Midwest Internet Exchange Updates – June 2017

I know I said I’d be doing this monthly and that I haven’t. Quite a few things are more important than doing blog posts about tests, so the post has been delayed.  🙂

For all time as of this evening, our fastest download was from Indiana University at 934,629 kilobits/s, while our fastest upload was 924,221 kilobits/s from iQuest Internet. These were both done on a PC. We’re assuming the GigE to the server is the limitation here. Hopefully in the next month that’ll be rectified. I think they need to add some more precision to their latency test as we have a few dozen tests with 0 ms of latency. Either those were broken tests or they were done in the Indianapolis area. A couple do say they were done in Indianapolis, so I suppose it is possible. Otherwise we do have a TON of 1 ms tests in Indianapolis to take the cake.

As far as mobile devices, we’ve got several entries via the Android app from Smithville Digital that are over 800 megabits/s, but don’t list a connection type. Are there Android devices with GigE ports? Excluding those, the fastest is still with Android at 463,434 kilobits/s download on Indiana Fiber Network and 605,892 upload also on Indiana Fiber network. Those were obviously both done over Wi-Fi. If we exclude Wi-Fi (and things that look to be Wi-Fi, such as LTE from a provider that doesn’t do LTE), the king of the heap is Sprint on Android at 215,149 kilobits/s for download and AT&T Android at 50,396 kilobits/s. The lowest latency from a mobile device was a 1 ms iPhone on Cogent. Filtering out WiFi and obviously broken tests, we have 24 ms on Verizon Android. We do have some lower iPhone tests, but they seem to be too low to be valid.

Now, the fun stuff. Who’s the worst? That’s hard to say we have a bunch of 0, 1, 2 kilobits/s tests from mobile devices, both on LTE and WiFi. We assume those were all due to signal issues. There were no obvious points to separate bad signal from usable signals for either platform in either direction. For PC based tests, we at least were able to get up to 14 kilobits/s down (Frontier in Valparaiso) and 3 kilobits/s up on Altius in Alexandria. The worst latency was 3,579 ms to an iPhone on AT&T U-Verse. Think mobile devices being slow is obvious? A PC from Smithville Digital didn’t do much better at 3,056 ms.

Open-IX statement updated

MidWest-IX has updated our Open-IX statement for Indianapolis.


Peering Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Different

There was some commentary at the end of yesterday’s CHI-NOG (Chicago Network Operators Group) meeting that to quote an attendee outside of the peering community, “was a huge disservice to attendees that didn’t know any better”. The commentary was that “peering is dead” and that fostering ecosystems and interconnection is where we are and should be going. They continued that the importance of these carrier hotels wasn’t the Internet exchanges or the peering that took place, but the driving down of transit prices through increased transit competition. The Internet exchanges outside of the major markets were just community “good will” from large corporations and had an insignificant impact on performance. We don’t disagree that it’s about ecosystems where you can do things you couldn’t do before. We don’t disagree that the traditional peering models of 20 – 30 years ago are dead. We don’t disagree that competition is good and has been driving down prices in all markets. We don’t disagree that the major CDNs play a huge roll in Internet exchanges. However, if you’re new to what peering is, you don’t know the context of the comments. You’re lead to believe that these Internet exchanges are just peddling snake oil.

Peering is still very much happening and very much important. People like Midwest-IX, RVA-IX, NashIX, MGMix, etc. are bringing Internet exchanges and “peering” to people and markets where there was no established place for such activities before. Hundreds of local networks are becoming aware of the advantages of peering, be it cost, performance or additional capabilities. The community in general talks about the value in new Internet exchanges being the “unique ASNs” they bring to the table. It could be universities or other educational networks. It could be small mom and pop last mile providers, data centers, hosting companies, managed services providers, IPTV or VoIP providers. Through these Internet exchanges and the peering they facilitate, traffic is kept local. There is no longer a reason for traffic within Indiana or Missouri\southern Illinois to go to Chicago or traffic in Alabama to go to Atlanta or Dallas or both. Someone on a local ISP can now connect directly to their local university for online classes, accessing research or simply working from home without fear of an unpleasant experience due to delay and congestion.

Big content and the tech media talk about pushing content to “the edge”. That’s exactly what these Internet exchanges are doing by building out in tier 2 and 3 markets. They’re providing fabrics closer to the end-users to reduce the cost of service delivery as well as increasing the performance of said delivery. Many  of these networks are already in the facilities the exchange would be in or the data center would partner with the IX to bring the IX to their facility at the risk of becoming irrelevant in the marketplace. The cost to join at that point would vary depending on that data center’s cross connect model. Fortunately, many data centers in these markets have very operator-friendly cross connects. Regarding the performance, we continually hear from networks that join our exchanges that overall traffic increased once they joined. It could be the effects of latency on TCP performance or it could be that there was congestion above them that they’ve now managed to circumvent. There’s not a lot of opportunity for something to go wrong when source and destination are connected locally through a high-performance switched network.

