WAIA eyes next steps for Victorian peer trial

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WAIA eyes next steps for Victorian peer trial

Sets up third state-based internet exchange.

The Western Australian Internet Association (WAIA) is considering taking its Victorian peering point out of trial in a bid to recover costs associated with running the carrier-neutral service.

The association launched the VIC-IX internet exchange five months ago, promising early adopters they could connect and exchange data over the peering fabric at "no charge" for at least three months.

President Richard Bone told iTnews the time was coming to move from trial to "cost recovery" in Victoria.

"We are actually looking now to solidify the Victorian offering," he said.

"We're getting to the point now where the trial does need to come to a conclusion. We need to operate on a cost-recovery basis."

WAIA announced in August that the exchange had nine active peers including Micron21, Internode, Primus, iiNet and Anittel. Currently, the active peer count is about 20.

Peak traffic loads on VIC-IX are about 600 Mbps. The association's original state-based exchange, WAIX, peaks at over 5 Gbps but also has over 80 peers, four times that of Victoria.

The other factor accounting for a traffic difference between WAIX and VIC-IX is content.

The association houses content servers - such as for the game platform Steam - at its Western Australian peering points.

The servers act as a local cache for participating peers.

"For the small-to-medium tier players that obviously provides a big benefit and if it's something that we can host and share the cost across multiple members, it again comes back to [us providing] mutually beneficial [resources for peers]," Bone said.

"At the moment we don't have a lot of content over on [the VIC-IX] network.

"We're just putting in place some moves to start to push some content onto that peering point."

Content can also be potentially pushed between Western Australia and Victoria over inter-capital links.


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Queensland expansion

The moves in Victoria come as WAIA launches a new exchange in Queensland, located in NextDC's Brisbane data centre.

The QLD-IX has been under construction for about a month and had been waiting on the provision of cross-connects and optimisation before it could be launched publicly.

"[We're launching] largely because we've seen so much interest in a carrier-neutral service," Bone said.

"We're optimistic that we're going to see some good results in Queensland.

"I would imagine we'll be running NextDC in Queensland for at least 6-12 months, try and build up some traffic over that timeframe, try to deliver some value back to those peers who want to participate, and hopefully make a go of it.

"[But] just because it's there doesn't mean it's going to work. It is important that we try and build that momentum and get the benefits for all members who want to participate."

WAIA's model was not to compete with peers but to offer an alternative to commercial internet exchanges, such as those run by Pipe Networks/TPG (Pipe-IX) or Equinix.

Early adopters at QLD-IX will receive free peering, similar to the deal WAIA ran in Victoria.

NextDC founder Bevan Slattery said in a statement that hosting the trial IX would help NextDC achieve its goal of creating "a cloud enabling ecosystem".

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