IX-API works through the processing of entities, which we have attempted to design and name as clearly as possible.

However, there will be some differences in terminology between different groups of users, so the explanations below clarify how terms are used within the scope of the IX-API schema and documentation.

The definitions are provided in the order of easiest readability; some cross-referencing is inevitable.


A company that buys services from an IXP (and may resell them to other customers).


An entity of a company fulfilling a given role and undertaking a specific responsibility within or on behalf of a customer. This will typically a department or agent of the customer company rather than an individual, except in the case of smaller customers.

Several subtypes of contact exist, and a customer may not need to supply every type. However, ordering certain services may require the customer to specify contacts of multiple types:

  • Legal

    The business entity within the customer that is responsible for the legal contract with the IXP.

  • Billing

    The recipient of invoices.

  • Implementation

    The contact responsible for provisioning, setting up the BGP testing, routing, etc.

  • NOC

    The contact responsible for troubleshooting an ongoing, live service.

  • Peering

    The contact responsible for co-ordinating peering with other customers.


A network or peering-related product of a defined type sold by an IXP to its customers.

Products will have a defined Product Type; the only type so far defined is ‘Exchange LAN’, for the provision of peering services.

A example of an ‘Exchange LAN’ Product would be each distinct peering infrastructure available from an IXP.

Network Service

An instance of a Product, accessible by one or multiple users, depending on the type of product

In the case of Exchange LAN products, each Network Service is accessed by all users of the related product, meaning there is a one to one mapping between products of this type and their related services.

Future Product types may support multiple closed or private instances within a Product, meaning that there will be one Network Service for each such instance of a Product.

Network Feature

A piece of functionality made available to customers within a Network Service. Any Network Service may offer multiple Network Features of a given type.

Certain features may need to be configured by a customer to use each service.

The only type of Network Feature currently specified is a Route Server, which can be defined as operating in either Public or Collector mode.

Network Service Config

A customer’s configuration for usage of a Network Service, eg (for an Exchange LAN service) the configuration of (a subset of) a Connection for that customer’s traffic.

Network Feature Config

A customer’s configuration for usage of a Network Feature, eg (for a Route Server feature), configuration of a Route Server session for a given Network Service Config.


A functional group of physical network connections collected together into a LAG (aka Trunk).

Demarcation Point (aka Demarc)

The point at which customer and IXP networks meet, eg a physical port / socket, generally with a specified bandwidth.


A data centre, with a determined physical address, from which a defined set of PoPs can be accessed.

Metro Area

A city-level region used to determine the location of facilities and products.


A location within a Facility connected to a single Network Infrastructure, with defined reachability of other facilities. A single room may contain multiple PoPs, each linking to a different infrastructure.


A network hardware device, typically a Switch, located at a specified facility, connected to one or more PoPs

MAC address

A MAC address. Addresses may have a defined validity period to support migrations or changeovers.

IP address

A IPv4 or IPv6 address, usually supplied by the IXP.

As with MACs addresses, IP addresses may have a defined validity period to support migrations or changeovers.

External Reference

A free-text reference used by a customer for their own purposes, typically to label or locate an entity.

External References are under customer control and have no function effect on the entities that they reference.

Contract Reference

A value representing the contract covering a particular entity, supporting the case where the IXP and customer may have multiple contracts covering different services or configurations.