High speed and low latency are critical requirements for daily connectivity, and transit services can be extremely expensive. Leveraging Merit infrastructure and the Internet2 Cloud Connect platform, Merit can provide direct Layer 3 peering and caching with multiple points-of-presence to the community. This benefit is automatically included in Merit Internet, requiring no additional steps from our membership.
You can also implement a direct cloud connect with content providers like Amazon Direct Connect, Google Cloud Interconnect and Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, all with little to no additional fees.
Peering is a process by which two internet networks connect and exchange traffic freely for mutual benefit. Using two types of peering, public or private, traffic can be networked directly between each organizations’ members instead of having to pay a third party to do it for them. Public peering is done through an internet exchange using an ethernet switch (or switches) in a colocation facility in which all the networks peering in the facility connect. Private peering is when two networks put routers in the same building, but run a direct cable between them rather than connecting via the exchange point switch.
There are multiple benefits to peering, the most notable being performance. Low latency and low jitter provides a consistent network, reducing the chance for connection loss or delay between the two peered networks. Peering also increases efficiency by creating redundancies, providing better routing control, allowing a larger bandwidth capacity, and increasing the speed of disaster recovery aid/assistance.
Caching is the process of storing copies of files in a cache, or temporary storage location, so that they can be accessed more quickly. The value of caching lies in the impact it has on systems where the computation of a response is demanding on any resource, CPU, or hard disk. Members can access popular content services easily from within the Merit Network, rather than utilizing commodity internet. Caching reduces bandwidth consumption and latency, provides predictable performance during spikes in application usage, and increases read throughput.
At no additional fee, Merit Members adopting Merit Internet Service can take advantage of Layer 3 Merit Peering/Caching and Internet2 Peer Exchange (I2PX) with a typical capacity of 10 Gbps or more (I2PX is across the national Internet2 network). These peering options are designed for high performance cloud activities requiring high speed, low latency, and low jitter – including cloud compute, communications (voice/video), research, and esports. Internet2 Peer Exchange also includes the use of the community’s existing 3 Tbps of peering capabilities to the major cloud providers for access to cloud SaaS services (e.g., Zoom or Office 365).
There are more than 100 cloud service providers available, including; AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, Netflix, Apple, Facebook, Comcast, AT&T, and TelNet Worldwide.
Internet2 Cloud Connect (I2CC) can provide additional direct connection services at a nominal fee. Direct connection services are used to extend a part of your computing infrastructure (servers, compute, storage) to run your service in the cloud. I2CC will allow you to provision a Layer 2 or Layer 3 connection through Merit and Internet2 to reach cloud-based resources that are dedicated to your organization (based on your subscription to the cloud providers’ service). Private, dedicated cloud connections with 10 Gbps capacity are also available.
Through the Cloud Connect service, Merit can further optimize cloud performance and resiliency, reduce cost, automate provisioning, and provide analytics.
For more information about Merit peering, caching and cloud connect, please contact [email protected].