The Internet has changed significantly in the past 20 – 30 years when networks were a lot more hierarchical. End user made a request that went to their ISP. It may have traveled to another ISP before hitting a “tier 1” provider and went through their peering to another “tier 1” before descending down the other side to the other “tier 2” provider or perhaps their ISP did peer directly with the other “tier 2” ISP, whether direct or through an IX. There were few to no central repositories of content. Content was everywhere and that very much supported that hierarchical system. You depended on other networks to take you to other networks because there were so many places to get content from. Today there are still as many and perhaps more places to get content from. However, traffic profiles have changed. Now a single network is the source of 1/3 of all Internet traffic, Netflix. Another third comes in aggregate from a few other sources like Akamai, Google, Microsoft, etc. An ISP that largely caters to residential customers can move as much as 85% of their traffic over to Internet exchanges. When so much of your traffic comes from so few places, the hierarchical model simply doesn’t make any sense. While not being a peer from the historical or strictest sense, an end-user ISP and big CDNs are highly complementary. It makes incredible sense to directly connect these networks together.

But aren’t most ISPs trying to inhibit usage of these streaming video sources? Don’t these big content networks already have agreements with the ISPs? That is true of many in the top 10 – 20 (maybe even more than that) ISPs, but there are literally thousands of ISPs in the United States, not to mention higher education institutions that have more users than many ISPs. The general public decries the power the largest ISPs have, yet few (consumer or technology\content leaders) are willing to give the other ISPs the tools necessary to be successful. Marginalizing them isn’t going to do anyone any good. Other than the obvious patronage of customers, these other ISPs need the tools to serve the content the customers want cost effectively. These tools may be Internet exchanges, they may be caching boxes, they may be something else entirely. However, Internet exchanges and “peering” have had a big impact on many of these networks and has helped them to continue to provide competitive services to hungry customers.

Peering isn’t dead, it’s just different and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Previous CHI-NOG peering sessions for those looking to learn more:


St. Louis Moving Bits

Where are we? Our St. Louis Internet exchange in the Netrality facilities at 210 N. Tucker and 900 Walnut has been moving non-negligible bits for under three weeks. We’re doing great compared to our Indianapolis exchange’s launch, so we have high hopes for the St. Louis market. We’re already peaking at over 850 megabit/s.

What if you want to get elsewhere? We have two partners that can take you to other Internet exchanges, cloud service providers and more. The Fusion Network and Epsilon Telecommunications can get you there from your port on our Internet Exchange, just via another VLAN.

What’s next? We’re still working on getting a couple of the major content networks to sign on, but we need your help. They’re wanting to know who is already on the exchange, not who will come if they come. That means we need you to sign on ASAP so we don’t lose our momentum with them. We have a promotion available now where you sign up for a port and you don’t get a bill until you reach 10% utilization of your port. If you sign up for a 10G port, you can use up to 1G free. This is to encourage networks to sign up so we can start meeting some of the thresholds for these other networks. You can gain some benefit at no cost. Once those other content networks sign on, you’ll be seeing a ton of benefit for little cost.

and after that? Like we have done in Indianapolis, we want to be in as many facilities as we can in a market. If you’re in another St. Louis-area data center and would like us to expand to you, reach out to us. Assuming we wouldn’t lose money doing it, we’re open to expanding.

Thank you for your time and #KeepTrafficLocal. in Indy

While performing some troubleshooting with one of our customers, we determined they were using a server that would give sub-optimal results. We worked to put together our own server for the benefit of the networks on our Indianapolis IX. Not only will there now be a server with unrestricted performance to our IX members, but we will make the information that we collect from their customers available to them on an as-requested basis. That’s another benefit of membership without the cost and headache of running your own server, yet retaining the access to information on your customers.

The server is currently on a shared 1 gigabit connection, but in the near future, we expect to put it on a 10G connection, providing more room for 1g+ tests. Given that it is our own server, we’ll never have a shortage of capacity to the IX. Our server will then be the only one in Indiana able to provide such performance to end-users of many networks.

In the first 24 hours, the fastest iPhone download (with a latency of 10 ms) was 286 megabit/s over Metronet. The fastest iPhone upload with a latency of 5 ms goes to Endeavor Communications at 116 megabit/s. In the Android world, Ball State University takes the lead with one test at 10 ms attaining 256 megabit/s download and 196 megabit/s upload. As expected, mobile devices only have so much power. The fastest web-based download with a latency of 7 ms goes to Methodist Hospital of Indiana at 818 megabit/s. The lowest latency so far goes to Methodist. The fastest upload at 8 ms goes to Purdue University at 869 megabit/s. Once we get the server moved to 10G, let’s see what network will be the first to crest 1 gigabit/s.

That was the good. Here’s the bad. The highest latency goes to ViaSat – which is a satellite company – at 677 ms. Obviously there’s little they can do, given the satellite is around 25,000 miles out in space. Taking out the satellite tests, we have a Comcast test at 504 ms near Fishers, IN. I suspect there’s something wrong with their connection. The lowest speed download goes to AT&T Wireless at just 50 kilobit/s. The best dial-up was better than that. The worst upload test was on Bright House Networks at just 6 kilobit/s. Dial-up WAS up to 5 times better than that. Bright House (now Charter), Comcast and AT&T, do you guys wanna join our IX?  🙂

If you think this all sounds great and want to see your network on the leaderboard, sign up for our Indianapolis IX by the end of the month and we’ll waive the setup charge.


