France-IX expands points-of-peering in Marseille
France-IX, the international internet exchange point provider, will expand its network in Marseille this summer by opening a second point-of-presence (PoP) in Jaguar Network’s MRS01 data centre. This expansion, made possible by the ongoing growth of its first Marseille PoP, meets the high resiliency requirements of its existing members and increases capacity for new users looking to benefit from peering in Marseille.
Forging a Marseille community of peers
As a telecom hub, the France-IX internet exchange point’s primary mission is to interconnect different internet networks over a single platform and so provide maximum efficiency, performance and economic value. The opening of its second site in Marseille sees a continuation of this aim.
“When we launched France-IX in Paris in 2010, we had to fix a chaotic situation: the French networks community was split into just under ten internet exchange points and the international community had decided to exclude France from its interconnection plans, even though this country was, and still is, highly attractive in terms of connectivity,” said Franck Simon, Managing Director at France-IX. However, France-IX never intended Paris to be its only focus, as Franck explains: “We always believed in the success of Marseille and we have been working on building an international peering community in this city since 2012. The results of our efforts are now being realised and Marseille is even attracting interest from other internet exchange points. We will continue to do all we can to avoid the community becoming split - the power is in the community.”
With the opening of its second Marseille site, France-IX will be able to offer an alternative as well as a complement to its members that are already connected through its first PoP. Two differentiated end-to-end paths of dark fibres will be deployed to interconnect the two sites, allowing a permanent interconnection between the two PoPs and delivering real benefits to the disaster recovery plans of the networks already present in Marseille.
Kévin Polizzi, President of Jaguar Network, a well-known operator in the data centre and cloud computing market, explains that the site is very well suited for risk-management: “We designed and built the site with the needs of wholesale operators, cloud providers and enterprises in mind, in order to provide a complete and certified range of services.”
Anticipating future demand
France-IX has already interconnected over 20 networks at its first PoP in Marseille. This community consists primarily of French and international content delivery networks along with French, Middle-Eastern and African operators, which collect the content.
“We will replicate the equipment deployment that we have in our first PoP at the Interxion MRS1 datacentre. These switches and routers can connect in excess of 60 optical ports. We estimate that at least a dozen additional members are likely to become connected before the end of 2015,” concludes Franck Simon.
Jaguar also foresees this upward trajectory. “We’re seeing a rise in demand from the EMEA region (Europe, Middle-East, Africa), which confirms the international status of Marseille. By joining forces, we are confident that the number of peers will double in 2016,” says Kévin Polizzi.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”