbps.
ANIX is crucial for the developing of Albanian Internet. We had a chat with Daniele Arena, Project Manager at NaMeX, who summed up the work behind the creation of ANIX.
“We noticed that Albania was missing a neutral Internet Exchange Point and that a lot of traffic between Albanian endpoints had to pass through foreign countries. We have a close collaboration with the academic network of Albania since several years and we thought that their datacenter could be an ideal location to set up a neutral IXP. So we worked together with them and the local ISPs to foster the creation of the first neutral IXP in the country.
It took more than a year of work to create the conditions for the neutral IXP to be born, but at the end of March 2018, peering at ANIX finally started. We are very proud to say that the core switch has been donated by NaMeX. But all local ISPs collaborated: several of them even contributed in building the infrastructure connecting the data center hosting the IXP to the fiber manholes in the street.
It was immediately visible that the quality of the links between ISPs connected to ANIX improved: just as an example, the latency between the first two of the ISPs connected in March, dropped to little more than 1 ms, starting from a ping of more than 90 ms (data courtesy of RIPE Atlas).
Our work will continue: we want to increase the ANIX member base, formalise its governance and bring international players to Tirana. We also want to support Albanian ISPs through training (such as the BGP training held in May) and further community initiatives to consolidate the local community of network operators“.