Ecosystem Connections Overview

Ecosystem connections are virtual circuits built between PacketFabric customers and partners. For example, if you are using an SaaS solution from a company that is part of the PacketFabric ecosystem, you can build a third-party virtual circuit to access their services over a high-capacity private connection. These private virtual connections allow you to communicate with other networks in a secure, efficient, and cost-effective way.

You can send high volumes of traffic without worrying about service bottlenecks or unpredictable transit routing. You can also connect with non-local partners and services without expending resources on establishing your own equipment in a new colocation facility. A single PacketFabric access port can support multiple virtual circuits.

Currently, PacketFabric offers the following ecosystem connections:

  • Third-party virtual circuits
  • Internet Exchange (IX) virtual circuits
  • Hosted and dedicated cloud connections

For information on connecting to cloud service providers, see Cloud Connectivity.

For general information on virtual circuits, see Virtual Circuit Overview and Technical Specifications.

A and Z Sides

The terms “A side” and “Z side” originated in the telecommunications industry. The “A side” is the party making the request (the caller); the “Z side” is the party receiving the request (the person being called).

In the context of this knowledge base, the “A side” is the side that is creating the virtual circuit. The “Z side” is where that circuit lands and/or the party who is accepting the virtual circuit.

Third-Party Virtual Circuits

A third-party virtual circuit connects you to another user’s network. This could be a client, a partner, or a service provider.

third party virtual circuit diagram

Note the following:

  • Any PacketFabric customer or partner can elect to appear in the marketplace directory. For more information, see Marketplace Profile.

  • All third-party circuits must be approved and ultimately provisioned by the Z side (“Customer B” in the diagram above).

  • Although you and the third-party might have a business relationship managed elsewhere, these connections can be handled entirely through the PacketFabric portal and API with no additional configuration or cost for the Z side.

IX Virtual Circuits

An Internet Exchange (IX) facilitates public peering with a multitude of other networks.

internet exchange point virtual circuit diagram

For example, most IX networks include high-visibility members such as Google, Verisign, Amazon, and nation-wide ISPs. But they can also include smaller networks such as universities and regional ISPs.

IX vs. Third-Party Connections

  • Row

    • Feature
    • Third Party
    • IX
  • Row

    • Billing

    • Although you and the third party might have a business relationship outside of PacketFabric, all billing for the third-party virtual circuit is handled by us.

    • The IX and PacketFabric bill separately. As such, you will need to register an account with the IX through their website.

  • Row

    • Pricing - A Side

    • You get one free third-party virtual circuit per port. Additional third-party virtual circuits are a $50 flat fee. If you and the third party are located in different metro markets, you will also need to pay for long-haul data transfer.

    • You pay the standard PacketFabric long-haul data transfer fees directly to us (dedicated or usage-based).

      The IX sets their own prices. The estimated price is listed in the portal, but the exact costs are determined by the IX provider’s billing requirements.

  • Row

    • Pricing - B side

    • The IX and the third party are charged standard port fees, but incur no extra costs when accepting a connection request from another PacketFabric customer.

  • Row

    • Rate Limits
    • The A side can optionally set an additional rate limit on incoming traffic.
    • The available capacities are determined by the IX. As such, you cannot set additional rate limits on top of the capacity.
  • Row

    • Connection Requests

    • The A side creates the virtual circuit, and the Z side receives an email notification.

      The Z side can then reject the request, or approve and provision the connection.

      Once provisioned, only the A side can delete the circuit.