The network-as-a-service provider already had similar deals with all of the other top tier cloud providers — Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Alibaba, Google, and Oracle — that allow companies to bypass the public Internet and establish private connections.
Eric Troyer, chief marketing officer at Megaport, said adding IBM Cloud, which has tailored its infrastructure and services to large enterprises, made sense. IBM Cloud Direct Link gives companies direct, scalable connectivity to IBM Cloud and its cloud-native services including artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and serverless.
“These next-generation services that utilize AI are going to produce a tremendous amount of data,” he said. “Consistent, scalable connectivity to these data repositories is going to be critical.”
How Megaport Uses SDN
The Brisbane, Australia-based company got its start in 2013 and claims to have the world’s first software-defined networking (SDN)-based elastic interconnection platform. It connects more than 780 customers throughout its data center footprint across the Asia-Pacific region, North America, and Europe.
“What we do is abstract the network so you don’t have to worry about locations,” Troyer said. “All you need to be concerned with is what services do I want to get directly connected to with this network and at what speed?”
Megaport uses SDN to connect enterprises to cloud and other service providers.
“The real value out of this is enterprises getting connected to the services that they want without having to deal with the traditional hassle of telcos,” Troyer said. “That’s where SDN comes into play with the automation we’ve built into our network, the software that lives on top of the network, and the integrations we’ve done with the API [application programming interface] to the various service providers.”
Direct connection to cloud service providers is the platform’s biggest use case, and it continues to grow, Troyer added. “Well over 40 percent of our connections on our network are direct-to-cloud connections.”
Data Center Neutral
“We work with 62 unique data center providers today over that 179-location footprint,” Troyer said. “We’re carrier neutral, data center neutral, and services neutral. That’s pretty unique compared to a data center interconnect offering.”
And while most Equinix data centers are located in major markets like Silicon Valley, Troyer said Megaport’s business is booming in markets that have traditionally been underserved in terms of direct cloud connection capabilities. “We’re able to go into a data center in a tier-two or tier-three market and enable direct connection very quickly and easily,” he said.
Troyer said PacketFabric and its SDN also comes up in conversations about competitors. “But they [PacketFabric] don’t have that broad [an] ecosystem of cloud providers, and they seem much more focused on selling to telcos,” he said.