ConnectiviTree (Europe), an independent and neutral data transport network provider, recently...
Inter.link launches Layer2 Multipoint: An interview with Marc Korthaus
Inter.link are global network experts on a mission to provide better, sustainable, and automated connectivity to the Internet. They are scaling up their network infrastructure, adding 26 new European points of presence as part of a phased global roadmap, including expanding to the United States and Asia.
Ahead of Capacity Europe 2023, Inter.link have launched their new Layer2 Multipoint product which connects multiple locations in minutes from 1G to 400G. This is an Ethernet transport that allows customers to interconnect multiple locations in a single Layer2 service (meaning a single Layer2 broadcast domain), stretched over multiple Inter.link locations. Rather than point-to-point connections, E-LAN is a multipoint network.
To explore the benefits of their Multipoint product along with finding out what makes Inter.link unique in the NaaS (Network as a Service) landscape, I spoke with Marc Korthaus, co-founder of Inter.link.
The Inter.link Journey
Hi Marc, thank you for speaking with me today. To kick off, please can you tell us a little about your journey with Inter.link so far?
I met Theo (co-founder of Inter.link) when we were both working at SysEleven. We weren’t satisfied with the network services available so we built a Berlin fibre ring that would meet our needs but also help the network community. When Theo and I met again a few years later, we agreed that it wasn’t only Berlin that need to improve; it was the entire network industry.
Along with sustainability, two of our focus points are reducing complexity and increasing flexibility. These focus points are only becoming stronger as Inter.link continues, particularly with expanding our global presence and the launch of Layer2 Multipoint.
“Around 10 years ago people were discussing the Cloud, questioning the point of it. The same is now happening for Network as a Service. By consuming network according to what suits your business instead of building your own, you get value without doing more than what is necessary. "
Co-founder , Inter.link
Consume, Don't Build
Why should people consume network services (NaaS - network as a service) instead of building their own?
It essentially comes down to CapEx vs OpEx. To explain this with an example, in certain situations it isn’t beneficial to have a car, but you still want mobility, and this issue is solved with Uber. The same approach applies for network, so you want a transport but don't want to care about setting up the fibre and how to handle those services if any of it fails. For companies focused on delivering their own products and services to customers, a network doesn't create enough value if you need to build it on your own.
Around 10 years ago people were discussing the Cloud, questioning the point of it. The same is now happening for Network as a Service. By consuming network according to what suits your business instead of building your own, you get value without doing more than what is necessary. You get the service without taking the effort to set it up yourself and maintain it yourself.
This means you only spend OpEx and don't have to invest in more employees, hardware, DWDM (dense wavelength-division multiplexing) systems, shipping, renting a rack etc. Also, you don’t have to deal with any breakages yourself. The only thing you need to check is whether you’re working with a trustworthy partner. Is their SLA in line with your business? Can you consume it easily enough? And how quickly can they set it up for you?
How does Inter.link's Multipoint product address some of the issues businesses are currently facing?
There are typically three ways to consume network: point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, and multipoint-to-multipoint.
Point-to-point connects one location with another and for three connected locations, such as London, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt, you need three Layer2 connections. On your side you need a router that can re-route traffic based on what is available in your locations. You need to configure how these transparent lines will be used.
Our new Layer2 Multipoint product (E-LAN) is multipoint-to-multipoint, and it is essentially a single overlay network. You can add the three sites mentioned above, select the port, and click deploy, then you have a ready-to-use network. If you want to add a fourth location, you simply add another port without needing MPLS or Layer 3 VPN. It is delivered on V-LAN technology and if you connect it to whatever hardware you are using, you have a fully transparent line.
This transparency makes it easy for you to broadcast over your network. We can also tunnel your E-LAN network through our network functions and every workload can be contained. The ideas are unlimited for what we can do with network functions, and we can provide nearly unlimited peers within your network.
The E-LAN transport service offers maximum flexibility, redundancy, and transparency. In addition to the general advantages of the Inter.link network, path-redundancy is provided by our Segment-Routing based backbone by default and at no extra cost. Via our portal, routing paths and prices are transparent, and customers can easily scale bandwidth. The overall result is real ease-of-use, and this is just the beginning.
“Any services you choose from us will all be on the same port. If you want to cancel one, you only need to cancel that particular service and there’s no interruption to the services you want to continue receiving. This is new in the network world."
Co-founder , Inter.link
What makes Inter.link's products and services different?
As I said mentioned, two of our focus points are reducing complexity and increasing flexibility. One of the ways this shows in practice is that Inter.link is very good at setup. If any organisation tries to set up the same kind of network configuration that we use, they end up having a lot of very technical stuff to set up. When you choose Inter.link, all this setup is quickly and efficiently handled by us, saving you time and letting you focus on other areas.
In addition, for certain providers you need to adapt to their connections, such as the naming convention they use. With Inter.link you get a physical port with virtual services. Each of our services is tagged with V-LAN ID which you can choose. Each service is deployed and delivered via V-LAN tech on the physical port corresponding to your ID. It sounds easy to set up because it is!
Any services you choose from us will all be on the same port. If you want to cancel one, you only need to cancel that particular service and there’s no interruption to the services you want to continue receiving. This is new in the network world. With Inter.link competitors, you need to reconfigure everything and your whole network service will be put down - interruption in service. With us, any change can be made whilst still using the other services, and it is done with click of a mouse.
Other networks need to do changes on a regular basis, such as upgrading equipment. For us you can go into the port and do it yourself. No charging for configuration changes. Other competitors charge you for configuration changes and typically only let you run free changes every 6 months.
Flexibility is not just about easily making changes; with Inter.link, you can even use a new product immediately on the same port. You can try it for free for 30 days and if you don't need if then you can cancel it easily. This is what we mean when we say that Inter.link is disrupting the industry.