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The AMS-IX PoP at Greenhouse’s Data Center Offers Us Ample Network Efficiencies

As a regional Internet Service Provider (ISP) and supplier of Internet access, television and telephony, OpenFiber competes against large companies such as KPN and Ziggo. Since 2019, OpenFiber has housed its IT infrastructure at Greenhouse Datacenters. As soon as AMS-IX expanded from Amsterdam to the Rotterdam/The Hague region in Q4 2021 and installed its own PoP at Greenhouse, OpenFiber was the first colocation customer to make immediate use of this. It allows OpenFiber to achieve considerable cost savings and operational improvements for its network traffic.

OpenFiber has presence in several data centers in the Randstad, in the Western part of the Netherlands, including in Amsterdam and elsewhere in the Rotterdam/The Hague region. The original reason for OpenFiber to house its IT infrastructure at Greenhouse’s flagship datacenter in Naaldwijk in 2019 was the desired private peering link with the extensive network of another colocation customer at Greenhouse - a large media company that provides (live) streaming services for various well-known television channels in its home country and abroad.

The presence of an AMS-IX PoP in Greenhouse’s flagship data center with direct access to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange, now enables OpenFiber to establish direct and easy public peering relationships from its home region of Rotterdam/The Hague via a single AMS-IX port with the more than 875 companies that have connected their networks to AMS-IX.

The Organization

OpenFiber is based in Delft, the Netherlands. As a direct competitor to large companies such as KPN and Ziggo, the company delivers subscriptions for internet, television and telephony to consumers. The OpenFiber box with connection point is often offered in new construction projects as an alternative to the well-known brands. Because of its lower brand awareness as a regional player OpenFiber has to rely primarily on a keen price/quality ratio. To date, OpenFiber has connected more than 4,500 homes in several Dutch cities including Delft, Rijswijk and The Hague, but the ISP has also managed to win clients elsewhere in the Netherlands.

OpenFiber wins new residential clients primarily through construction projects. It involves mainly high-rise buildings. As a regional ISP, OpenFiber tries to get involved in such projects from the early construction phase, as a good and competitively priced alternative to the established players. In such cases OpenFiber lays the connections up to the apartments at its own expense and risk, and hopes to interest a large percentage of the new residents for an OpenFiber subscription.

Network Infrastructure Setup

For the delivery of internet, television and telephony, OpenFiber uses telecom transit providers, among others. This Internet capacity is thus purchased from telecom carriers. In addition, OpenFiber has laid its own glass-fiber connections in Delft and the surrounding area. In order to realize further cost advantages and operational efficiencies in network traffic, OpenFiber is making peering agreements with other network operators and content providers. Previously, this only involved private peering agreements and connections to smaller internet exchanges such as SpeedIX, LSIX and Frys-IX. In Q4 2021, OpenFiber gained direct access to the AMS-IX at Greenhouse. With more than 875 connected networks, AMS-IX is one of the largest internet exchanges in the world, which offers OpenFiber ample new opportunities.

“Until now, we only had access to the smaller Internet Exchanges like SpeedIX, LSIX and Free IX. These Internet Exchanges certainly offer relevant options to improve network efficiency to a certain extent, but our business activities are growing and with them the Internet traffic,” says Kasper Schoonman, Director of OpenFiber. “In order to maintain our lead over the competition, we think it is important to take the next step. Most companies present at the AMS-IX are large companies with extensive networks and associated traffic. While the smaller IXs are cheaper or even free to use, the number of serious parties with whom you can make relevant peering agreements is limited. The AMS-IX PoP available at Greenhouse Datacenters offers us much greater advantages in terms of network reliability, quality of network partners, and efficiencies to be gained.”

According to Kasper Schoonman, the arrival of the AMS-IX to the Rotterdam/The Hague area offers huge opportunities for organizations in this region when it comes to data transport. “If the AMS-IX PoP at Greenhouse Datacenters were not there, we would have to transport the data ourselves to Amsterdam and connect our network to the AMS-IX there,” says Schoonman. “If we had to arrange it ourselves, there would be a cost associated with that. The fact that AMS-IX now offers direct access to their platform from Greenhouse’s data center in Naaldwijk saves us transport costs and capacity on the backhaul connections we have in the Netherlands. Direct access to AMS-IX from the Greenhouse data center thus makes it more accessible for us to use from the Rotterdam/The Hague region.”

