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Virtual cross connects herald a BYOC era

The latest advances in cross connects enable organizations to choose their own carriers

07 / 18 / 2023
3 minute read
Cross connects and data centers

Connectivity has been thrust into the spotlight by today’s global marketplace, with the instant-access, on-demand expectations of our culture both highlighting its value and driving continued innovation. These days, the right low-latency cross connections can make or break a business. They enable organizations to access local peering exchanges, sync with other enterprises and connect to carrier hotels. Virtual cross connects deliver these benefits while also offering the advantages of eliminating local loop fees and freeing organizations to choose the carrier they prefer, locally or not.

High-impact, low-cost connectivity that drives efficiency

In high-level terms, a virtual cross connect is simply an MPLS pseudo-wire that directly connects two unique locations. To establish the connection, a customer places an order from its Flexential colocation environment to a local carrier hotel. A physical cross connect is implemented between the customer hardware and our Flexential Interconnection Platform service exchange switches.

To access the local carrier hotel, a virtual, point-to-point, layer 2 pseudo-wire is provisioned between the colocation switches and the hotel switches that are part of our Flexential Interconnection Platform fabric. The customer contracts with its carrier of choice for a circuit and works with our carrier team for the Letter of Authority/Customer Facility Assignment. The customer then purchases a cross connect at the carrier hotel to the selected carrier. To complete the connection, a physical cross connect is established from the carrier to our local switches.

Although complex, this process is fully supported 24/7 by our network operations center.

Don’t discount redundancy

Connections thrive on reliability, so redundancy is critical. Using the QinQ feature, the virtual cross connect supports multiple sub VLANs, and customers can run required protocols over that connection. While the Flexential network backbone is redundant, the customer edge connection should share this level of redundancy to ensure high availability. Redundancy for the point-to-point virtual cross connects can also be purchased to fortify connectivity.

The value behind virtual cross connects

Virtual cross connects can provide tremendous benefits and enhanced capabilities to an organization. Delivery over the 100 Gbps Flexential Interconnection Platform fabric enriches this already dynamic delivery model.

The cost savings of virtual cross connects is also impactful. Purchasing dark fiber or a local loop is expensive, but the Flexential network absorbs these expenses to provide our data center customers with more access at a lower cost. Virtual cross connects are also more efficiently provisioned than unlit fiber or a loop, taking days rather than weeks to acquire. The result is a virtual cross connect, delivered over our robust, scalable network that offers more to our customers — more speed, more reliability and more security.

Flexential Interconnection Platform virtual cross connects bring services and connectivity to your business, everywhere you need to be.

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