We are thrilled to announce the launch of PacketFabric Quick Connect, a revolutionary product that simplifies infrastructure access and democratizes it (i.e. makes it accessible to anyone and everyone). Quick Connect instantly enables private, high-speed, and secure Layer 3 connectivity between software, security, cloud, and service providers and their customers on the PacketFabric platform.
With Quick Connect, everyone has access to a fully automated, AWS Direct Connect-style product with zero software development costs, no capital cost, and very simple management.
This revolutionary new product allows you to exchange routes between Cloud Routers, providing one-click Layer 3 connectivity to a provider’s network. Quick Connect is powered by the award-winning PacketFabric Cloud Router platform available in the US and EMEA.
Business-to-business (B2B) Connectivity Challenges
Service providers and their customers face one or more mounting challenges around connectivity, including:
- Paying unpredictable costs for egress traffic: Egress traffic is traffic that travels from a cloud service provider’s network to the public Internet. Customers often have to pay for egress traffic, and the cost of egress traffic can vary depending on the provider, the destination, and the amount of traffic. This can make it difficult to budget for egress traffic costs.
- Maintaining multiple cloud service provider accounts: Customers who use multiple cloud service providers often have to manually manage their accounts, which can be time-consuming and error-prone. They may also have to pay different prices for services from different providers, which can make it difficult to budget and track costs.
- Sending sensitive data over the public Internet: Customers who need to send sensitive data over the public Internet may be concerned about security. The public Internet is a shared resource, and there is always a risk that data could be intercepted or compromised.
- Acquiring deep expertise in networking and peering: Networking and peering are complex topics, and it can take a lot of time and effort to acquire the expertise needed to manage a cloud infrastructure. Customers who do not have this expertise may need to hire consultants or outsource their networking needs, which can add to the cost of their cloud infrastructure. Customers also face issues with much less or no automation and a tedious information-sharing process.
A New Way to Connect:
PacketFabric Quick Connect takes what used to be a complex, expensive, and frustrating process for service providers and their customers and streamlines it into one easy-to-use product.
We define a service provider as:
- Any organization that offers real time application data, analytics or cloud security to an end user or collects data from end users: their customers need high, stable, and reliable connectivity to ensure no events are missed or delayed.
- Alternative Cloud Providers: their customers usually need to share data from a private cloud or other public cloud environment and save the egress costs.
- Content Delivery Network Providers: their customers need to upload content to the CDN and are especially concerned about security; with Quick Connect, their content is only traversing a private network.
- Storage as a Service Provider: their data often needs to be moved from public or private sources; Quick Connect can help their customers move data quickly and often with reduced egress charges from public cloud.
Benefits for service providers:
Any service provider can have a fully automated product providing infrastructure access with zero software development costs, no capital cost and very simple management. Quick Connect offers an unparalleled level of flexibility and scalability. This means that providers can easily adapt to changes in their infrastructure requirements and meet the needs of their clients quickly. It directly leads to faster revenue generation.
Because of the robustness of the Cloud Router platform, the service providers can independently add more capabilities, such as: additional prefixes, additional geographic regions, or higher bandwidth connections.
Benefits for their customers:
Customers using Quick Connect experience significant cost savings. They no longer need to invest additional CapEx or operate their own intensive routing infrastructure, and they see considerably lower public cloud egress data costs. Customers also receive seamless connectivity across diverse cloud infrastructures, eliminating the need to create accounts with any particular cloud service provider and saving them time and energy.
Quick Connect is exceptionally easy to set up and removes the hassle of managing L3 connectivity with the service provider. We ensure improved application performance and data transfer performance by taking advantage of the lowest latency routing—and extra security by taking potentially sensitive data off the public Internet. Customers can rest easy knowing their connectivity solution is not only cost-effective and easy to manage but also high-performance and secure.
The figure below shows how a customer can connect to WebEx from their colocation facility. Here, PacketFabric maintains the provider Cloud Router which has peering set up to receive WebEx routes and bundle them into the WebEx Quick Connect. The customer adds this Quick Connect on its cloud router connection which allows the WebEx routes to be shared between two cloud routers. The customer can now use the WebEx routes.
