Internet Exchange Point open for business at Kanata’s PureColo

Internet Exchange Point

Kanata-based PureColo is more than doubling its footprint to attract larger customers seeking to peer at the first home of the capital’s Internet Exchange Point.

An Internet Exchange Point, or IXP, can be likened to a direct plug into the heart of the internet. While many content providers are forced to send data across vast distances – a slower and more costly endeavour – IXPs keep the flow of information fast and local.

The Ottawa Gatineau Internet Exchange formed last year to bring an IXP to Ottawa. While the organization is still seeking additional hosts in downtown Ottawa and Gatineau, Kanata-based carrier-neutral data centre PureColo will act as the IXP’s first host.

“It's going to be wonderful for the development of the internet locally,” says OGIX chair Christian Tacit.

Information exchanged through a local IXP is delivered with less latency and never has to cross a border – an increasingly important concern when it comes to privacy and data sovereignty. Content providers or other organizations with immense processing demands can benefit from peering directly at an IXP, and recipients – take your average Netflix user as one potential example – can experience faster download times on the other end.

Tacit says that OGIX is going through due diligence to determine whether Fibre Centre, which officially opened its doors in downtown Ottawa a few days ago, could also host the IXP in a more central location. The organization is also pursuing possible locations for a Gatineau-based IXP.

Benefits for the IXP host

PureColo’s Michael Lalonde tells Techopia the data centre is beta testing IXP peering with companies such as Cloudflare and the Kanata-based Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks. While the data centre won’t directly receive any of the yearly peering fees associated with operating the IXP, companies seeking to plug into the exchange will have to set up their content servers at PureColo.

“So from a business perspective, we will ultimately be able to fill that need and make revenue off of it,” Lalonde says.

As PureColo prepares to host additional companies through the IXP, it’s expanding its space and making improvements in its infrastructure. The firm received $250,000 in funding from an undisclosed investor to expand its operational space from 2,000 square feet to 5,000 square feet.

Its new infrastructure will also elevate PureColo to a tier-three facility, which essentially enables the data centre to provide additional resiliency to its customers by a few thousands of a per cent. The difference between 99.996 per cent and 99.998 per cent might seem infinitesimal to the layperson, but Lalonde says enterprise companies make major business decisions based on that degree of reliability.

He says companies such as Ottawa’s Kinaxis, which worked with PureColo in its early days, have a tier-three requirement for the bulk of their processing work. If they can’t get tier-three in Ottawa – where carrier-neutral facilities are few and far between – they’ll instead take their business to Toronto or Montreal.

Lalonde says the company’s infrastructure investments allow it to provide hosting and co-location services to companies with immense IT demands. He says one such company, an unnamed special effects firm new to the region, recently doubled PureColo’s annual revenues after turning to the Kanata firm to solve its high-bandwidth rendering demands.

“This is catering to those larger businesses and, furthermore, keeping them in this region.”