The Internet relocates: DE-CIX in Frankfurt accomplishes the largest-ever infrastructure relocation in the company's history

Patchy McPatchbot

Frankfurt am Main, 16 October 2018. In the past few months, DE-CIX, the world's leading operator of Internet Exchanges headquartered in Frankfurt, has achieved the largest-ever infrastructure relocation in the company's history. During live operation, more than 450 customers were migrated from Frankfurt 7 (from the Level3 data center) to the new Frankfurt 12 location (at the data center operators Equinix and ITENOS) on the Kleyerstrasse campus. Approximately 15 kilometers of fiber optic cable were laid in the process, and over 40 percent of all data traffic at the world's largest Internet Exchange was migrated without disruption. 

“This move bore a resemblance to open-heart surgery, as we had to migrate customers during live operations. We achieved this without encountering the slightest problem. We are the first Internet Exchange worldwide to use a so-called patch robot, which is pre-programmed to independently migrate customers' connections,” explains Harald A. Summa, CEO of DE-CIX.

“With this relocation and the latest technology, we are priming ourselves for further growth at DE-CIX in Frankfurt. Last year, our customers' data capacity in Frankfurt increased by more than 20 percent compared to 2016. We expect a further massive increase over the next five to ten years and are optimally set up for it.”

In spring of this year, in just one night, 4 Terabits connection capacity was already migrated from the old DE-CIX 7 site to the new DE-CIX 12 site in Frankfurt. A total of eighteen customers, about forty 100 GE ports, and a number of 10 GE ports with data traffic of 1.2 Terabits per second were relocated.

Deploying the newest technologies: world's first patch robot supports relocation

With this move, DE-CIX is the first Internet Exchange worldwide to use a so-called “patch robot”. This Optical Distribution Frame (ODF) is used instead of a standard rack and patch panel for customer connection, and substantially increases the efficiency of customer relocation. This means that a port can now be deployed or upgraded within a few minutes, without the need for the physical intervention of a technician.

A video about FRA12's relocation and the patch robot can be found on DE-CIX's YouTube channel