Megaport today launched a virtual cloud router that allows businesses to establish private connections at Layer 3 without physically deploying any network infrastructure or even having a data center presence.
The Megaport Cloud Router (MCR) allows companies to establish a private connection and move data and workloads between multiple cloud providers.
“It’s all about speed,” Megaport CEO Vincent English said. “MCR allows you to use data between two cloud providers instead of downloading it from one, and then pushing it back up into two separate cloud environments. This makes it very easy for data to be consumed or number-crunched across multiple cloud environments.”
It also allows companies to expand their own service footprint through virtual points of presence (PoPs) and interconnect with other Megaport customers without owning or managing routers. This reduces administrative and operational complexities involved with managing a Layer 3 network, English said.
“Essentially, we’re virtualizing the network,” he said. “It’s important for us that, from a networking perspective, we make that very easy for enterprises so they can just access the services they need in an easy, consumable way.”
In addition to traditional enterprises, the virtual cloud router serves the needs of companies “born in the cloud,” he added. “They don’t actually have any physical IT infrastructure and they may not be in a data center. We give them access to that platform.”
The new service is integrated into Megaport’s software defined networking (SDN)-based interconnection platform. The platform connects more than 850 customers across 185 data centers in Asia Pacific, North America, and Europe.
Last month, the company announced that IBM joined its ecosystem. “So now we’ve got the top six cloud providers globally on our platform,” English said. In addition to IBM, Megaport provides private, direct connections to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Alibaba Cloud, Google Cloud, and Oracle Cloud. “We’ll continue to expand that going forward,” he added.
Cloud Router vs. Cloud Exchange?
The new virtual cloud router sounds similar to an Equinix service launched last month. This one, called Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric, uses SDN to allow Equinix data center customers to connect directly to any other Equinix customer — including cloud providers — on demand. At the time, Equinix’s James Staten told SDxCentral that his company was the only technology provider to offer this kind of connectivity as a service. But, he added, Megaport was the closest competitor.
When asked how Megaport’s service stacks up against Equinix’s, English said, “I don’t think [Equinix Cloud Exchange] has the smarts or the capabilities or the easy user interface.”
Megaport is “data center neutral” and partners with 62 different data center companies including Digital Realty to provide interconnection and SDN services, he added. Equinix is not a Megaport data center partner.
“From a cloud service provider’s point of view, they are really only interested in access to enterprises,” he said. “If you compare [Megaport Cloud Router] to any one data center or any one app out there, it only operates within the four walls of a particular data center. We work with anyone and everyone who wants to work with us.”