Vapor IO and Digital Realty have launched their integrated platform that reaches from the network core to the edge in three cities. After announcing a partnership in October, the combination of Digital Realty's PlatformDIGITAL and Vapor IO's Kinetic Edge platform is now live in Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago.
The Kinetic Edge network is a distributed mesh of local sites with exchange points connecting to private data centers, internet providers, and cloud networks. The PlatformDIGITAL solution enables customers to build the network they need for core to cloud solutions.
"We saw edge as an additive capability to core and not as a replacement for core," said Vapor IO Founder and CEO Cole Crawford. "So we partner with bigger companies, in this case Digital Realty, to bring meaningful interconnections to private networks and to public peering networks like the open exchanges.
"Digital Realty has that same, that same mindset. Now you're seeing the culmination of a lot of that work over months and months through the announcement of the three markets that we're launching in today."
The first three market deployments will provide companies with a platform to test and validate their new edge applications and workflows that connect and coordinate traffic between PlatformDIGITAL and Vapor IO's Kinetic Edge deployments.
By blending data center and networking infrastructure, Digital Realty and Vapor IO are targeting use cases and applications for 4G and 5G networks, distributed artificial intelligence, IoT, robotics, self driving cars and augmented reality from the core to the edge and deeper into metro areas.
Using a Vapor IO portal or APIs, Digital Realty customers can connect to other exchange members using the virtual and physical "meet me room" capabilities that are provided by the Kinetic Edge Exchange. The virtual cross connects can be controlled by software, which allows users to rapidly adapt to changing business requirements, such as increasing bandwidth, using automation.
"What it really means is customers will be able to build a multi-tiered application," said Digital Realty CTO Chris Sharp. "They can have workloads running in strategic locations across the gradient from core data centers, regional data centers and at the edge, which is going to enable new use cases. We want to remove the complexity, and allow for a very open environment for our mutual customers and for new customers to really benefit from.
"What we're really looking at doing is something that's very material, repeatable and foundational so that it supports all these different workload types from a hyperscaler to an enterprise, from AI to a small virtual machine you're just trying to spin up."
Sharp said Digital Realty has had numerous conversations with companies about using the combined platform in the three cities.
"One of the things that we're actively working on right now is we really want to get some use cases published with some demonstrable metrics on the benefit of marrying those together," Sharp said. "We don't have an ETA on when we're going to be able to publish that. But we have a lot of opportunity in a couple of different sectors. AI is one that's top of mind to me."
In January, Vapor IO announced it had completed a $90 million Series C round of funding, as well as a new agreement with Cloudflare. Austin-based Vapor IO has raised a total of $100 million in funding, which it will use to build-out its nationwide Kinetic Edge platform to 36 cities by the end of next year.
The first 20 cities slated for the Kinetic Edge platform are: Austin, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.
While Crawford wouldn't say which cities would be next for the partnership with Digital Realty, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago are the tip of the spear for the combined platform. Digital Realty also has a large presence in Europe.
"This is just the beginning for us," Crawford said. "When you're solving for the type of edge that we're solving for it's not one metro or one region, or even one continent. Stay tuned."