New IX signup Special!

Now through March 19th if you sign up for a port at our St. Louis exchange, we’ll waive the setup fee. You’ll need to supply your own cross connect, but we can get you connected as a part of a “first 60 days” special offer.

Available at the Netrality Properties facilities at 210 N. Tucker and 900 Walnut.

A GigE connection is $275/month and a 10GigE connection is $775/month.

Our St. Louis IX, now complete with launch event!

In conjunction with our partners and following up on our success in Indianapolis, we’re pleased to announce the launch event for the St. Louis Regional Internet Exchange (STL-RIX). It will be held Thursday, January 19th, 2017. We expect 20+ networks to join in the first few months, some of which have already started their paperwork to be ready at launch.

For some background, we’re launching an Internet exchange in St. Louis, partnered with a local not-for-profit. The not-for-profit will focus on IoT, innovation neighborhoods, education, the public sector and more. The Midwest-IX\FD-IX side will focus on the commercial Internet side of things. We’ll initially be in the Netrality Properties facilities at 210 N. Tucker and 900 Walnut, but will expand to other facilities as demand dictates.

To register for the event, check it out at Eventbrite. We’ve attached the press release below.

STL RIX Press Release – Jan 6 2017 – Issue 2 0

Things are a changing but staying the same

2016 has shown great growth for us here at MidWest-IX. We have brought on new peers such as Netflix, Hurricane Electric, and others.  Currently, we are flowing over 4 gigs of traffic at peaks across the Indianapolis fabric.  This is 4 gigs of lower latent and less congested traffic that would otherwise be transported to Chicago or Cincinnati and back.  This is great news for networks on the exchange.

As we grow, we are expanding into other markets we realize the name “MidWest Internet Exchange” does not reflect a global brand.  Over the past several weeks we have slowly been introducing our new name and Logo, FD-IX. FD-IX stands for Fiber Data Exchange.  We see this as our global brand moving forward.  This is a change in name only. We still have the same people, same network, and same great service.  Existing MidWest-IX e-mails and contact information will still work for clear into the future.  You will just see the FD-IX branding become more and more prevalent in things we do.

What does this mean for customers? Starting in early 2017 you will see the FD-IX name, web-site, and branding start to appear on billing and other correspondence alongside MidWest-IX. For new markets, such as Houston, and others planned for 2017 we will be solely using the FD-IX name.  This is more in line with our global brand strategy.

As always, if you have any questions please contact us at www.midwest-ix or (both go to the same place).  Enjoy the new year!

Thank You from the FD-IX team,


New Indy Member: SineWave (ASN 20193)

MidWest Internet Exchange (MidWest-IX), a progressive Internet Exchange (IX), announces the addition of SineWave Technologies (ASN: 20193) to our Indianapolis peering fabric.

07 November 2016

MidWest Internet Exchange (MidWest-IX), a progressive Internet Exchange (IX), announces the addition of SineWave Technologies (ASN: 20193) to our Indianapolis peering fabric.

According to Justin Wilson of MidWest-IX, “The addition of SineWave diversifies the peering fabric to a greater level.”  “SineWave’s portfolio of managed business products and security focus gives our members access to a greater depth of products with the benefit of lower latency and faster response. “

Cale Hollingsworth, SineWave Partner says “SineWave is excited to bring our clients and partners a more robust offering.  With today’s dependence on commodity cloud providers, real-time communications and mission critical network infrastructure, providing multiple pathways to major providers ensures the uptime, dependability and low latency our clients demand. Partnering with Midwest iX helps us achieve these goals.”

About MidWest-IX
MidWest-IX was formed in 2014 to address the needs of peering for customers in the Indianapolis area.  MidWest-IX has since expanded to other metro markets with more coming online in 2017.  MidWest-IX provides peering, Internet Exchange (IX), and layer 2 services.  MidWest-IX can also facilitate co-location, transit, DWDM, and other services through solutions partners. MidWest-IX can be reached at or 317.644.2224

About SineWave
SineWave Technologies is a leading local provider of managed services and emergency response in the data center industry. Their work includes high-speed, mission critical IT management for national clients. Founded in 2005, SineWave’s expertise includes network engineering, system administration, security and vulnerability scanning, and technical strategy. Sinewave can be reached on Twitter @sinewavetech, Facebook, or at

MidWest-IX announce 40 Gig Upgrades

MidWest Internet Exchange (MidWest-IX), a progressive Internet Exchange (IX), announces several upgrades to our Indianapolis fabric. These upgrades include additional 10 Gigabit ports, as well as 40 gigabit capability. MidWest-IX has installed additional switching upgrades in both 733 Henry and 401 North Shadeland locations.

The addition of more ports, especially 40 GIG, allows us to meet the ever-growing demand for high-capacity, low latency peering. We are seeing more and more customers looking to move to 10 GIG in the next 18 months.  This move to 10 gig will accelerate the need for the larger capacity 40 gig ports. As content moves closer and closer the need for larger capacity ports will become more and more important.

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