SwissIX was founded in March 2001 by a group of Swiss Internet Service Providers to establish a neutral infrastructure to exchange Internet traffic in Switzerland. The first POP was built at the InterXion datacenter in Glattbrugg near Zürich end of 2001. In 2004 a second POP at IX Europe (now Equinix) in central Zürich was added. Both sites where equipped with Extreme BlackDiamond 6808 chassis. The sites where interconnected with a 1Gbps link at that time.
In 2005 and 2006 several smaller sites where connected to the peering mesh, namely Layer 1 and ColoZüri in Zürich and IWB in Basel. By the end of 2006 SwissIX was carrying about 400Mbps of aggregated peak traffic.
Early 2007 the site in Vaduz, Liechtenstein came online and ColoBern in Bern shortly afterwards. Also the traffic growth demanded for new 10Gbps interconnects between the two bigger sites. We evaluated 10Gbps cards for the BlackDiamond platform, but found it unfeasible. In this year SwissIX also became a member of Euro-IX.
Beginning of 2008 SwissIX replaced the switch in Equinix with a Brocade RX-8 chassis and could now offer 10Gbps ports there. Later that year also the BlackDiamond at InterXion got replaced by an RX-16 chassis and finally the interconnect was changed to 10Gbps. At the end of 2009 we had to move to a new location at Equinix and went for a new RX-16 switch. The now free RX-8 got moved to colozüri to accommodate the growth there. The ICT datacenter in Zürich joined as a new site.
2010 was used to streamline the platform. All small sites also got equiped with smaller Brocade FastIron switches. We outgrew the /25 of IP address space SwissIX used on the peering VLAN at that time. We received an additional /23 for the peering VLAN and used the old /24 for our infrastructure. Also after the renumbering SwissIX offered route servers for the peers to ease exchanging routing information and traffic. SwissIX now carried more than 5Gbps average traffic.
Mid of 2011 e-shelter joined SwissIX. This opportunity aided to build out a darkfiber ring through the four big sites InterXion, Equinix, ColoZüri, and e-shelter. We used DWDM to be able to cope with future growth. Capacity between InterXion and Equinix was expanded to 2x10Gbps.
Traffic started to grow quite fast now as we gained some bigger peers. In 2012 we had to upgrade to 4x10Gbps. Unfortunately we had to close the site in Vaduz for lack of peers. Also inter-site connectivity got a bit tight. The first peers needed more than 10Gbps of interconnect.
In 2013 we started to think about replacing the RX platform, it suddenly became end of sale because of RoHS issues in Europe. As our financial situation was not quite at ease, the board planed to introduce port fees for 10Gbps ports which for some parties was unthinkable. The General Assembly eventually agreed on the changes to the fee structure in 2014. The Board could then start again to plan the introduction of a new platform. The capacity between InterXion and Equinix was raised to 6x10Gbps and between Equinix and ColoZüri to 2x10Gbps.
With the backed up financial situation after introducing port fees the Board started an RfP for a new platform in mid 2015, resulting in the purchase of new Brocade MLXe-16 chassis for all four core sites (InterXion, Equinix, ColoZüri, and e-shelter). Before we could get to replace all chassis, we had to make an intermediate step and once again upgrade capacities between InterXion and Equinix to 8x10Gbps and between Equinix and ColoZüri to 3x10Gbps. Between April and July 2016 we replaced the chassis, beginning in InterXion and working our way around the ring via e-shelter and ColoZüri to Equinix, while the interconnect links between the sites got changed to 100Gbps. With this change we also moved to new cabinets in InterXion and ColoZüri. And yes, SwissIX is now 100Gbps capable.
In 2018 SwissIX upgraded the core ring connecting InterXion, Equinix, ColoZüri and e-shlter to 2x100Gps and connected the first 100Gbps peers.
And the story goes on … to be continued.