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What are Cross Connects?

5th Mar 2024

Wondering what is a cross connect? A cross connect within a data centre is a physical, direct connection between separate hardware units. A cross connection network allows multiple pieces of hardware to communicate, leading to increased data centre networking efficiency and productivity across your network connections.

When you have your own network link from one or multiple service providers, your data travels through internet-based connections. You are forced to rely on your internet service providers (ISP) for internet exchanges, which are not as secure and can cause delays.

Virtual cross connects (VXC), on the other hand, are offered by a cloud service provider. A private network link is created online to allow colocation customers to manage their critical data without the need for a physical connection. Virtual cross connects for multiple data centres are more reliable than a network provider.

Read on to learn what are cross connects, cross connect terminology, the efficiency of virtual cross connects in a streamlined data centre environment, as well as the types, applications and benefits of cross connects.

What Does Cross Connect Mean?

Physical cross connections are hardwired cables that connect different termination locations together within a data centre. By making a direct connection between different termination points and not relying on public networks, a cross connection data centre can reduce latency and increase trade efficiency.

With a cross connect, colocation customers can have dedicated connectivity to each other that has lower latency and increased reliability compared to network connections. Below, we’ll outline the difference between virtual and physical cross connects:

Virtual Cross Connected Data Centres

Virtual cross connects create a private network connection between your network and a cloud service provider, carrier or content delivery network through internet exchanges. They have a lot more efficient processes and low latency secure connections when compared to the inconvenience of physical cable management.

With virtual cross connects, colocation customers have a faster fibre connection in a shared data centre that will improve network performance and lower business expenses. The process of establishing high-performance virtual cross connects is quite simple. It involves:

Virtual Connection

Your virtual cross connection will use a private network of routers, switches, and firewalls to connect your network assets in a data centre, whether they are in the same building or different locations. After network administrators or network providers create this data centre link, your business’ data is shared across the virtual wire in the data centre.

Traffic Management

Traffic in your cross connect network is managed and routed through the virtual link from the data centres, offering safe and dependable data management. In the process, your data centres are safeguarded against threats while you improve efficiency and maximise your productivity.

Physical Cross Connectivity

With physical cross connects, you have different cross connect cables that are manually connected to termination points. Your business routes a cross connect cable between termination locations on patch panels.

Patch panels are multi-port pieces of hardware where different cables are managed and organised, making them easier to maintain. Cross connects don’t rely on public networks, either, leading to lower latency network performance. These connections are then used to communicate with network providers within a data centres.

Types of Cross Connects

A virtual data centre cross connect is a lot more efficient and secure than physical cross connections. However, if you opt for a physical data centre cross connect, there are a variety of options to choose from. Each has different connection strengths, bandwidth levels and distance capabilities:

Three-Connector Data Centre Cross Connections

A three-connector cross connection uses two patch panels and one physical cable for direct connections. Your business can transfer data between two servers or hardware assets using this kind of cross connection, and you have the choice of which cable you would prefer to use according to your requirements. Because this process is so simple, you lower the risk of data exposure and critical data loss.

Four-Connector Cross Connections

When you have four-connector cross connections, you can use four components instead of three. This would be two patch panels and cables, making the setup slightly more complicated. Similar to three-connector cross connects, you can use your preferred cable to make a direct link.

Cables for Cross Connects

There are many different kinds of connectivity options for cross connections. These are the different kinds of cables you can utilise to transfer your sensitive data:

Single-Mode Fibre

A Single-Mode-Fibre (SMF) cross connect is a fibre optic cable that communicates your business’ information in the data centre through a ray of light.

Multi-Mode Fibre

Multi-Mode Fibre (MMF) cross connects are similar to SMFs; however, your data centre communicates via a fibre optic cable with LED lights through many different rays.

CAT Ethernet Cross Connect

There are two different types of CAT ethernet cross connects for your data centre: CAT5 and CAT6. CAT5 ethernet cross connects use a cable with 10/100 Mbps bandwidth to transfer information in your data centre, while the enhanced version can do 1Gbps.

CAT6 is able to communicate in your data centre with 10 Gbps of bandwidth and reach much farther lengths.


COAX are cheaper cross connects to consider. They’re quite robust and transmit information across your data centre through  an insulated copper wire.


Your data centre could communicate through a copper cable, which is a cost-effective, durable option. The downside is that it offers lower bandwidth.

Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS)

Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) are cross connects in data centre that transfer analogue signals using copper loops. This type of cable is robust and reliable but has low bandwidth.

Applications of Cross Connects

Cross connections have a variety of uses for data centres across a wide range of industries and business sizes.

