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KVH Takes Its Elastic Data Center Service Beyond Japan

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark
12/12/2014

Japanese enterprise services specialist KVH has expanded its Ethernet-based data center interconnect service to other APAC markets in an effort to attract customers who need flexible data services that can be scaled up or down on demand.

By doing so it has joined a growing number of Asian operators offering virtual data center connectivity.

KVH Co. has already established its DCNet service in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Yokahama), and has now expanded to Hong Kong and Singapore. The service offers a flexible alternative to fixed links between data centers, enabling what KVH calls a "single, virtual, and borderless data center experience" via a "pre-wired elastic data center-to-data center Ethernet interconnection solution."

The company, which is in the throes of a merger with Europe's Colt Technology Services Group Ltd , believes there is growing demand for a simpler, less costly way of managing data and IT services across Asian capitals and across the Pacific to the US, where KVH has operations in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. (See Eurobites: Colt to Buy Asia-Pac Stablemate and Colt-KVH: A Hook-Up Bound to Happen.)

Enabling companies, as well as communications and cloud service providers, to build a virtual data center network is becoming a big deal as companies look to access data center services in multiple geographic locations: For many companies, currently the only option is to buy access connections from local service providers and that can prove costly.

"You have to buy a local route to the international carrier and then the international link. Even if you don't use the pipe you will have to pay for it,” said Anthony Ho, director of product management at KVH.

That's a slow and complicated process. Traditionally, a business wanting to connect directly to a data center in another country would need multiple contracts, for leased line and local loop, and often would need to install, and pay for, some customer premises equipment. If it later decides to upgrade, the CPE will also need to be upgraded. And all of this is assuming the operators have the coverage and the capacity; if not, the customer has to find another provider.


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KVH currently offers DCNet connectivity to 75 data centers and is aiming to reach 100 by early next year, said Ho, who explained that customers need only to set up their equipment in one "meet-me" facility in order to gain access to the DCNet network. It offers burstable bandwidth of up to 10 Gbit/s this year, but that will rise to 100 Gbit/s some time in 2015.

Ho said data center operators don't regard DCNet as a competitive threat but as a value-added service. "Once DCNet is connected to their data center, they can connect to the DCNet ecosystem. A lot of data centers have already expressed interest."

The $100 million DCNet rollout follows in the wake of new virtual services from rivals Pacnet and Global Cloud Xchange . (See Pacnet Turns On SDN in APAC, US and Global Cloud Xchange Chief Expects Takeover .)

KVH, though, will soon be able to add a European component to its offering. KVH Marketing Vice President Peter Jedrey says the backing of Colt, which is 10 times the size of KVH, will give the company much more scale. He acknowledged that the merger of the two Fidelity Investments-controlled communications services players had been talked about for some years, but it had required the support of independent Colt investors before it could go ahead.

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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R Clark
R Clark
12/13/2014 | 5:29:48 AM
Re: That Ethernet interconnect model....
Yes, I think this is more a distributed data center deal.

KVH is saying there's growing demand for cross-border data and content in Asia. SO if you're a Singapore web firm and your users want to access a hot Japanese game, currently you'd have to long-line that at your own expense, plus sort out the local loop. Local loops can be messy to get into for foreign players, event today.

I don't have figures to vouch for the demand that KVH is claiming but the arrival of widespread gigabit internet in last couple of years makes it plausible.
mendyk
mendyk
12/12/2014 | 11:38:43 AM
Re: That Ethernet interconnect model....
Maybe the emergence of the distributed data center model (as featured at the 2020 Vision summit) has something to do with the current interest in Ethernet-based DC interconnect.
Ray@LR
[email protected]
12/12/2014 | 10:50:56 AM
That Ethernet interconnect model....
Didn't that Ethernet interconnect model fail to take off just a few years ago?

I know this is being promoted uin a different way but the premise that multiple data centers and service providers will hook up once to an 'ecosystem' and gain extended market reach etc flopped (after years of waiting for such a service to emerge).

 

What's different now -- is it just the flexible service aspect? 
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