PCCW Global launched an SDN interconnect platform based on its global IP network and software that it obtained when it bought Console Connect in November 2017. The software-defined interconnection lets customers instantly provision direct connections to remote data centers, partners, and cloud services.
PCCW Global is the international operating division of HKT, a Hong Kong service provider. Its new service, called Console Connect, is available in 150 countries.
Console Connect is an SDN overlay on PCCW Global’s IP network. It enables access to some of the major cloud service providers including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Alibaba. And it links data centers to each other and to cloud providers in seconds and on-demand. By the third quarter of this year, PCCW Global aims to have all major cloud service providers on board as well as additional major software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers.
In 2016, SDxCentral reported that PCCW Global was building an OpenStack cloud and had created a wide area network (WAN) connection between two PCCW data centers, one in Hong Kong and one in Virginia. At the time, the company said it had plans to expand that WAN.
But since then, the company has scrapped that plan. Instead, it purchased assets from Console Connect in November 2017. It bought Console Connect’s software platform, the Console Connect brand, and the technology team working under the leadership of Paul Gampe. Now, Gampe is the CTO of PCCW Global.
Neil Templeton, vice president of strategic marketing at PCCW Global, said, “We’ve had ambitions in the SDN space for some time. But we really wanted to accelerate. That’s one of the main reasons we bought Console Connect. We wanted to move into SDN and software-defined interconnect. The quickest way was to acquire that technology and quickly overlay the Console Connect capabilities on top of our IP network.”
Console Connect’s technology was already deployed in production. In May 2017, the company released an automated cloud-to-cloud connection that allowed enterprises to bypass the public internet and link multiple cloud environments directly and privately.
Asked which companies PCCW Global competes against with this technology, Templeton said, “I can’t think of any competitors that have such an SDN overlay on such an extensive network. Megaport developed a similar type of software, but it’s having to invest in its network. PCCW and Console coming together gives something that’s unique.”
Customers are able to get started with just one port and one cross-connect. Once the cross-connect is set up, applications and cloud partners can be connected with the click of a button.
The complete solution includes the tools needed to manage multiple secure direct connections, monitor connection performance, and view bandwidth allocation and utilization. At any time, the customer can scale bandwidth as needed.