Increased Network Resilience and Control with LINX in London

LINX ConneXions Reseller Partner Faelix expand UK footprint and connect new member Pinnacom to the exchange. 

Faelix, a hosting and connectivity provider located in Manchester, have been LINX members themselves and resellers at LINX Manchester for a few years now.

Following a referral from within the industry, Faelix were recruited to assist Pinnacom in their network transformation. However, Pinnacom were located in London, so this gave Faelix the push they needed to build out their network to the Capital and thus their reseller offering at LINX too.

Pinnacom specialise in connectivity and broadcasting solutions for events and media houses. They often need large amounts of capacity for short periods of time and their customers need to know the Pinnacom network is totally resilient and capable of delivering services to the highest standards. The existing network was present only in a single data centre located in London and it was necessary to create a broader network backbone..

Martin Stephenson from Pinnacom says;

“We were in a situation where we needed to increase our network resilience and be able to turn around work and delivery faster. Faelix were recommended to us and then came the next steps of taking control of our own network and joining LINX to start peering directly.”

CTO for Faelix, Marek Isalski shares that the timing had fallen right at the start of the lockdown period for the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Expanding our network to London during a global pandemic wasn’t quite what I had in mind! But we worked with the data centres and I had two contacts within the industry who could act as our remote hands workers on the ground, as our team were unable to travel.”

The Coronavirus pandemic shut down Pinnacom’s event projects, requiring the company to restructure and formulate a platform to deliver quickly deployable broadcast and emergency failover services. Also, the increases in London presence and peering at LINX meant Pinnacom could shift focus to very large permanent projects.

Alex Kostiw from Pinnacom says;

“We are really pleased with the outcome. In a matter of weeks, our network migrated from a single resilient rack in one data centre to a fully resilient backbone across three national data centres via Faelix’s fibre ring. This includes Interxion in particular, a key location for our customers in media and broadcasting.”

“By peering a LINX it cuts down the number of hops considerably, we are able to peer directly with our customers and suppliers and when dealing with real-time video, this is a crucial element for us.”

“Following the network migration we are now more agile, able to respond and deliver services quicker and more confidently. We are now comfortable in taking on a greater volume of work where before, we didn’t have sufficient infrastructure in place to cope with our planned business expansion.”

This new relationship with Faelix and LINX is going to be crucial for Pinnacom going forward. They are already reaching out to key networks within the LINX community and setting up new peering arrangements.

Faelix are also looking to increase their resilience in London by making use of LINX’s unique dual LAN set up. Currently present on the LON1 peering network, Marek is looking forward to building out onto to LON2 as soon as possible.

“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to complete this huge project and can’t wait to get our London presence growing with the addition of LON2. Being able to peer our own traffic along with offering LINX services to others with the dedicated reseller ports is a valuable element for Faelix.”

The remote hands engineers are adopting good working practices for health and safety. Shortly after this picture was taken, our LINX LON1 ports were ordered and customer sessions started to be configured.

The end of bringing up the first layer-2 link back to the rest of Faelix’s network in Manchester. Finally AS41495 and downstream customers were directly connected in London! 

Equipment for network function virtualisation has arrived and been installed, and the ring is being extended around to Interxion LON2. Faelix’s NFV servers run “cloud-like” virtual servers directly connected to Faelix’s customers’ networks. This reduces capex and opex for the tenants of Faelix’s racks, as less hardware needs to be purchased, co-located, maintained, and powered.