Vapor IO, Crown Castle bring AWS to the Kinetic Edge

25 April 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Vapor IO and Crown Castle have jointly developed a service that seamlessly interconnects Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge with Amazon Web Services (AWS) via Crown Castle’s high-speed Cloud Connect.

Technology integration and direct fibre will unlock new classes of applications, with this service enabling a new class of mobile and wireless edge applications that span the continuum from edge to core.

Customers at Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge can build edge applications that interconnect with AWS over an operator-grade fibre-optic network. Built atop AWS Direct Connect, this collaborative offering unlocks a powerful class of edge applications that split workloads and data between the mobile edge and centralised locations, delivering a seamless end-to-end experience.

“By directly connecting AWS services to applications at the Kinetic Edge, we’re bringing the full power of the cloud to the last mile wireless network, delivering the foundation of a true edge-to-core architecture for developers,” said Cole Crawford, founder and CEO of Vapor IO.

“We are aggressively rolling out the Kinetic Edge across a national footprint that will reach over 20 markets by the end of 2020 with a planned deployment of over 80 additional markets. By incorporating AWS Direct Connect into our last mile network, we enable seamless cloud integration for edge applications.”

Customers of Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge can build applications on AWS that directly interact with Vapor IO’s tower-connected data centres at the edge of the cellular wireless network, via Crown Castle’s dedicated high-speed fibre link. This will allow developers to build wireless and mobile edge applications that can reduce network costs, increase bandwidth throughput, and rely on a more consistent network experience than internet-based connections.

Developers building applications at the Kinetic Edge will have access to the full suite of AWS cloud computing services. These capabilities leverage Crown Castle’s Cloud Connect service, which enables customers to provision one or more 50Mbps to 500Mbps capacity AWS Direct Connect Hosted Connections between the Kinetic Edge and AWS. 

Crown Castle offers one of the largest fibre footprints in the US and has been an early pioneer in edge infrastructure, providing the fibre backbone that supports much of Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge, including backhaul to key internet exchange points (IXPs). By offering Cloud Connect capabilities to the Kinetic Edge, customers can develop cloud-based mobile applications on AWS that support edge workloads via a direct connection that can lower costs while also delivering increased reliability and throughput.

“Over the past two years, we’ve been working very closely with Vapor IO to build out their Kinetic Edge using our real estate and fiber assets in many US cities,” added Phil Olivero, VP of technology at Crown Castle. “Chicago, the world’s first Kinetic Edge city, proved to be the ideal location for us to connect the Kinetic Edge directly to AWS. As Vapor IO rolls out the Kinetic Edge to new cities, we plan to extend our Cloud Connect to also connect to AWS in those locations. This will empower our mutual customers to build high-performance edge-enabled mobile applications using AWS.”

AWS customer Network Next will use Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge and Crown Castle’s Cloud Connect to run mobile edge workloads that deliver improved performance for multiplayer mobile games built to run on AWS. Network Next leverages bare metal servers on the Kinetic Edge, provided by Kinetic Edge Alliance partner Packet, in order to run highly specialised packet processors that leverage AWS Direct Connect to enhance gaming performance.

“Our customers run a massive number of game servers on AWS and we work with them to improve performance for mobile clients via the Kinetic Edge,” said Glenn Fiedler, CEO of Network Next. “As gaming companies increasingly look to bring high-speed multiplayer games like Fortnite to mobile platforms, our sophisticated edge processing connects players back to AWS in the most optimal fashion, giving a true edge-to-core experience.”