Data centre connectivity is more important than location

Many companies prefer to choose a data centre that is located close to a major internet exchange point such as the AMS-IX in Amsterdam. There, they expect to receive the highest levels of speed and reliability but is this actually the case? Data centres outside Amsterdam often offer better quality at lower costs.

The benefits of the AMS-IX are often used as arguments for choosing a data centre located close to this internet exchange point. After all, the AMS-IX is linked to more than eight hundred global networks, making it the main transit point for data. Not surprisingly, the AMS-IX is also considered to be the digital equivalent of the port of Rotterdam or Schiphol airport. Data traffic enters Amsterdam from all over the world and is subsequently forwarded to the European hinterland. However, these benefits do not tell the whole story.

Data centre outside the Randstad region

There are good reasons for compromising on the advantages provided by the AMS-IX. The location of your data centre is not really that important. The main thing is that the data centre has a reliable connection with an internet exchange point. Our own data centres, for example, have a direct, redundant fibre optic connection to the AMS-IX via two separate routes. The advantage for our customers is that they can be directly connected to this exchange point without having to pay the higher costs associated with use of a data centre in the Randstad region.
The latency may well be slightly higher than for a data centre located only a few kilometres away from the exchange point but we are talking about less than one millisecond. This is not perceptible to users and does not cause any problems at all for most websites and applications.

Two data centres, five internet exchanges

Another important factor is the business risk involved in depending upon a single internet exchange point. After all, a major disruption to the AMS-IX may lead to all connected providers suddenly going offline. If you want to be assured of optimum uptime as a company, then your chosen data centre should ideally be connected to several internet exchanges, such as the DE-CIX, NDIX, NL-ix and the AS-IX.
Our own data centre is connected to all these exchange points and also has a direct redundant fibre optic connection with the DE-CIX in Germany. After Amsterdam, this is the second largest internet exchange point in the world and processes around 5.5 terabytes of data traffic per second. This direct connection to the DE-CIX makes our data centre attractive to German companies and also ensures that we can route data traffic over several paths in the event of a calamity.

Of secondary importance

In an era in which cloud services predominate, companies increasingly benefit from a good, reliable digital infrastructure. This starts with the configuration of a good network with stable, redundant connections to the data centre where, in many cases, most of the digital infrastructure is housed. For some organisations, it is important to have extremely low response times, which is why they choose a data centre that is located close to the AMS-IX. However, for the majority of organisations it is far more important to choose a data centre that guarantees the highest possible level of availability. And this is mainly dependent on the connections with international internet exchange points and their reliability. It would be interesting to hear what your thoughts are on this matter.

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