No matter how many demos of our portal I participate in, there’s one question that keeps coming up over and over again…
How in the world do you spin up those VXCs so quickly?
Most customers and partners assume that there has to be either a third party involved or perhaps an army of monkeys in a closet pushing physical buttons to enable connections. However, the reality is that Megaport has developed a fully functional, Software Defined Network (SDN), that is also 100% proprietary. While our RESTful API is open source, what happens behind the scenes via agents, databases and all the way down to the physical layer has been entirely built by Megaport’s talented engineering team.
Are you sure you’re not reselling ports through another exchange provider such as Equinix?
No, absolutely not. Megaport has physically cross connected via fiber to our cloud service providers (CSPs) such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform in a wide variety of locations globally. What this means is that we have physically connected ports via fiber on our CSPs routers/switches to ports on our routers/switches in these locations. This is also often called a NNI (Network to Network Interface). Our global, carrier grade network is literally directly connected to the networks of our CSP partners. Not only are we physically “pre patched” to the CSPs but we have also done API integration with both AWS and Microsoft. Because of the API integration we allow our customers and partners to very quickly (in less than 60 seconds) deploy a VXC (virtual cross connect) for AWS Direct Connect, Azure ExpressRoute etc.
OK, so what is the carrier grade global network made up of?
The Megaport network is a purpose built layer 2 network that is bolted together by mostly dark fiber in the metros and lit waves in the long haul provided by Tier 1 carrier partners. In each of our POPs our hardware is a combination of different types of switches and routers (can’t say who exactly, but you can probably guess). At this point in time Megaport operates a layer 2 network so it makes it very simple for customers to exchange routes and BGP information with our CSP partners at layer 3. For more information on our global points of presence check out www.megaport.com/locations.
When you talk about API integration with AWS and Microsoft what does mean?
When a customer deploys a VXC for AWS Direct Connect it pushes a Virtual Private Gateway (private or public) request from our portal (portal.megaport.com) to the customer’s AWS Console. It is then simply a matter of the customer clicking “accept” for the new connection the AWS Console under the Direct Connect page. With regard to Azure ExpressRoute the process is slightly different but the end result is the same. A customer simply drops in their ExpressRoute Service Key into the Megaport portal, clicks “deploy”, and voila! A new, private connection is established between their on premise environment to their Azure environment in less than 60 seconds. To learn more about this check out our videos here or here.
This all sounds great, and certainly explains a lot, but as a customer how do I benefit?
Because we built our network from the ground up and developed our software/API in house, this means that we can extend more contractual flexibility and cost savings. When comparing a cloud interconnection solution with Megaport (aka Direct Connect or ExpressRoute) to a large carrier we are… [drum roll please] “faster, better, and cheaper”. Yes, our solutions do tend to be about 50 to 75% less expensive than what a typical telecom provider might charge for a similar solution. What Megaport has done by introducing flexible contractual terms for VXCs (also known as layer 2 vlans), and marrying this with the ability to dynamically dial the bandwidth up or down on a per mbps basis, is truly a paradigm shift in the world of networking.
To recap, our customers tremendously value and benefit from the following things:
- No long-term contracts: flexible billing terms and pay as you go consumption model
- VXCs enabled within minutes across the Megaport fabric
- SDN (Software Defined Networking) – customer managed
- Elasticity – Megaport allows for dynamically allocating bandwidth (i.e. “dialing” up/down as needed)
- Data center and carrier/NSP agnostic
- Hybrid cloud connectivity – one port – multiple VXCs
Question or comments? Feel free to drop us a note below.
Author: David McCullough
Cloud Strategy Director