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that customers will ingress at the

closest PoP (i.e., customers lo-

cated on the West Coast will have

a high probability of ingressing at

San Francisco or Seattle). If the

desired service is at each location,

the traffic will be handled locally,

or will route to the nearest PoP

across the backbone.

One of the keys to establish-

ing this environment is peering on

an Internet exchange point (IXP).

When an IXP link is established,

networks can peer with other IXP

networks in a given region. This

method allows companies that

exchange significant traffic to form

a peering relationship over the

exchange, resulting in direct traffic

exchanges between the networks

and thus eliminating the need

to rely on costly Internet transit.

Another option is to form a direct

connection within the same carri-

er-neutral facility if private peering

is desired.

This is just one example of a

strategy that can be used to build

a global IP backbone with multiple

PoPs, peering arrangements and

connectivity options to increase per-

formance and routing visibility on

the Internet. The end result enables

you to be closer to your customers

and partners, leading to higher ser-

vice quality and reduced costs.

Cloud-Agnostic Data


The classic approach to networking

typically involves building facilities with

cages and rows of bare-metal servers

and network gear to establish con-

nectivity. An alternative is to use cloud

service providers as the new data cen-

ter. Using a small footprint of network

hardware and direct connections, orga-

nizations can build IP backbones that

establish routing with cloud providers

to route virtual networks.

Using a cloud-agnostic approach,

companies can strategically build

network PoPs within close proximity to

cloud providers offering direct cross-

connects. A simple network model can

be used to route traffic to and from a

PoP with standard Internet transit. An

edge and core layer of routers is used

to manage routing decisions at the

PoP, and an aggregation layer can be

used to establish local cross-connects

to build routing peers. This model al-

lows an organization to peer privately

with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft

Azure, IBM SoftLayer, Google Cloud

(GCE) or any other cloud provider of-

fering similar services.

Once the network is live and peer-

ing is established, the virtual network

built in the cloud is then routed using

the IP backbone of the network. A vir-

tual network in AWS East can talk to

a virtual network in Azure Central all

over the same private IP backbone, as

if those virtual networks were actual

data centers. Once this connectivity

is in place, all virtual instances within

the cloud provider are essentially just

a server within the network. Each

cloud has networking limitations that

organizations will need to creatively

work around to meet their needs, but

basic configurations, such as build-

ing NAT translations or using your

own IP space, are simple advantages

that can be implemented. This model

allows for a small and cost efficient

network footprint when compared

to building traditional data centers,

as the data center burdens are con-

sumed by the cloud provider.

Another benefit of this model is

that control of the network is main-

tained by the organization. All routing

decisions, IP space, QoS policies,

etc., can be handled within the net-

work layer, which provides additional

flexibility. Depending on the use case

of the network, the total footprint can

be as small as a single 45RU cabinet

filled with only the necessary hard-

ware needed to build the model and

establish connectivity.

So What?

During the past decade, the public

Internet and cloud computing have

truly gone global, with even the small-

est business in the most remote part

of the world leveraging the ability to

spin up compute and storage with the

likes of AWS, IBM SoftLayer, GCS or

Azure. This new ubiquitous capability,

coupled with the increasing focus on

DevOps automation and user-friendly

software applications, has deeper im-

plications for the delivery of real-time

communications over the Internet.

Quality of service and reduced

costs are the main benefits to an or-

ganization’s ability to deliver diverse,

resilient and redundant real-time com-

munications associated with the adop-

tion of these technologies. Network

automation, building select peering

relationships and deploying cloud-ag-

nostic PoPs all contribute to increased

QoS. Further, the start-up investment

cost and effort for implementing these

strategies has decreased dramatically

in recent years—and will continue to

do so in the coming decades.

Ian Reither is co-founder and COO

at Telnyx, and Jason Craft is senior net-

work engineer at the company. Learn

more at






























An example multi-cloud strategy using

cloud providers as the “new data center,”

connecting directly into the

backbone network







July - August 2016