Figure 1: PacketFabric Quick Connect – exchange of prefixes with WebEx
Not Just a New Way – But Also a Better Way to Connect!
Global cloud computing spend is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2026, growing to an estimated 17% of total IT spend. This growth is driven by the increasing adoption of cloud-based technologies. Quick Connect stands to benefit from the ongoing growth in the cloud computing spend.
Cloud providers continue to charge exorbitant amounts for Internet egress: AWS $0.08 to $0.17 per GB, GCP $0.08 to $0.23 per GB, Azure $0.08/GB to $0.87. These prices translate to around $25/Mbps to $278/Mbps without volume or term discounts. Quick Connect has an opportunity to remove a big wallet pain point for our customers, while requiring them to change very little about their cloud deployments.
Figure 2. Global cloud computing growth (source: Gartner)
We have enabled the platform to connect with a leading cloud-based CRM provider, a leading monitoring and security platform for cloud applications, and PacketFabric Space.
With Quick Connect, service providers can be confident that their infrastructure access needs are met and that their clients are receiving the best possible service. Their customers can be confident that they will have instant, secure access to a provider. We look forward to seeing how Quick Connect will improve the cloud services industry.
What’s next for this transformative product? Quick Connect is the ultimate B2B connectivity tool for industries beyond cloud. We will be adding many new and exciting features in 2023, including support for more providers in SaaS, security, and alternative cloud, seamless capacity upgrades as well as integrated leasing of public IP addresses.
If you’re interested in becoming a provider on the PacketFabric platform or if you’d like us to onboard a provider, click here to request a meeting with one of our connectivity experts.
Current PacketFabric Cloud Router customer? Here’s how to add Quick Connect:
1. The customer selects the Cloud Router on which the service is needed. Click on “Connect.”
2. The customer selects the Quick Connect service they would like to add. Cisco WebEx is one of the services available. This service consists of the WebEx specific routes.
3. The customer selects the connection(s) on which the service is needed. Here the customer has a 50 Mbps connection (from a dedicated port in a colocation facility).
Note: The connection can be a CSP connection, a dedicated port in a colocation facility, or an IPsec connection from a branch office. More details can be found here. The Cloud Router connections are capable of doing Ingress SNAT.
4. The customer adds the required service along with a return route – a public IP address that the customer owns or that can be leased from PacketFabric. The Cloud Router connections are capable of doing Ingress SNAT.
5. The customer clicks on “Place Order.”
*Pricing is subject to change at any time
6. The provider (in this case PacketFabric) receives the notification in the portal (and via email) with the request. Once the request is approved, the service gets provisioned and becomes Active. The customer can now access Cisco WebEx infrastructure on this connection.
Before the approval:
After the approval:
You can also provision the Quick Connect using our Terraform Provider.
Quick Connect provides all the benefits of PacketFabric Cloud Router—fully automated Layer 3 connectivity between members of the ecosystem. BGP sessions are automatically configured between PacketFabric and the cloud providers of your choosing after entering some configuration information into PacketFabric and the cloud provider. Some examples are 4-byte ASN, BFD support for the connections etc.
- Route prefix lists for sent and received routes are available for each connection. This includes the ability to show hidden routes.
- Current state of the BGP session.
- All BGP logs for a session are available and include the BGP Peer IP, as well as the raw log message.
- Global Routes View at the Cloud Router level to distinguish between the service provider and the client routes.
- The service provider can keep track of the requests received from the client.
Network Address Translation (NAT)
The service providers and clients can have their on-premise or cloud resources accessible via private IP addressing (RFC 1918). Due to the uniqueness of routes and ensuring private IP addresses cannot be used for Quick Connect service as part of the validation, Network Address Translation (NAT) becomes a very important part of the solution by letting customers to achieve reachability to and from private infrastructure via a public IP.
Quick Connect provides Destination NAT (DNAT) and Source NAT (SNAT) capabilities. You can learn more about Quick Connect in our knowledge base. If you have any other questions about Quick Connect, please reach out to your account representative.