The Quality of Greenhouse’s Data Center Infrastructure

OpenFiber was pleasantly surprised when they first visited Greenhouse Datacenters in Naaldwijk in 2019. “Greenhouse is in the higher quality segment, higher than many established brand names in the data center world we know of,” says Schoonman. “Also, the energy efficiency of their data center infrastructure is great to see. It’s very important of course with the current development around energy prices. Power stays to be an important cost component in the data center. It’s nice when a colocation provider pays extensive attention to this. On the other hand, I also see energy efficiency as an essential component of modern data center infrastructure. Greenhouse offers us such a data center environment. The fact that we recently renewed our colocation contract with Greenhouse and committed to it for no less than 5 years speaks for itself.”

Now that AMS-IX has established itself in Greenhouse’s data center and OpenFiber has connected its network directly to AMS-IX, Schoonman expects that a significant portion of their Internet traffic will now pass through the AMS-IX port. “I expect this to continue for the years to come,” says Schoonman. “The connection to the AMS-IX thus affects the position of Greenhouse’s data center in the design of our network backbone. Until recently, the core of the infrastructure was in Delft where our office is located. We think we need to move the edge router to Naaldwijk, mainly because Greenhouse has an extensive ecosystem of carriers where we can immediately offload our Internet traffic without having to transport it to Greenhouse first. The proximity to the AMS-IX is also important for effectively mitigating DDoS attacks. So, with this direct connection capability to the AMS-IX, Greenhouse’s data center becomes even more relevant to our network infrastructure.”

Data Centers in Rotterdam/The Hague Region

OpenFiber values the high quality data center infrastructure at Greenhouse at competitive rates. Especially considering the limited margin the company makes on its own subscriptions. The establishment of the AMS-IX PoP in Naaldwijk makes Greenhouse even more attractive to OpenFiber.

“In The Hague, in Rotterdam, as well as in Delft, the overall supply of good quality colocation data centers is actually very limited,” says Schoonman. “It’s not like in Amsterdam, where there are 25 good data centers within an area of a few square kilometers. Greenhouse’s data center infrastructure really stands out head and shoulders above the average quality of the data centers you see in this region. And yet their prices are very competitive.”

“Even for additional services, at Greenhouse you don’t feel like your wallet is being held upside down,” says Schoonman. “If you compare that to some data centers in Amsterdam, there you may pay horrendous amounts of money for interconnect connections, while at Greenhouse it’s just for free. For the purpose of connectivity, we do have some presence in two data centers Amsterdam, but we prefer to keep our IT infrastructure as close to home as possible, near our Delft headquarters."

Client Request

  • Colocation environment near Delft, the Netherlands, in the Rotterdam/The Hague region
  • A data center with an extensive connectivity ecosystem
  • Possibilities to setup peering agreements and exchange network traffic
  • High quality data center with modern infrastructure at competitive pricing
  • Highly secured data center with 24x7 professional engineering support on-site

Solution Provided by Greenhouse

Since 2019, Greenhouse Datacenters has been offering OpenFiber a modern and secure infrastructure in its energy-efficient flagship datacenter in Naaldwijk, the Netherlands (Greenhouse DC 2). It comes with access to an extensive ecosystem of telecom carriers, internet exchanges, as well as other colocation customers with whom OpenFiber can connect and (cost)efficiently set up its network infrastructure. The colocation rates and associated services are competitively priced, while the interconnects being used by OpenFiber within the data center are supplied free of charge.

After AMS-IX installed a PoP at Greenhouse in Q4 2021 with direct access to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange platform, OpenFiber was the first Greenhouse colocation customer to gratefully make use of it. Direct access to the AMS-IX from the Greenhouse data center offers OpenFiber a multitude of high-quality network peering options. The proximity of the AMS-IX within the data center also means that OpenFiber can more effectively mitigate DDoS attacks in its network backbone across the Netherlands.