Vapor IO secures new funding for major U.S. rollout | Virtual Reality

IO, the edge computing specialist that builds mini data centers for deployment at locations such as cell phone towers, has secured Series C financing, which the company says will help accelerate the deployment of its Kinetic Edge Platform as a national network for edge colocation.

Vapor IO has been all about developing a model for a distributed network of edge colocation sites, with micro modular data centers in containers about the size of a shipping container. The company had been working with Crown Castle, the nation’s largest provider of shared wireless infrastructure, on an edge collaboration project under the name Project Volutus.

Vapor IO has now acquired the assets of Project Volutus from Crown Castle and will offer it under the brand name The Kinetic Edge. It uses both wired and wireless connections to create a low-latency network of its colocation sites, allowing cloud providers, wireless carriers and web-scale companies to deliver cloud-based edge computing applications via its data centers.

The funding is led by private equity firm Berkshire Partners, with current investor Crown Castle also participating in another round of funding. Vapor IO did not reveal the amount of the funding but said it now has the funding to deploy Kinetic Edge data centers in every U.S. metro area and that the firm has plans to be underway in 100 locations by the end of 2020.

Vapor IO has launched its first two sites in Chicago, with a third under construction and two more planned after that. It will serve as the prototype for the company’s plan to create a nationwide network of unmanned data centers connected to the wireless network.

Vapor IO says the Kinetic Edge allows a wider range of business models for everyone from cloud operators, CDN operators, wireless network carriers, and application developers. The Kinetic Edge infrastructure can provide the computing, storage, and networking resources needed to support all of these applications, including the forthcoming 5G wireless networks, which are being deployed now.

What’s included in a Vapor IO container

The Vapor IO containers aren’t just hardware, though. They feature Interconnection software for interconnecting services to provide high-speed access to last-mile networks, regional data centers, and metropolitan aggregation points.

There is also a software-defined network (SDN) with an online portal to configure private networks, so customers can create their own edge computing topology, using virtual private networks (VPNs) to connect compute resources across a network. It lets customers connect key regions much like Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers availability zones.

Finally, there are remote operation APIs, so you can remotely manage your container rather than physically go to it.

It puts Vapor IO in a good position, but the field is still very green and anyone can take sizable share. Vapor IO’s competitors include EdgeMicro, DartPoints, DataBank, and Switch.

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