There’s a new edge alliance in town — or rather, coming soon to 30 metropolitan markets across the U.S. Vapor IO today launched the Kinetic Edge Alliance (KEA) with a slew of software, hardware, networking, and integration company partners.
Deployment partners include Federated Wireless, Linode, MobiledgeX, Packet, and StackPath. Technical partners include Alef Mobitech, Detecon International, Hitachi Vantara, New Continuum Data Centers, Pluribus Networks, and Seagate Technology.
The group is looking to establish critical mass for edge computing in the U.S. by targeting the top 30 metro markets, which cover about half of the population. It will focus on six markets this year: Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Chicago, which was Vapor IO’s first Kinetic Edge city, already has two sites online and will add a third in the next couple of months.
The KEA builds on Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge architecture, which uses software-defined interconnection and high-speed networking to combine multiple micro-data centers into a single, virtual facility.
“We built Kinetic Edge for edge-native applications, which are more mobile and far more localized in their latency sensitivities,” said Cole Crawford, CEO and founder of Vapor IO. “There’s also bandwidth sensitivities to a lot of these use cases, and we wanted to create these hyper-local availability zones. Our intent with the KEA in part is to go create this hyper-local availability, and we do that with multi-tenant shared infrastructure, and a software-defined mesh network, and by aggregating 10s, 30s, 100s of micro cells into these PoPs [points of presence], which allows you to create a much more resilient, highly available architecture than if you were trying to create all of this in one building.”
How It Works
Here’s how the Kinetic Edge Alliance plans to build this highly-distributed edge infrastructure. Deployment partner companies will jointly roll out equipment and services, beginning with the first six markets this year.
Federated Wireless, for example, will integrate its Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) controller with the Kinetic Edge. Iyad Tarazi, president and CEO of Federated Wireless, said this will ensure last-mile connectivity in all of KEA’s locations.
The aim is to deploy all of the hardware and software infrastructure components in lockstep, which will help ensure a uniform infrastructure platform and make it easy to build and deploy edge applications.
Specifically, here’s what each deployment partner will contribute:
- Federated Wireless will bring software and systems for delivering 4G and 5G wireless services over newly-available CBRS spectrum to all Kinetic Edge locations, including a large set of pre-integrated wireless access points, end devices, and network functionality suppliers through its partner program.
- Linode will extend its cloud computing infrastructure at Kinetic Edge locations.
- MobiledgeX will provide developers with automated workload orchestration tooling for provisioning and managing applications at the edge location nearest to a requesting device.
- Packet will deploy its bare-metal cloud.
- StackPath will extend its platform of edge computing services to the Kinetic Edge, enabling developers to deploy containers and virtual machines (VMs) at the edge of the cellular network, and also deploy serverless scripts via its EdgeEngine.
- Vapor IO will build tower-connected edge data centers across each of the 30 target markets, and offer edge colocation, interconnection, and fiber-based networking to its partners and customers.
Technical partners, meanwhile, will make their enabling technologies available to Kinetic Edge deployments. This includes:
- Alef Mobitech developed an edge architecture to enable multi-access edge computing (MEC) application deployments.
- Detecon International, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, will support operators as they roll out 5G.
- Hitachi Vantara, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi, will provide technologies and expertise for data center infrastructure, edge-to-cloud data governance, and data-driven insights. Hitachi’s Lumada specifically provides the capabilities to connect, collect, analyze, store, and act on data from disparate data sources.
- New Continuum will cross-connect its West Chicago data center with the Kinetic Edge to provide local colocation capacity as well as a software-enabled internet exchange point (IXP). It will also deploy Open 19 IT equipment in Kinetic Edge Locations.
- Pluribus Networks has a next-generation network fabric for distributed cloud that can span multiple Kinetic Edge (and non-Kinetic Edge) sites, with the ability to manage them as one fabric that can stretch geographically with fabric-wide automation, multi-tenancy, granular telemetry, and network slicing with no latency penalty.
- Seagate will provide technical blueprints and deployment support for end users and partners who require storage at the edge.