Vapor IO launches Kinetic Edge and Edge Module

18 December 2017 | Natalie Bannerman


Vapor IO, the provider of data edge solutions, has launched two new offerings Kinetic Edge and Vapor Edge Module.

Vapor Kinetic Edge is a technical architecture that combines multiple Vapor Edge micro data centres into a virtual data centre that can span an entire city and deliver twelve or more nines of availability.

Speaking to Capacity, Cole Crawford, founder & CEO of Vapor IO, explained what a virtual city-sized virtual data centre is. “By distributing Vapor Chambers and Vapor Edge Modules across a city, spacing them 10-20 Km apart, then connecting them with fiber, we span an entire region and also solve for capacity, resilience and latency at the same time. By distributing the micro data centers across a region we can connect them with software and high-speed fiber, thereby creating, effectively, a city sized data center with potentially megawatts of capacity. Also, by spanning our virtual data center across multiple sites we distribute risk. In fact, by intelligently meshing sites together, we can approximate twelve nines of up-time (99.9999999999%) with as few as five locations in a region. Finally, by distributing data centers in a geographic area we’re able to achieve broad geographic coverage for low-latency applications—workloads can be optimized to be placed in close proximity to the end user.”

Additionally, developers use the Vapor Edge APIs to build edge native applications that respond to changing environmental conditions, delivering software-based high-resiliency failover, real time load balancing, workload migration for devices in motion etc.

“We are deploying Kinetic Edge right now,” added Crawford. “We start by placing multiple Vapor edge data centres in a geographic region, spaced 15 to 20 Km apart. We then connect them with high speed fibre so that our industry-redefining software can stitch these sites together into a highly-reliable and customizable edge presence that can span an entire city or region.”

A Kinetic Edge consists of: Multiple Vapor Chambers or Vapor Edge Modules, spaced 10 Km to 20 Km apart, high-speed site-to-site fibre connectivity with redundant paths, Vapor Edge Controllers in each location that manage the fibre connectivity and present software APIs that expose edge conditions in real time, software for IP aggregation at the edge, as well as for site-to-site handoff of IP addresses to support devices in motion, as well as for migrating network traffic for load balancing and failover, and Ingestible telemetry for application and container orchestration integration.

“The Vapor Edge Module and the Kinetic Edge represent our full vision for how edge computing gets rolled out at scale and how new cloud services at the edge of the network will be delivered,” expanded Crawford

city sized data centre 680 width

The Vapor Edge Module (VEM) is a self-contained, standalone micro modular data centre specifically designed to support edge co-location environments. It is designed to enable weather-hardened, multi-tenant edge locations where the economics of shared infrastructure creates a long-term value proposition.

Each VEM supports up to 150 Kw of IT load in a small, efficient footprint. The prefabricated design incorporates all of the critical data centre systems, including power distribution, cooling, fire suppression, security, and racking systems for IT equipment. Also the VEM supports an adaptive ‘blindmate’ cooling plant that allows for chilled water, direct expansion, or adiabatic cooling depending on the given location and climate.

Crawford adds that the two new offerings have particular relevance to the wholesale market because “It’s a new model for wholesale colocation,” he said. “Rather than building large, centralized facilities, Vapor IO’s technology makes it possible to deploy megawatts of data center capacity at the edge with an exceptional risk profile, high resiliency and low latency.

Vapor IO offers two types of products: firstly we sell our Vapor Chamber and Vapor Edge Module to end users who are deploying their own data centers and secondly we are building out our own edge network colocation “datacenter as a platform” business, which we call Project Volutus. We are doing this in partnership with Crown Castle, the nation’s largest provider of wireless infrastructure. We are deploying to three cities now and we will announce more early next year.”

In what can only be described as a massive undertaking Capacity further questioned Crawford on what has been the toughest lessons learnt during the development and deployment of these two offerings, to which he replied: “Our toughest lesson was realizing we had to not only invent our own technology, but we had to also define the new business models at the same time. This was the origin of Project Volutus. Infrastructure at the edge will be catalyzed by shared, multi-tenant infrastructure. We had to find a partner (Crown Castle) with a large enough footprint in order to deploy edge data centers at scale across multiple regions simultaneously.”

He went on to say that “the next 12 months will be all about execution” for Vapor IO. “We have large orders for our products, so we have to ramp up manufacturing and refine our supply chains. Moreover, we will be building out our first Project Volutus cities with Crown Castle,” said Crawford.

He concluded in explaining how new technologies such as 5G and IoT have played a role in the development and deployment of new technologies such as Kinetic Edge and Vapor Edge Module.

“New applications like IoT and 5G, which require significant amounts of low-latency compute, have been fundamental drivers of our business strategy. As enterprises roll out IoT (and also, as cloud providers strengthen their IoT offerings), the need for low-latency cloud compute will grow exponentially. Also, as carriers upgrade to 5G, they will want to implement technologies like MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing), C-RAN (Cloud RAN), and NFV (Network Function Virtualization). All of these technologies will require significant amounts of compute capacity at the edge of the network and are terrific candidates for our products,” said Crawford.