What is the Toronto Internet Exchange (TorIX) ?

The Toronto Internet Exchange Community (TorIX) is a not-for-profit Internet Exchange Point (IXP) located in a carrier hotel at 151 Front Street West in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1997, TorIX is currently comprised of 192 unique organizations ("peers"), peak traffic rates of 172 Gbit/s and is the largest IXP in Canada. According to Wikipedia's List of Internet Exchange Points by Size, TorIX is the 13th largest IXP in the world by numbers of peers, and if multi-city IXP's are eliminated, TorIX ranks 2nd in the world. The Exchange is organized and run by industry professionals in a (mostly) voluntary capacity. It is accessible directly in two separate locations within the building, at facilities operated by Equinix and Cologix, or via the building's meet-me-room. Connections to our leaf node are available to in-suite customers of Neutral Data Centres, with other suites in the building under consideration. Expansion to Equinix's new TR2 facility located at 45 Parliament Street in Toronto is planned for Q3 2015. Other locations within the city are under analysis.

The speed of a peer connection is only limited by the port type. TorIX charges an annual fee for that port connection, not for the amount of traffic sent or received through the Exchange. Port speeds of GigabitEthernet (GE), Ten GigabitEthernet (10GE) and Hundred GigabitEthernet (100GE) are available, including in multi-port bonded configurations. Fees are put toward operating costs and future equipment purchases. We encourage peers to maximize their use of the Exchange by using the TorIX BGP route-servers and/or adopting routing policies which promote their traffic to flow over the IX rather than their priced-per-megabit Internet transit links. In terms of value, "eye ball" networks can see between 10% and 60%, or more, of their traffic shift from their expensive Internet transit links to TorIX. Content providers see value in TorIX due to our very large membership and "eye balls" those organizations represent.

Peers connect to the Layer 2 fabric (a shared VLAN) with single IPv4 & IPv6 addresses provided by TorIX to connect with each other, utilizing the BGP routing protocol to exchange their IP routes between one another. Single-mode fiber is required, and peers can connect from anywhere in the building via the meet-me-room. Peers do not require a physical equipment presence at 151 Front St. W., but interconnections must happen there.

The IX is Ethernet-based and currently operates two primary core nodes, using Cisco Nexus 7010 switches, which provide fiber 1GE, 10GE ports and 100GE ports. In addition there are several edge or leaf nodes, using Cisco 7606 and Cisco ME3600X switches, which are used to terminate local GE copper and fibre connections.

High-profile members of TorIX include Google/Youtube, Akamai, Facebook, Bell Aliant, Allstream, Blackberry, CANARIE, CBC, CIK Telecom, CIRA, CloudFlare, Cogeco, Distributel, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, Eastlink, GTAnet, Hurricane Electric, iWeb, LARG*net, LeaseWeb, Limelight Networks, LinkedIN, Magna International, Microsoft, the Ontario Research & Innovation Optical Network (ORION), OVH, Peel District School Board, PostMedia (National Post), Primus, RISQ, Rogers, Seaside Communications, Shaw, Sheridan College, Softlayer, Source Cable, Sun Life, TekSavvy, Vianet and WINDmobile.

For more information or general questions/comments/concerns, we can be reached at:

peering [at] torix.ca