In one of the more expansive efforts to put SDN and OpenFlow to work, Pacnet this morning unveiled an aggressive pan-Asia Network-as-a-Service offering. Initially in beta, the platform promises dynamically provisioned, flexible, scalable Ethernet pipes between key data centers and cloud nodes throughout the region.
Initially they've rolled it out across their regional fiber footprint to 10 data centers in the major hubs of Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, and Melbourne with a few dozen signed up for the beta, mostly of the large enterprise variety. Pacnet plans to formally launch the full product sometime in the first quarter of 2014, and will likely be expanding its reach both into China and transpacific to the USA soon thereafter.
It's all at layer 2 for now of course, and point-to-point. But point-to-multipoint is in the works and given their recent upgrades both intra-Asia and transpacific, the gear they have in place will likely be ready to take advantage of transport SDN as soon as it grows up.
Network operators of all stripes are looking to SDN for the next generation of service delivery, especially when it comes to matching up their capabilities with the demands of the cloud. Some are moving faster than others toward this sort of thing, especially in the US and Europe. But Pacnet certainly seems to be ahead of the pack out in APAC.
They've been retooling their business toward a cloud/datacenter regional connectivity focus since Carl Grivner took over as CEO, and it's been interesting to watch as the strategy has taken shape faster than I had anticipated. Of course, there's still the next step of actually driving real revenue and margin growth from it all.