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Internet Exchange Overview

Megaport owns and operates a series of Internet peering exchanges (IXs) in the majority of our global networks. IXs provide greater efficiency between networks and allow traffic to be exchanged directly, reducing latency and bandwidth usage on client Internet connections.

There are two main types of IX peering arrangements:

  • Multilateral – Multilateral peering (MLPA) is the default when you connect to MegaIX. With multilateral peering, you use BGP to peer with both route servers (RS1 and RS2) for an IX market, you advertise your routes to the route servers, and all routes available from all other multilaterally peered connections are advertised to your peer from the route servers.

  • Bilateral – Bilateral peering (BLPA) is required for peers that do not participate in multilateral peering through the route servers and establishes a direct peering relationship with another entity on the exchange. You can participate in both multilateral and bilateral peering across the Megaport IX infrastructure.

Joining an Internet Exchange

Before joining an IX, ensure that you can meet the requirements.

To join an Internet Exchange for Megaport and MegaIX locations

  1. In the Megaport ONE Portal, choose Networking > Services.
    If you haven’t already created a Port, see Creating a Port.
  2. Select Port from the Types drop-down list.
  3. In the Name column, click on the Port you want to use for the IX connection.
  4. Click Actions and choose Add Connection.
    Add Connection
  5. In the Connection Type field, select Internet Exchange.
  6. Specify the VXC Configuration details:

    • Connection Name – The name of your VXC to be shown in the Megaport ONE Portal.


      Partner-managed accounts can apply a Partner Deal to a service. For more information, see Associating a Deal With a Service.

    • IX Location – Select the IX location to which you want to connect.

    • Rate Limit (Mbps) – This is the speed of your connection in Mbps. The rate limit for an IX cannot exceed the aggregate port speed for metro connections, and 10 Gbps for non-metro connections.

      Connection details

  7. Specify the IX Configuration details:

    • Preferred VLAN – Specify an unused VLAN ID for this connection.
      The VLAN ID must be unique on this Port and can range from 2 to 4093. If you specify a VLAN ID that is already in use, the system displays the next available VLAN ID. Megaport ONE validates the VLAN ID before proceeding with the order. If you don’t specify a value, Megaport ONE will assign one.
      You can also select the toggle to Untag this connection. This selection removes the VLAN tagging for this connection but limits you to only one IX (or VXC) on this Port.

    • ASN – The autonomous system number (ASN) of your network.
      The ASN can be either a 16-bit or 32-bit ASN (2 or 4 byte) but must be a public AS. You cannot change the ASN after deployment.

    • MAC Address – The MAC Address of the Layer 3 device that will establish the BGP peering session with the IX.
      Connections to the IX on this VXC will be locked to this address for security purposes. If you do not have the correct MAC available at the time of ordering, enter a placeholder MAC (such as 00:01:00:01:12:34) as this field remains editable after deployment.

    • BGP Password – Add a BGP password to the VXC.
      This field can be left blank.


      You cannot change the BGP password after deployment.

    • Graph Visibility – Select how to display your traffic graphs in the MegaIX.
      Public allows other clients to see your IX throughput, while Private hides this information from other clients.

    • Peer Macro – The peer macro value defines the AS macro filter for the peer. Megaport ONE uses this value to generate a list of prefixes this AS can originate, and this list filters announcements through the route server.

      Another name for this field is AS-MACRO (or AS-SET) as it contains a list of AS numbers belonging to this peer.

      If you don’t have a Peer Macro, you can enter your ASN in this field (You can only send routes that originate from your own AS). Invalid prefixes won’t be announced by the route server and an incorrect configuration results in the route server rejecting all your prefixes.

      If not specified, your own ASN will be used in the filter and you can only send routes that originate from your own AS and prefixes registered to that AS.

      IX Configuration details

  8. Specify the Billing details:

    • Service Level Reference (optional) – Specify a unique identifying number for the VXC to be used for billing purposes, such as a cost center number or unique customer ID.
      The service level reference number appears for each service under the Product section of the invoice. You can also edit this field for an existing service.

    • Monthly Price – Displays the monthly price of the IX connection based on the location and rate limit details.

    • Promo Code – If you have a valid promotional code entitling you to a price discount, enter the code then click Add Code.

      Billing details

  9. Click Create Connection.
    A summary page appears which displays all of the IX connection settings, including the monthly price.

  10. Review the connection details then click Confirm to deploy the connection.
    After deployment, Megaport ONE sends an email to your registered email address with additional information about how to finish the BGP configuration.

MegaIX Looking Glass

Megaport operates a public, web accessible MegaIX Looking Glass for peers and network operators to investigate the current routing state.

The MegaIX Looking Glass provides full-featured visibility into traffic routing and the IX route server environment on Megaport owned and operated internet peering exchanges (IXs). This visibility helps you troubleshoot connections by searching for an AS number, a peer, or a particular IP prefix on the IX route server.

You can query both the primary and redundant route servers for live BGP data to investigate the current routing state, and diagnose and troubleshoot any configuration or networking issues. The MegaIX Looking Glass allows you to see each MegaIX and some details of Megaport clients peering on them.

The MegaIX Looking Glass is available at

What the Looking Glass tells you

The Looking Glass answers questions such as:

  • What route is currently being used to send traffic?
  • What are all possible routes on the IX that the network can use?
  • Does a route exist in the routing table for a specific destination?
  • Is a BGP session up or down?
  • What IP prefixes and routes have I received from my BGP peers?
  • Which routes have been advertised to my BGP peers?

