Since the announcement of PacketFabric’s intent to merge with Unitas Global, I’ve fielded questions from the M&E community about what it all means. How will it augment our offerings, and how will it affect partners and clients using our services?
My answer, probably in part because I work in business development, is usually “let’s set a time to meet!” But I also like to write, so I’ve tried to sum it up here. And hey, if you’re still curious after reading this, let’s set a time to meet!
But first, for those still acquainting themselves…
What are PacketFabric’s Core (pre-merger) Offerings Again?
What we call “Network-as-a-Service” (NaaS), others call “middle mile” connectivity because of the fiber we lease between data centers like Equinix, CoreSite, and Flexential. We have over three hundred Points of Presence (PoPs) globally, which means our equipment is located in data centers all over the world.
Once a user provisions an interface in any of our locations, they are a few portal clicks from reaching any other point on our network, with ports supporting up to 100G of bandwidth. Aside from reaching other data centers, they can then also reach any cloud provider. Once the data volume decreases (at the end of a rendering project, for instance), a connection can be scaled down in a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds.
Fully automated and flexible network services can be set up within a few clicks, which is not something legacy telcos can say. Think of it as a private, high bandwidth, on-demand internet of your very own. And none of that is changing with the merger.
Change Number 1: Solving the “Last Mile Problem”
The fiber that runs from the end user’s location to the data center was not in PacketFabric’s core set of offerings until the merger with Unitas Global. Now, through Unitas’s automated connectivity platform, PacketFabric can offer this along with its other services. The platform operates by drawing from available fiber vendors to select the lowest-cost provider for any given location, term, and capacity.
In short, there is no longer any portion of the networking connectivity diagram that does not fall under PacketFabric’s purview. This makes it possible for virtual production stages, post-production houses, and studios to connect seamlessly to PacketFabric, via PacketFabric. Our services extend from the end user’s brick and mortar to the data center, the cloud, and beyond.
Change Number 2: Unitas Global brings Internet to PacketFabric
One of the most prevalent features of core PacketFabric services is that all iterations are fully secure and private, bypassing the public internet. Cloud connectivity, point to point connectivity, multi-Cloud Router, and our Flexible Bandwidth for broadcast all function within the end user’s own private and secure portion of the PacketFabric network. Now, with Unitas Global’s Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), we also provide transit, or what’s commonly known as Internet, albeit a superpowered version thereof.
Yesterday, a production company using PacketFabric might’ve used our core services for something like a Connected Stage, which affords Virtual Production workflows the appropriately scalable and nimble bandwidth.
Today, a PacketFabric Connected Stage will also include DIA, so that not only the productions, but the entire facility, including those needing “everyday office connectivity” can benefit. Service can be anywhere between 1G and 100Gbs, and replace the need for legacy telco providers who can make things like support and contracts cumbersome and inflexible.
Broadcasters, studios, production companies, post and VFX houses, and stages will now have an automated, on-demand, end to end network in PacketFabric.
Whether you meet us on your own premise or in the nearest data center, this merger has taken the piecemeal approach to connectivity out of the equation, and introduces an entirely new, automated, advanced form of networking to the increasingly virtual age of production.
We call it TruNaas™ because the manner in which we empower companies with affordable, on-demand connectivity gives new meaning to the term “As-a-Service.”
So what does the merger mean for M&E? Put simply, it means a new PacketFabric, and a new future of networking for storytellers.
Still have questions? Great! Email me: Lisa.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading.