France-IX supports launch of first neutral IXP in Morocco
N+ONE Datacenters, a Casablanca-based cloud services provider, is launching the first neutral Internet exchange point (IXP) in Morocco, CASIX, with support from France-IX. Due to open in March 2016, the IXP is an important step on the road to improving in-country connectivity as it provides Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) with a neutral location for peering, enabling them to benefit from reduced reliance on international IP transit and associated costs.
N+ONE is a pioneer in datacentre infrastructure across North Africa. When developing plans for Morocco’s first neutral IXP, it chose to partner with France-IX, which has valuable experience in the challenges of interconnecting local networks in Africa. France-IX is providing N+ONE with ongoing technical assistance and remote technical support as well as donating equipment, which has provided over 100 Gbps of total port capacity. The technical infrastructure of the IXP is currently undergoing final testing and is on target to be fully operational for the launch date.
The neutrality of an IXP is important as it eliminates the possibility of the IXP owner, often a carrier, having influence over the peering community or their customers. If the IXP is neutral and offering free colocation services, then the peers are able to benefit from a democratized environment that is purely focused on providing maximum efficiency, performance and economic value. N+ONE decided to set up CASIX to help the process of democratizing the internet in Morocco where, amidst the advent of 4G, more and more people are using social media and access to the internet is becoming ever more important.
“As the first and largest carrier-neutral datacentre operator in Morocco, we are in a strong position to sponsor the country’s first neutral IXP. We will offer free colocation services for the exchange at all our facilities and our ISP, CDN, banking and corporate clients who are early peering members are already benefitting from the ability to exchange locally and are gaining added value from a neutrally managed IXP. Just like any new market, the numbers and benefits will continue to grow, “says Réda Ben Talha, Deputy Director Sales & Marketing at N+ONE Datacentre. « We chose to partner with France-IX as we wanted to tap into a successful IXP community and to benefit from its assistance. France-IX is a young IXP and yet it has managed to build an international community of nearly three hundreds networks, which is impressive. We met its team at several industry events and we naturally went on to discuss how we could work together.”
France-IX is dedicated to the promotion of neutral peering in France and helping to facilitate its development across the African continent where its team has led a number of Internet Society training sessions. By collaborating with N+ONE Datacenters in the development and launch of CASIX, France-IX envisions the acceleration of local peering in North Africa and the enhancement of interconnections in the Mediterranean region.
Franck Simon, Managing Director at France-IX, confirms: « There is a momentum in the region and our objective is to help keep it going. We will do so by backing N+ONE’s initiatives and look forward to building an effective long-term partnership. Five years ago, France-IX went through a similar experience, starting out on its own neutral IXP adventure in Paris and later in Marseille. We had to go through similar challenges of convincing the community to join and we wish N+ONE great success. »
CASIX is the second African IXP partnership for France-IX, following Senix in Senegal. These two collaborations demonstrate France-IX’s ability to support the development of internet connectivity in North and West Africa, helping these regions open up to the global economy and positioning France-IX as the leading digital gateway to Africa and the Middle East.