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What is a Virtual Cross Connect?

/ Posted by Joshua Whitaker /

/ Sep 8, 2017 /

The internet first became popular with the general public because direct, private connections between networks were difficult to implement, so people relied on the public internet to find each other. Pulling a physical wire from your network switch to the switch of the network with which you want to exchange traffic is a tedious requirement that most people outsource to their internet service provider. We connect to an ISP, ISPs connect to each other.

The meteoric rise of cloud providers and cloud services, however, has changed the infrastructure of the internet. Nowadays, large hosting services like AWS, Azure, and Softlayer move too much traffic to rely on multiple ISPs as middlemen. Instead, they’ve built up infrastructure connecting their services to each other and to carriers directly. These connections, called virtual cross connects, provide fast, secure ways to manage traffic without relying on the public internet.

Virtual cross connects (VXC) are private, direct connections between a network and a cloud provider, content delivery network, or a carrier through an internet exchange point. For example, through our connectivity partners, Telnyx maintains redundant 10GB fiber connections with all major cloud providers in multiple geographic locations. Enterprise networks and service providers leverage these virtual connections because they act like a physical connectionthey’re faster, more secure and delivered with lower latency than connections over the public internet.

How Telnyx Leverages VXCs

Telnyx’s telephony service is provided through our physical fiber backbone, our cloud infrastructures and virtual cross connects that allow us to route traffic as needed. Our customers typically leverage VXCs to create direct lines into the Telnyx environment, receiving our routing tables and exchanging traffic with us over those dedicated links.

How Telnyx leverages Virtual Cross Connects

For example, we can establish a virtual cross connect with a customer hosting their PBX on AWS servers. When Telnyx receives calls to that customer’s numbers, we’ll forward them their call media directly over that direct connection—the next best thing to a direct wire from our system to theirs. That means that an incoming call to their business travels over the telephone network, then Telnyx’s private MPLS backbone, and finally, over the virtual cross connect to Amazon and their PBX. Traveling from their PBX to the company’s location is the only leg of the journey that relies on the public internet, largely eliminating the biggest source of jitter, latency, and packet loss from the equation.

Because Telnyx’s global network includes geographically distributed points of presence, most connections could be established along multiple routes using a different virtual cross connect at a different location. Telnyx continually monitors the performance of connections in order to always establish the fastest route between endpoints, but Telnyx is also highly configurable. For custom setups, we allow customers to select which Telnyx point of presence to anchor their call media using a feature called Anchorsite™.

VXCs improve performance

Virtual cross connects logically segment connectivity over existing fiber lines. For all intents and purposes, that connectivity mimics a direct, private line, including its performance and security advantages. Traffic is routed directly, improving delivery speed. Call media travels shorter physical distances, reducing call degradation. And, as it travels on our private network or through VXCs, your data is inaccessible to malicious third parties. This ensures that your calls, conferences and other communications data are always delivered with the best possible quality, at a lower cost than a traditional ISP, over a connection that can be set up in minutes.