IXP Terminology

Check out the glossary of IXP terminology on the Euro-IX website and the definition of an IXP by the Internet eXchange Federation (IX-F).


Other Industry Terminology

Are you confused or not sure of terminology used in the interconnection industry?
See some of the quick reference guides below.


The Open-IX Data Center Definitions and Technical Standards here


Astroids Peering Terminology (coming soon)

Other Terminology


Term Description
Peering The exchange of traffic between two networks at no cost.
Private Peering Physical direct connection between only two parties.
Public Peering (Over IXP) Physical connection to a medium, managed by a third party, through which multiple parties are connected and approachable.
Bi-Lateral Gives access to the networks of the parties you are peering with and their client-networks.
Multi-Lateral Access to multiple networks from parties you are peering with, based on one agreement.
IXP An Internet Exchange point or IXP is a set of physical infrastructure (routing and switching equipment, etc.) where enterprises, network operators, CDN’s and cloud services providers interconnect in order for Internet traffic to be exchanged between themselves and others who are connected to the exchange. The primary role is to keep local Internet traffic within local infrastructure. Benefits include lower network costs, reduced latency and better bandwidth by avoiding data routing through upstream Internet service providers.
RPKI Resource Public Key Infrastructure
MANRS Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security
IRR Internet Routing Registries
ASN Autonomous System Number 
Interconnect The physical cable used to connect two networks. This is also referred to as a ‘cross-connect’ or ‘xconnect’.
PeeringDB Freely available, user-maintained, database of networks, and is the go-to location for interconnection data.
RX/TX swop Swopping the pairs of the fibre connectors on a cable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1Wq1kC2owg
DDOS (Distributed-Denial-of-Service) Attack A cyber-attack in which the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to the Internet.
Patching Connecting a cable type to a port on a switch/router.
LAG Bundle of interconnects which will serve as 1 connection and allocated only 1 IP address.
Redundancy Interconnect connection terminate on different hardware to allow for fail over.
MM Fibre Multi-Mode Fibre – for short distance.
SM Fibre Single-Mode Fibre – for longer distances.
Light Ray Sends out frequency.
Flapping When a connection continuously drop.
Packets Formatted unit of data carried by a packet-switched network.
Packet Loss Occurs when one or more packets of data travelling across a computer network fail to reach their destination.
ASN Autonomous System Number is allocated to each network for use in BGP routing. ASN’s identify each network on the internet.
BGP Peering Peering requires the exchange and updating of router information between peered networks.
SFP Small Form-Factor Pluggable: Small transceiver that plugs unto the SFP port of a network switch / router and connects to Fibre channel and Gigabit ethernet optical fibre cables at the other end.
Switching Packets are transferred from source to destination using MAC Address. This is done within the network.
Routing Process which is done between two networks using IP addresses = Routes between networks.
MAC Address Media Access Control address of a computer is a unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communication at the data link layer for a network segment.
Network Segment Portion of a network that is separated from the rest of the network by a device such as a repeater, hub, bridge, switch or router. Each segment can contain one or multiple computers or other hosts.
Repeater Network device that is used to regenerate or replicate signals that are weakened or distorted by transmission over long distances and through areas with high levels of electromagnetic interference.
Hub Common connection point for devices in a network. These are used to connect segments of a LAN.
Bridge Computer networking device that creates a single aggregate network for multiple communication networks or network segments.
NAP Network Access Point is a public network exchange facility where Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) connect with one another in peering arrangements.
Ping Packet InterNet Groper is a utility used to verify whether or not a network data packet is capable of being distributed to an address without errors.
Configuration Process of setting a network’s controls, flow and operation to support the network communication of an organisation and/or network owner.
VLAN Interface Virtual interface that is attached to the physical network port or bond that your VLAN is configured on. Also used to automatically tag traffic that is routed through with the appropriate VLAN ID.
VPN Virtual Private Network is a technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network.
Bogons Fake IP addresses of a computer network.
RIR (Regional Internet Registry) Orginisation that manages the allocation and registration of Internet number resources within a particular region (ICANN provides IP blocks to RIR’s).
Internet Transit Business relationships whereby an Internet Service Provider provides access to the Global Internet.
Transit The carrying of traffic / packets from one place to another at a cost.
Multi-Homing Practice of connecting two or more upstream ISP’s which improves performance, resiliency and reduces cost.
Upstream Provider Large ISP that provides Internet access to local ISP’s.
Direct-circuit Peering Peering using Point-to-Point.
Private Peering Peering across a dedicated layer 2 circuit between two parties, that are bypassing part of the public backbone network (IXP) through which most internet traffic passes.
Public Peering Peering across a shared fabric such as an ethernet switch.
Paid Peering Peering relationship with an exchange of compensation from one party to another.
Peering break-even Point

Point at which the unit cost of peering exactly equals the unit price of Internet transit.

  • Peering Break-even Point: Monthly Cost of Peering / Unit Price of Transit
  • Savings (Mbps Peered – Peering Break Even Point) x Market Transit Price.
Effective Peering Bandwidth Maximum amount of traffic that can be safely transported across peering infrastructure.
Effective Peering Range Range of peering traffic exchange that makes sense financially.
Cache Hardware/software component that stores data so that future requests fir the data can be served faster; the data stored in a cache might be the result of an earlier computation or a copy of data stored elsewhere.
Point of Presence Artificial demarcation point or interface point between communicating entities i.e the local access point that allows users to connect yia the Internet with their ISP.
Internet Region Portion if the Internet contained within the boundaries of a country.
Internet Peering Ecosystem Collection of ISP’s that interconnect their networks in various business relationships within an Internet Region.
Peering Policy

Documents and defines prerequisites to peering:

  • Open: Willingness to peer with any other player in ecosystem
  • Selective: Willingness to peer with any other player in ecosystem with a  few requirements
  • Restrictive: Reflects desire not to peer with just anyone else

No Peering: Desire not to peer at all.

Interconnection The linking of two networks for the mutual exchange of traffic.