Use the BGP neighbor overview to look at a specific route server. The Looking Glass shows you which networks are available at a specific route server, provides BGP session information (established and down), and provides a summary of received and filtered routes from each peer.

IX requirements

Before configuring your IX connection, ensure that you meet these requirements:

  • Permitted traffic types – All frames forwarded to the Internet Exchange must be Ethernet II (DIX), using ARP (0x0806), IPv4 (0x0800), or IPv6 (0x86DD) Ethertypes.

  • First ASN – In a standard BGP configuration, the first ASN in the path will match the peer ASN. In multi-lateral peering, the first ASN is the downstream peer that provides the routes. This reduces AS path lengths for correct routing decisions. To permit multi-lateral peering, configure your devices so they do not enforce the first AS requirement. For example, on a Cisco router the command is no bgp enforce-first-as.


To prevent members from sending all the internet routes to Megaport ONE, we limit the number of prefixes (MaxPFX) that Megaport ONE can receive. The default limit is 1000 IPv4 routes and 100 IPv6 routes. Exceeding this value results in ending the session, however you can contact Megaport support if you require a reset. For details, see Contacting Support.

Illegal traffic types

The following frames are not permitted on the Internet Exchange:

  • Multiple MAC addresses – ECIX operates on the principle of one router per port, meaning that frames must have the same source MAC address behind each port in each VLAN. Some members connect through intermediate switches or use a Layer 2/Layer 3 hybrid device. If these devices are not configured properly they can cause forwarding loops, STP instabilities, and unwanted traffic on the Exchange.

  • Multicast and broadcast (with the exception of ARP and IPv6 neighbor discovery) – Only exchange unicast routes over your BGP sessions in the Peering LANs. Multicast traffic is not permitted on (unicast) Peering LANs.

  • Frames from Proxy ARP – Peering VLAN traffic is exchanged based on BGP routes, so it is unnecessary to answer ARP queries for any IP addresses other than those configured on your ECIX interface. Some vendors enable Proxy ARP by default, which can lead to unwanted traffic on your network. If you have Proxy ARP enabled at ECIX, it is likely to be enabled at other peering points, which allows parties on both sides to use you as a transit.

  • LLC/SNAP (Subnetwork Access Protocol) frames – LLC/SNAP encapsulation (802.2) is not permitted because the IX infrastructure is based on the Ethernet II standard.

  • STP (Spanning Tree) – Devices connected to the ECIX port are not permitted to be visible as Layer 2 bridges, and should not use STP or any other proprietary L2-specific protocol.

  • Vendor discovery protocols (CDP, EDP, FDP, MNDP) – Some vendors (for example, Cisco and Extreme Networks) run discovery protocols by default. Running discovery protocols should be avoided as it can cause unwanted broadcast or multicast traffic.

  • Internal routing protocols (OSPF, EIGRP, IGRP, and ISIS) – BGP is the only routing protocol permitted on the Peering VLANs. Interior routing protocols only cause unnecessary multicast and broadcast traffic.

  • Cisco Layer 2 keepalives – By default, Cisco routers and switches periodically test their Ethernet links by sending out loopback frames (Ethertype 0x9000) addressed to themselves. In a switched environment, this tests the functionality of the switch and keeps the router’s MAC address in the switch’s address table. In the ECIX environment, this is not useful because MAC timeouts are longer than the typical BGP or ARP timeouts.

  • Non-unicast IPv6 (IPv6 ND-RA) – IPv6 hosts on the ECIX are not autoconfigured, and can cause IPv6 router advertisements to generate unnecessary traffic.

  • Non-unicast IPv4 (IGMP, DHCP, TFTP) – Do not configure multicast on the ECIX interface. The Peering LAN is for unicast IP traffic only. The only permitted non-unicast traffic is an ARP query.

  • Trunking protocols – On Cisco Layer 2 devices such as the 2900 and 3500 series, disable VTP (VLAN Trunking Protocol), DTP (Dynamic Trunking Protocol), LLDP, and UDLD.

  • Non-IP protocols – Some vendors enable protocols other than IP by default. For example, in some versions of IOS Cisco enables MOP (Maintenance Operation Protocol). Non-IP traffic is not appropriate for the ECIX environment.


Megaport imposes a set of restrictions to ensure smooth operation of the MegaIX. Megaport reserves the right to temporarily disable offending services in order to maintain the health and stability of the MegaIX.


Link-local protocols ARP and IPv6 ND (Neighbor Discovery) are exceptions, and are permitted.

Additional considerations

There are some considerations when thinking about configuring an IX peering arrangement:

  • MegaIX route servers do not recognize the BGP community attribute no-export. This community attribute is passed transparently to the other peers connected to the route server.

  • Multiple Exit Discriminator (MED) values are considered in the route selection rules only when the advertising ASN is the same for candidate routes. MED values are not modified by the route servers. Values advertised to the route servers are passed unaltered to other peers.

  • All routes on the IX are given equal local preference by the route servers. The route servers do not compare the BGP router ID for best route selection, instead preferring the oldest route when all other attributes are equal.

  • Do not configure “network” or any of the other peering LANs in your router’s BGP configuration.

See also

Last update: 2023-07-14