Deutscher Commercial Internet Exchange

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Deutscher Commercial Internet Exchange
DE-CIX GERMANY - Switch Rack (6218137120).jpg
Full name Deutscher Commercial Internet Exchange
Abbreviation DE-CIX
Founded 1995
Location  Germany
Members 609
Ports 1121
Peak 4080.0 Gbit/s
Daily (avg.) 2025.8 Gbit/s

Deutscher Commercial Internet Exchange (German Commercial Internet Exchange) (DE-CIX) is a carrier and data center-neutral internet exchange point (IXP) situated in Frankfurt (Germany). It is the largest exchange point worldwide in terms of peak traffic with a maximum throughput of more than 4 terabit per second.[1] In addition to DE-CIX in Frankfurt, DE-CIX operates internet exchange points in Hamburg, Munich, New York (DE-CIX New York), Dubai (UAE-IX), Palermo (DE-CIX Palermo),[2] Marseille (DE CIX Marseille),[3] and Istanbul (DE-CIX Istanbul).[4]


DE-CIX was founded in 1995 by three Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Back then, German Internet traffic was still exchanged in the US and there was a lot of room to improve latency and to reduce the cost for backhaul connectivity. Three providers decided to establish an Internet exchange in a back room of a postal office in the Gutleutviertel in Frankfurt. Hamburg-based MAZ, EUNetworks from Dortmund and XLink from Karlsruhe were the ones that initially connected their networks in Frankfurt at DE-CIX.

DE-CIX was managed by eco Electronic Commerce Forum, which is now known as eco, the association of the German Internet industry. Other providers joined and made DE-CIX and Frankfurt the hotspot of the German Internet. In 1998, DE-CIX moved its switching hardware to the Interxion data center in Frankfurt.

By 2000, DE-CIX had become Germany’s largest Internet exchange and was ranked one of the larger Internet exchanges in Europe. DE-CIX added its second switching site at the Interxion campus in 2001[5] and a third site, in close proximity to its original roots, at the TelecityGroup data center in 2004.

In May 2001, DE-CIX was one out of a number of Internet Exchange Points who founded Euro-IX, at that time the only organization who started to develop, strengthen and improve the Internet Exchange Point (IXP) community.

Until 2006, Cisco switches supported both the growth in customers and traffic. DE-CIX extended its reach to additional data centers, introducing Force10 and Brocade switches and scaling the platform to over 700 10-Gigabit ports. Over the years, DE-CIX attracted networks from all over the world, especially from Eastern Europe, leading to an annual traffic growth rate of up to 100 percent a year.


Today, DE-CIX connects 600+ ISPs, including broadband providers, content delivery networks, web hosters, and incumbent operators. DE-CIX is available at 18 data centers throughout Frankfurt, including e-shelter, Equinix, Level(3), ITENOS, Interxion, New Telco, TelecityGroup and Telehouse.[6]

In 2013, DE-CIX introduced DE-CIX Apollon, its new Ethernet-based platform. DE-CIX Apollon operates ten Alcatel-Lucent 7950 XRS routers, six routers act as edge devices that support 1GE, 10GE and 100 GE customer connections and four routers are used for the redundant core network.[7] The routing layer is combined with an optical layer based on ADVA Optical Networking’s FSP 3000; the optical layer delivers a total capacity of 12 terabits per second across its mesh-network topology.

The platform provides transport speeds of up to 2 Terabits per second per fiber pair and supports port density of up to eighty 100 Gigabit Ethernet ports per chassis, with a total of over three hundred 100 Gigabit ports available across its entire optical network. The platform is able to grow 10-fold without major changes.

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