While innovation in inter-domain routing has remained stagnant for over a decade, Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) are consolidating their role as economically advantageous interconnection points for reducing path latencies and exchanging ever increasing amounts of traffic. As such, IXPs appear as a natural place to foster network innovation and assess the benefits of Software-Defined Networking (SDN), a recent technological trend that has already boosted innovation within data-center networks.
In this paper, we give a comprehensive overview of use cases for SDN at IXPs, which leverage the superior vantage point of an IXP to introduce advanced features like load-balancing and DDoS mitigation. We discuss the benefits of SDN solutions by analyzing real-world data from one of the largest IXPs. We also leverage insights into IXP operations to not only shape benefits for members but also for operators.