Much like the fabled butterfly effect that eventually creates a tidal wave, millions of smartphones and tablets attached to networks are starting to have a material impact on how network services are being deployed and managed. In fact, ACG Research recently published a report commissioned by Ciena Networks that suggests the collective weight of all these devices will drive increased demand for network bandwidth by a factor of five by 2018.
It’s clear that the primary driver of that increased demand is video, which is being delivered mostly to a variety of consumer applications. While that might not mean much to the average IT service provider, all that bandwidth consumption is increasing how network services are being consumed and affecting where data centers are being located.
Network latency affecting cloud applications
Not too long ago the factors that drove where an application would be hosted were the price of the land needed to build the data center and the cost of electricity. But in the age of the cloud, network latency is the primary factor driving the decision on where to host a Web application.
The closer any application is to an Internet peering exchange, the less network latency there is. For cloud applications, network latency is the ultimate enemy. The slower the cloud applications, the lower the adoption rate.
For IT service providers, this shift in where applications are being deployed has profound implications. While there is a definite trend toward consolidating application deployments inside fewer hosting facilities, there is also a marked preference for hosting facilities located near Internet peering exchanges. As such, it should not come as much of a surprise to see the number of Internet peering exchanges starting to increase.
Strategic data center locations
Case in point is NashIX, a new Internet peering exchange being built in Nashville by 365 Data Centers. Rather than backhaul network traffic to Internet peering exchanges in either Chicago or Atlanta, it’s less costly for customers in the Nashville area to deploy applications at the NashIX peering exchange. Like every other Internet peering exchange, it won’t be long before a critical mass of applications starts being deployed at hosting facilities located next to NashIX.
On an even grander scale, Equinix has built a series of data center facilities directly on top of a global network of Internet peering exchanges. This includes application programming interface (API) management software from Apigee.
The influence of Internet peering exchanges
It’s only a matter of time before applications residing in the same hosting facilities wind up being integrated with one another using RESTful APIs. Once that occurs, both IT services providers and their IT customers are going to deploy administrators as close as possible to those Internet peering exchanges. As that occurs more often, a larger ecosystem will start to emerge around the Internet peering exchanges.
Thanks mainly to a butterfly effect created by millions of smartphones and tablets, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that Internet peering exchanges are about transform almost every aspect of delivering network services inside and out of the enterprise.