A cloud provider will use cross connections to maintain simple communication between networks and internet service providers. Some industries, such as the manufacturing, healthcare, and finance sectors, rely on cross connects in data centres to improve the time it takes data to travel between different data centres.

Finance and capital markets organisations in particular rely on real-time data for their operations and require high levels of security to protect sensitive data. Financial trading companies also use a cross connect data centre to guarantee that their essential trades are executed in a timely fashion.

Benefits of Cross Connects For Finance Markets

A cross connect company makes physical cross connection and virtual connectivity so much easier. Finance and capital markets firms benefit from colocation data centres in many different ways, from rich connectivity options to establishing a high-speed electronic virtual connection.

Low Latency

The speed of your data transfer is of the utmost importance for a  financial institution. Network cross connects are low latency and allow real-time operations and applications to run smoothly. This is particularly beneficial to businesses with remote workers or those that stream videos, trade stocks, or use voice communication.

Data centre cross connects are incredibly fast and can manage your banking website traffic with ease, allowing for improved customer satisfaction and company reputation.


Online security is a top priority for banking companies. Cross connect networking is designed to safeguard your data transfer with ease. A lot of financial institutions have sensitive data, confidential documents and records, calls, emails, conferences and more that get communicated through a cross connects data centre every single day.

With the enhanced security offered by cloud providers, your data will be transferred safely through virtual connections.

Improved Performance

A network cross connect marks an innovative and efficient upgrade from a physical cross connect in networking, with a wide variety of new possibilities. They create a direct, shorter route for traffic to pass through, meaning you achieve high speeds with a much lower chance of losing signal. Additionally, a cloud cross connect can be set up a lot faster than a physical data centre connect.

No Physical Maintenance

As your cloud provider uses internet connectivity to transfer your important financial data, you will not have to worry about a physical cross connect setup or the inconvenience of managing cables. There is no physical hardware used in the process at all, and you have the flexibility to scale your networks for more users, devices, or services whenever necessary without physical cable issues or maintenance.

Cost Effective

With virtual cross connects, your financial institution can enjoy lower overhead costs. Dark fibre and a local loop can be extremely expensive, so going virtual presents a more affordable option. When you opt for physical servers, you have to invest in physical hardware, buy lengthy cables, pay staff to run dedicated cables to data centres and manage complicated network infrastructure.

Managing and maintaining cables will also take more out of your company’s budget in the process, especially when unforeseen circumstances interfere with the durability of your setup.

Faster Provisional Time

Cross connects are completely virtual, meaning that you can set up your connection in just a few days. When compared to physical connections that can take multiple weeks to set up, your company will achieve more productive work hours at a faster rate. Additionally, maintenance costs go down and managing your connection is simplified.

Global Reach

With Beeks, you enjoy cross connects with a large global reach. Our company offers more than four hundred virtual cross connects throughout a major global network of financial businesses. Furthermore, our reach connects across over two hundred trading venues.


Financial operations in your company can be unpredictable at times. With virtual cross connections, you can alter and reroute your connection whenever needed. If you suddenly need a change in location, an upgrade, or more, the connections are flexible enough to accommodate these requirements.

In comparison to physical connections, which require a lot of maintenance to modify and reroute, the flexibility and speed of virtual cross connections are unmatched.


Beeks understands that capital markets can easily scale down or up. As a service provider dedicated to meeting your business needs, our virtual cross connections are designed in such a way as to easily be altered according to your new requirements. These connections can be scaled in parallel, resulting in an environment that effortlessly handles new traffic conditions.

Choose Beeks’ Cross Connect Solutions

Now that we’ve explored what is a cross connect, it should be clear how essential it is to hire professionals to implement and maintain your system. Beeks is a recognised expert in its field with market-leading solutions and a team with extensive professional experience in algorithmic trading. With our cross connects, you can adhere to regulatory and legislative demands and gain enhanced performance while remaining protected from any potential cyber threats.

Our clients choose our cross connections because we offer global reach with an expansive network of trading infrastructure and connections. With our data centre cross connects, your business will discover low-latency dedicated servers built on a 100% Arista trading network.

As industry leaders in server solutions, we use our expertise and knowledge to meet your cross connect requirements and minimise data transfer latency. With our innovative cross connect service, you can seamlessly connect and expand your network as your business scales. When your company increases staff, devices, and offerings, a scalable cross connect data centre environment will ensure a simple transition with maximum flexibility.

Want to learn even more about what are cross connects? Enquire about how Beeks’ virtual cross connect services can establish high performance and enhance the efficiency of your data centre environment.

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