Multicloud Deals Abound: Aviatrix, Megaport, IBM, and Vapor IO


By: Mary Jander

A pair of announcements this week spotlight the potential role of underlying network-as-a-service (NaaS) solutions in multicloud networks (MCNs) and hybrid clouds.

First up: MCN pioneer Aviatrix has teamed with NaaS provider Megaport to offer joint solutions for enterprises looking to streamline MCN and hybrid cloud infrastructure. The idea is to run Aviatrix’s MCN networking over the neutral, third-party infrastructure offered by Megaport to reduce costs and provide flexibility for hybrid and MCN workloads.

The line between services such as MCN and NaaS isn’t always clear. MCN does, after all, provide networking functions. But those typically take place over cloud network fabrics provided by the likes of AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft, as well as over private enterprise networks. By choosing Megaport’s private network, which extends over 850 datacenters in over 25 countries, customers can broaden their options, add security, and realize better management, Aviatrix says.

Megaport Offers Private Underlying Infrastructure

The fact that Megaport’s network is private is key here because the additional layer of security involved in reserving a private pathway through the net should be attractive to customers looking for dedicated resources. Aviatrix touts its end-to-end encryption and distributed cloud firewall as working well with Megaport’s private net, which offers edge locations and virtual cross connects.

Doug Merritt, CEO of Aviatrix, stated in the press release:

"With Aviatrix and Megaport's joint leadership in cloud networking, we are thrilled to offer the most secure, performant, and cost-effective multicloud connectivity surpassing the stringent compliance requirements for regulated industries like financial services and healthcare and life sciences."

Both companies are supporting the joint offering, claiming that it also offers a single point of improved control and flexibility, as illustrated in Aviatrix’s diagram below:

Source: Aviatrix

IBM and Vapor IO Offer Joint Solution for Hybrid Mesh

Also this week, IBM promoted the interoperability of IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh software-as-a-service (SaaS) with Vapor IO’s Kinetic Grid Platform. The IBM SaaS provides a management plane for applications services and workloads in hybrid cloud environments. Vapor IO offers a fiber-based network augmented with optical components, which is based on multiple “micro modular data centers” with edge-to-edge networking.

Vapor IO’s network spans 36 cities throughout the U.S. with over 30,000 miles of private fiber. The vendor also features 252 edge interconnection sides nationwide.

In a blog post, Hakam Sonmez, an IBM product management strategy leader, and Saksha Mathus, a technical marketing engineer and product manager at IBM, explain the synergy of the IBM and Vapor IO connection:

“While the Hybrid Cloud Mesh employs traffic engineering capabilities to optimize paths for cost, latency and bandwidth, its ability to optimize also depends on the underlying physical and logical networks. Using a high-performance underlay network such as Vapor IO’s Kinetic Grid platform allows Hybrid Cloud Mesh to leverage the underlying speed, flexibility and bandwidth of a dedicated private network.”

Two Significant Partnerships

This week’s news highlights a couple of ongoing trends in today’s distributed enterprise networks. First, multicloud and hybrid cloud constructs are increasingly the norm. And while software-driven networking functions such as those from Aviatrix are essential to managing these networks, their underlying infrastructure depends on the cloud(s) involved. Linking Aviatrix and IBM services over dedicated private network facilities could offer benefits in cost, efficiency, performance, and security.

Another trend is toward the distribution of cloud services at the edge, a movement spurred on by the advent of AI applications, which incorporate data from a variety of devices, sensors, and gateways. Here Megaport’s Virtual Edge service or Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge can support these distributed networks.

Vapor IO also offers “AI-as-a-service” called Zero Gap AI that deploys Supermicro servers equipped with NVIDIA’s MGX platform and GH200 Grace Hopper Superchips, connected via the Vapor IO Kinetic Grid. This could support MCN or hybrid cloud AI workloads.

Interestingly, Aviatrix and Megaport's announcement doesn't appear to be new. Megaport profiles a broad “choice of overlay” for its NaaS on its website. IBM’s Hybrid Mesh plus Vapor IO appears to be a newer demonstration of capabilities that could be extended beyond Vapor IO to other network providers.

Futuriom Take: This week’s announcements from Aviatrix and Megaport as well as IBM and Vapor IO point to more solutions for multicloud and hybrid cloud connectivity. These partnerships could signal importance ecosystem connections as enterprises adopt AI at the network edge.