The London Access Point (LONAP) was formed in 1997 as a non-profit Internet Exchange Point (IXP) to allow networks to interconnect directly, rather than through expensive third-party transit providers or private peering with expensive or restrictive policies.
The number of active LONAP members includes over 200 global brands, UK businesses and FTSE100 companies worldwide with their own IP networks, all of which exchange traffic using a network of interconnected switches hosted in data centres across the City of London and Docklands.
Being a member has numerous advantages. Members of LONAP’s peering network enjoy the commercial, operational and social benefits of working with a vibrant and dynamic UK Internet Exchange.
Open and transparent cooperation is facilitated through meetings, industry and technology updates, workshops and training. In this way, members stay updated with the latest developments about LONAP’s peering network, and opportunities to transform their networks. There are regular opportunities for members to network and meet new peering partners.
Annual General Meetings
LONAP’s AGMs have recently been held online. Before the meeting takes place, members receive emails with the meeting details and essential links to meeting activities, such as voting. Agenda and other vital information are published on the LONAP member website to keep everyone updated. The board and wider team are always available and happy to help our community get the most out of membership!
LONAP also carries out board elections as part of AGM business using an online voting platform. This makes the process safe, fast and effective. Election results are verified and announced during the AGM, and the company presents other updates and details. Recordings are then made available for members to access at their convenience.
LONAP offers a web portal, and other tools to help members monitor performance, manage connections, discover peering opportunities and even troubleshoot network issues.
The Looking Glass is a tool that network engineers commonly use to understand network configuration, activity and anomalies. Simply put, a Looking Glass can allow someone to input commands and view report outputs that would usually only be possible directly via access to a restricted management interface of a router, e.g. the CLI.
LONAP empowers members with Looking Glass functionality for two classes of routers in the network:
- This router can be considered passive and used for statistics-gathering and troubleshooting purposes.
- The collector does not announce or share routes between members but will receive routes advertised for these diagnostic purposes.
- Facilitates multilateral peering between members with prefix announcing and receiving, without being involved in the actual routing of IP data traffic.
- Without these routers, members would need to configure individual BGP sessions with each other to exchange prefixes and peer directly.
Other tools include monitoring portals to understand prohibited or suspicious traffic, such as multicast and non-IP frames, or attempts to use ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) to connect with non-members.
LONAP provides the ability to understand total Internet exchange traffic and specific sessions with other members, either by the connected network port or peer-to-peer.
Finally, to realise the Internet Exchange’s full potential, the member portal allows members to find potential peering relationships through the integrated Peering Manager tool. Peering Manager helps members understand who they don’t currently peer with, either directly or via the route servers, and then initiate contact to establish a peering relationship.
LONAP supports member operators by delivering fast and reliable member service with complete transparency. LONAP uses a ticketing system to manage member interactions. It helps keep track of all queries to resolve them in a timely manner. Since its inception, 11,582 tickets have been resolved on a range of issues from simple enquiries to assistance with troubleshooting Service Provider and 3rd party Layer 2 and BGP networking issues.
LONAP’s dedicated team provides consistent and reliable support. With first response times usually under four hours. In fact, ticket resolution times typically depend on the complexity and severity of a change request or fault report, so may be quicker. As an organisation with a growing worldwide community, standards are set high to deliver quality customer service, and member input is encouraged to find ways to improve.
Network Monitoring and DevOps Updates
LONAP’s team monitors network traffic in real-time. When an issue occurs, engineers receive alerts in various forms and through different channels: Slack, Email, Telegram and Pushover, which is great for drawing attention to issues and getting quick insights into network problems. When conducting any maintenance, network traffic is carefully managed, including ensuring redundancy in place.
LONAP continues to add more ports to the network, upgrading optics where appropriate, redeploying and replacing old systems and investing in new technology. Modern switching and routing technology is a crucial investment and one of the secrets behind our ability to provide robust, reliable and extensive peering that suits all requirements of our members and delivers increased convenience and efficiency.
Platforms are regularly updated and old hosts are replaced with fresh, up-to-date versions. Systems are deployed on dedicated VMs, including SaltStack, IXP Manager, and many others. Custom scripting is minimised and separated from automated production systems. For this reason, it is easier to maintain, upgrade and redeploy systems in the future.
Peering Performance Issues and Security Threats
Networks worldwide are hit with thousands of incidents every day, so it’s vital to make the network edge the first line of defence against security threats. LONAP has joined and implemented the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) programme to provide safe and reliable routing.
MANRS is a cooperative effort that brings network operators and Internet Exchange Points together to mitigate weaknesses and reduce network disruption. Common network threats such as Route Hijacking and Leaking, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), IP Address Spoofing and other harmful activities can lead to fraud, lost sales revenue and reputational damage. MANRS goes some way to improving routing hygiene for the global Internet, and LONAP encourages members to take part in this programme.
Join our Growing Community
LONAP offers a wide range of services to suit the needs of Service Providers, Telcos, and Content and Application delivery organisations by providing resilient, fast and stable peering at a lower cost. We continuously invest in technology to maintain a competitive edge and help our members deliver an excellent customer experience.
Get in touch to enjoy all the benefits of community BGP peering, reduced IP transit expenses and latency, better routing control and connectivity resilience. The team is ready to discuss different ways you can boost network performance and reliability to improve customer experience.