& cplSiteName &

Pacnet Turns On SDN in APAC, US

Mitch Wagner
2/18/2014
50%
50%

Regional wholesale operator Pacnet plans on launching its software-defined intercontinental network in Asia/Pacific and the US today, leveraging its control of undersea cable capacity to deliver enhanced networking flexibility, reduced cost of operations and pay-as-you-go pricing.

The Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN), which launched in beta in November, becomes generally available Tuesday, powered by 18 datacenters in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and now the US. It's designed to enable enterprise and carrier customers "to rapidly and cost-effectively create the foundation of a virtual, integrated data center" using software-defined networking (SDN), according to a statement from Pacnet . (See Pacnet Gets Agile With SDN.)

Pacnet's Layer 1 ownership is key to PEN's value, Jim Fagan, president of managed services for Pacnet, said in a phone interview. "We have this massive network in Asia-Pacific, an international network of submarine cable systems. We have control of the network all the way through the technology layers. This gives us an amazing amount of control and flexibly of the networks," he said. PEN is designed to pass that control and flexibility on to customers.

US availability of the service is designed for organizations needing to do business with Asia-Pacific partners, Fagan said. US customers will need to have a point-of-presence in Los Angeles to connect to the Pacnet network.

Designed for flexibility
The service is designed to be highly flexible, with its software control plane able to configure the network in minutes, rather than the days or weeks required for conventional networking. As Fagan explained to my colleague Robert Clark in November:

    Currently "the customer goes to the sales rep, who has to check the inventory. Then there's a pricing discussion, then it has to be manually provisioned, then the circuit is tested, and then the customer has to accept it." That can take nearly three weeks and the customer is locked into a one- or two-year fixed contract.

"We're looking at it as the Amazon model, paying for what you use, but also tying in the benefits from private connectivity," Fagan told me Monday.

Using Pacnet, customers can designate specific quality of service levels on specific routes, or just configure best-effort to reduce cost. Users can buy bandwidth by the hour, for example for backup or migration.

Relatively small
Pacnet is a relatively small company, with $500 million in revenue and 800 employees. But it's focused on networking and the datacenter, where bigger competitors are less focused, Fagan said.

While cannibalizing its existing wholesale business is a worry for Pacnet, the company believes it will eat into more of its competitors' business than its own. "If I had revenue as large as my competitors, I might not be so excited to be leading disruption in the industry," Fagan said.

Pacnet plans to expand the PEN service to South Korea and Taiwan next.

The flexibility comes from the use of Vello Systems 's Connectivity Exchange application, which runs on the vendor's VellOS Linux software platform. Vello's software enables Connectivity Exchange, which includes virtual cross-connect capabilities, to configure and manage the network.

Simplifying migration
"This is about simplifying the way that [Pacnet's] tenants can migrate the applications they're hosting and be able to cut-and-paste those throughout the Pacnet network," Karl May, Vello president and CEO, said.

The Pacnet service will prove attractive to customers, said Heavy Reading analyst Caroline Chappell in an email:

    Service providers want the flexibility of being able to switch between optical and packet layers of the network, depending on the needs of individual customers [and] applications and Vello is one of the first companies to support this using Openflow. The Pacnet win is an endorsement of this approach -- which is highly appropriate, if you think about it, for a service provider that is bridging datacenters on both sides of the Pacific with subsea optical links in between.

Vello is "targeting specific use cases rather than trying to be an all-purpose SDN vendor," Chappell said. Application-driven on-demand bandwidth management is one such use case. "Again, this would be highly appealing to Pacnet's enterprise customers who are familiar with the cloud and buying infrastructure on demand services (IaaS) and want to do the same with networks -- hence the Network as a Service (NaaS) tag," she said.

Enterprise customers are asking B2B service providers for pay-per-use networking rather than fixed-bandwidth connectivity services, which are invariably over-provisioned, Chappell said. If Pacnet succeeds, other service providers will likely follow with their own pay-per-use services, possibly to Vello's benefit.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to mwagner@lightreading.com.

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
The Overall Objective Is to Win the Game

6|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


SCTE•ISBE's Chris Bastian discusses Energy 2020's success to date and the importance of a flexible approach that allows for changes in specific strategies in order to reach significant milestones.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment


Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Mike Roberts on 5G Uptake

6|19|17   |   04:08   |   (0) comments


Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum's service provider markets group, explains why he has boosted his 5G subscriptions forecast.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Hubbard on Intersection of SD-WAN & MPLS

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Rick Hubbard, SVP of Network Product Management for AT&T Business Solutions, discusses how AT&T's approach to SD-WAN fits in with its overall virtualization strategy, explains how SD-WAN can improve enterprise customers' use of the cloud and addresses the intersection of SD-WAN and MPLS.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Does AT&T Deserve Time Warner?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2017
Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
Kalanick Steps Down as Uber CEO
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.