What is Cross Connect?

A cross connection, or cross connect for short, is a physical, hardwired cable that directly links two termination locations in a data centre, for example two customer servers, or a customer and a cloud provider.

In carrier-neutral colocation data centre campuses, such as Telehouse London Docklands cross connects enable customers to establish high-performance, low-latency connectivity with a rich ecosystem of carriers, including leading cloud service providers, major internet service providers, application service providers, content service providers, and more.

Benefits of Cross Connect

There are multiple benefits colocation customers can realise from cross connections. Here are the top four:  

#1 Low latency

Ever since the pandemic shift to remote and hybrid working models, close-proximity, low-latency network connectivity has been a top priority for businesses. That’s because organisations rely more and more on critical real-time applications every single day for, for example, voice communication, video streaming, banking, stock trading, or Big Data analytics.

>In the case of voice communication or video streaming, low latency connectivity will ensure the high quality of video and audio that viewers have come to expect. The importance of low latency also applies to autonomous vehicles and Internet of Things sensors to ensure safety, reliability and efficiency.

Cross connects reduce latency as they operate at consistently high speeds and provide better traffic flow management compared to Internet-based connections. With the growing volumes of data that need to be stored, analysed and shared, public connections simply cannot provide the speed. As cross connections are private point-to-point, organisations can avoid the public internet altogether and take full advantage of high performing networks and uninterrupted data transfers.

#2 Increased reliability

Every business needs a solid IT infrastructure to operate and serve their customers well. Whenever a server goes down, a business heart stops as the impact can be incredibly damaging. From lost productivity and missed business opportunities to financial and reputational repercussions, it’s important organisations take appropriate steps and partner with a reliable data centre provider to prevent downtime.

Because of the direct, private link between two locations, cross connects are highly reliable. Cross connect cables offer higher speeds and largely decrease the possibility of network failure so that organisations needn’t worry about any data loss or negative customer perceptions.

Often, cross connects are backed by the same service level agreement (SLA) as the wider data centre agreement. At Telehouse, it is 99.999% uptime SLA.

So, if system availability and high reliability are critical to business operations, then cross connections are a valuable solution.

#3 High security

Cross connects not only provide low latency and high reliability, but also improved security. Whenever private cross connections are used between an enterprise and their cloud service provider, the data exposure is minimal, therefore, sensitive information can be kept safe.

With today’s volume and sophistication of cyberattacks, cross connects can be used to remove the potential of any data being compromised on public networks.

#4 Supporting interconnection requirements

Being able to create a connected ecosystem of partners is crucial to business success and competitiveness. As such, more organisations are looking for data centre service providers with rich connectivity options. When choosing a carrier-neutral operator, businesses are free to connect directly with the providers that meet their needs.

A carrier neutral data centre operator like Telehouse offers enterprises access to a connectivity hub of 900+ connectivity partners, including leading cloud service providers, Internet Exchanges, ASPs, content providers as well as major mobile and network operators. Our cross connects service offers private, direct interconnections between our customers and their chosen service provider at our London Docklands campus.

Cross connect cabling options

  • Cross connect cabling options
      • CAT6 Ethernet cables have been designed with stricter performance specifications in mind to ensure significantly higher data transfer speeds than CAT5 cables. They can handle up to 10 Gbps of data with 100 meter distance.
      • CAT6A Ethernet cables are an upgraded version of CAT6. It can also move data at 10 Gbps speeds but over longer distances. For businesses that want to future-proof their network, reduce crosstalk and allow for higher bandwidth, CAT6 and CAT6A are the perfect option.
      • Coaxial cable, or coax, is a heavy-duty, low-cost cabling option, shielded by insulation and copper mesh to help reduce interference. It’s very durable, easy to install and perfect for shorter distance cross connections within a data centre.
      • Fibre optic cables are the most powerful cabling option that contain strands of glass fibres that carry signals through pulses of light. So, the data can travel at the speed of light. Fibre optic cables, both single-mode and multi-mode, are less susceptible to interference, therefore, highly sought after in data centres.
      • POTS, or plain old telephone service, is a traditional, analogue voice transmission phone system implemented over physical copper wires. This cross connect cabling option is susceptible to interference, with signals getting weaker as they distance increases.

Telehouse London Docklands data centres use CAT6 ethernet cables, single and multi-mode fibre and coaxial cables.

Connectivity opportunities with Telehouse

Telehouse provides high-performance, secure and reliable data centre and colocation interconnection with its rich ecosystem of carriers. Our carrier-neutral data centres, with world-class interconnection services located at our London Docklands campus, bring together more than 900 connectivity partners for a wealth of business possibilities.

If you’re keen to learn more about our connectivity options, check out our designated interconnectivity page or get in touch with our expert team member.


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