A Comparative Look into Public IXP Datasets

Research paper by Rowan Kloti, Bernhard Ager, Vasileios Kotronis, George Nomikos, Xenofontas Dimitropoulos

Indexed on: 08 Nov '16Published on: 08 Nov '16Published in: arXiv - Computer Science - Networking and Internet Architecture


Internet eXchange Points (IXPs) are core components of the Internet infrastructure where Internet Service Providers (ISPs) meet and exchange traffic. During the last few years, the number and size of IXPs have increased rapidly, driving the flattening and shortening of Internet paths. However, understanding the present status of the IXP ecosystem and its potential role in shaping the future Internet requires rigorous data about IXPs, their presence, status, participants, etc. In this work, we do the first cross-comparison of three well-known publicly available IXP databases, namely of PeeringDB, Euro-IX, and PCH. A key challenge we address is linking IXP identifiers across databases maintained by different organizations. We find different AS-centric versus IXP-centric views provided by the databases as a result of their data collection approaches. In addition, we highlight differences and similarities w.r.t. IXP participants, geographical coverage, and co-location facilities. As a side-product of our linkage heuristics, we make publicly available the union of the three databases, which includes 40.2 % more IXPs and 66.3 % more IXP participants than the commonly-used PeeringDB. We also publish our analysis code to foster reproducibility of our experiments and shed preliminary insights into the accuracy of the union dataset.