PacketFabric Announces 100G Cloud Router

Globalnet4

By: Mary Jander

PacketFabric has announced a 100-Gbit/s version of its Cloud Router. The network-as-a-service (NaaS) solution can be used to instantly link networks across multi-cloud environments, linking Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and PacketFabric says it is ready to interconnect with other cloud providers at 100-Gbit/s.

Presently, PacketFabric supports Microsoft’s Azure ExpressRoute across Azure locations at speeds from 50-Mbit/s to 100-Gbit/s, but interconnections between Azure and other clouds aren't yet supported, though PacketFabric says Azure will follow soon.

Multi-cloud is definitely PacketFabric's goal. “Moving data at low speeds between cloud providers just won't cut it anymore,” said PacketFabric SVP of product and engineering Anna Claiborne in a prepared statement. “With 100Gbps support, Cloud Router is the highest velocity, easiest to use, and most economic solution for multi-cloud data motion at scale.”

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PacketFabric was recently included in our first Futuriom 40 report of the top startups to watch in cloud infrastructure.

PacketFabric Claims a First

PacketFabric claims to be the first to market with a 100-Gbit/s cloud router capable of supporting multi-cloud connectivity. But it’s not unique in supporting 100-Gbit/s in multi-cloud networks. Megaport last month announced 100-Gbit/s port speeds on the interconnections between selected worldwide points of presence (PoPs). These links can support virtual cross-connections between AWS, Azure, GCP, and other cloud providers. Megaport doesn’t yet support 100 Gbit/s in its Cloud Router.

For the range of suppliers attacking multi-cloud networking (MCN) from various angles, having the biggest bandwidth may not be the top goal. Other suppliers may not support 100-Gbit/s cloud routing yet, but they can support more clouds in multi-cloud setups. In this camp is Aviatrix, whose Cloud Network Platform works across AWS, Azure, GCP, and Oracle clouds.

For users as well, connectivity, not bandwidth, appears to be top of mind. In the survey associated with Futuriom’s Multi-Cloud Networking Report, 69% of 150 enterprise network operators reported their top drivers for multi-cloud networking were connecting enterprises to multiple cloud applications and/or consolidating data center networks with cloud infrastructure.

What About PacketFabric’s 100-Gbit/s Pricing?

PacketFabric’s announcement includes pricing, which is based on bandwidth level, not usage -- an approach the vendor says saves customers up to 40% compared to usage/egress pricing. Still, 100-Gbit/s MCN routing won't be cheap, at about $8,500 per month.

Back in December 2020, PacketFabric made headlines for its unusual step of pricing $100 a month for 1-Gbit/s speeds throughout its network in the United States and Europe. But that price pertains to hybrid cloud connectivity and is aimed, the vendor says, at smaller companies, not the enterprises that would be in the market for multi-cloud connectivity.

Meanwhile, MCN solutions are proliferating from many suppliers, and big bandwidth is just one of the factors they’re focused on. The growing list of players includes cloud-based routing vendors such as Arrcus and DriveNets; NaaS suppliers like Megaport and Pureport (which was recently bought by Digital Realty); cloud services stacks such as Volterra (bought by F5 earlier this year); multi-cloud orchestration solutions from the likes of Itential; and SD-WAN and security vendors such as Aryaka Networks, NetFoundry, and VMware (VMW) -- along with many others. Traditional networking vendors such as Cisco (CSCO) and Juniper (JNPR) are also exploring MCN.