Dev Update #4: Environmental Impact, Patch Calculator & more

Published 2023-JUL-07 | Operations

Our last development update was quite some time ago, that means we have a lot of exiting news to share this time!

We are exited to share a new development update containing major improvements for us and the community!

In this update we will go over the publication of our Nikhef Patch Calculator, sharing our environmental impact, Automated Delivery Pipeline, Portal light level readouts and more!

Let's get right into what many of you will be here for, the:

Nikhef Patch Calculator 🧮

Many of our new members decide to install their own cross connects in NIKHEF Housing (Nikhef (Nationaal instituut voor subatomaire fysica)), for this we've regularly been asked:

Do you know, how long 📏 should my fiber be? 🧐

Instead of guessing and getting it wrong, we're presenting a more dependable solution, our NIKHEF Housing patch calculator!

With this calculator, this question can be answered in seconds, and not just for us! We've decided the tool is free to use for anyone between any two racks. You can find the calculator here:, make sure to bookmark it for future reference 😉

This calculator is a routine example of the value and level of convenience we aspire to provide, both to ourselves and the rest of the internet industry.

The tool has been set up so it can easily be adapted to other datacenters as well, should you or someone you know be interested in this tooling, make sure to get in touch!

Environmental Impact 🌳

The planet we build our infrastructure on has a limited amount of resources, we believe we should not be wasteful of them.

With the environment as a focal point of our and public attention, it's important to take responsibility for our impact.

Efficiency is a major pilar in the engineering behind ERA-IX. To this date, power consumption for the whole platform and supporting infrastructure has consistently been well under 1kW. ⚡️

By current estimates we can stay under 1kW for quite some capacity to come!

The result is an internet exchange with a rich feature set and an actual power draw of less than 0.2W per Gbps of connected capacity. Between new members, member upgrades and upcoming infrastructure changes this number will improve to well under 0.1W per Gbps connected capacity. as we continue to connect new members. Our number is not the datasheets' best case scenario which is mostly based on theory. It's based on our actual consumption and connected capacity!

We've been able to achieve this by basing our platform on some of most power efficient equipment available. We will absolutely uphold our commitment to be efficient moving forward.

Automated Delivery Pipeline

During a recent delivery we ran into an issue caused by human error. This does not align with our stance on delivering a high quality and consistent peering environment for our members.

Aligning with the philosophy 'All user input equals error' we have updated our provisioning pipeline to deliver services without any human actions. Of course we will still be monitoring, available and in touch to facilitate getting the most out of your service.

Improving our delivery procedures paves the way for much quicker capacity turn-ups and guarantees a more reliable platform. When ordering a service, once payment is fulfilled the physical port, IP details and administrative details will automatically be handled and a LOA will be provided immediately. In the mean time we will manually check the entered details and ensure they are correct for a smooth turn-up.

At the moment, the automated system will e-mail staff with all information, and request confirmation before pushing or doing anything. Once the system has proven to meet our stringent demands we will hand it more control!

Transceiver readouts

To further open the door for and accommodate self-service, our portal has been updated to show light levels (dBm). This presents more insight into the health and status of a port connected to ERA-IX.

New service offerings 🚀

We have been and are hard at work to expand our service offerings to allow members of ERA-IX to enjoy a rich ecosystem for peering.

An update is around the corner highlighting the details of the next stepping stone into the new era of internet exchanging.

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