Vapor IO, creators of the Kinetic Edge platform and Kinetic Edge Exchange (KEX), a U.S. platform for edge colocation and networking services, has announced an additional investment by private equity firm Berkshire Partners and Crown Castle. This brings the company’s aggregate Series C funding to $90 million. The latest tranche of funding is meant to accelerate Vapor IO‘s build-out of its coast-to-coast Kinetic Edge platform.

Cole Crawford
“By deploying Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge exchange, colocation, and networking services in the top U.S. markets, we provide a platform to deliver low-latency edge capabilities at the intersection of the wireline and wireless networks,” said Cole Crawford, founder and CEO of Vapor IO.

Already deployed in Chicago, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Dallas, the company has another 16 markets in pre-construction, most of which it expects to build out in 2020. The company plans to deliver its software-defined Kinetic Edge colocation platform to the top 36 U.S. metropolitan markets by the end of 2021.

Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge platform is a fully-integrated system of edge colocation,

networking, and exchange services that operates at city-scale in key metropolitan regions. The Kinetic Edge uses custom data centers, dedicated fiber, and networking services to deliver a complete solution for infrastructure edge computing.

“The Third Act of the Internet requires that we build out edge computing infrastructure as quickly as possible,” said Cole Crawford, founder and CEO of Vapor IO. “By deploying Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge exchange, colocation, and networking services in the top U.S. markets, we provide a platform to deliver low-latency edge capabilities at the intersection

of the wireline and wireless networks. With a total of 36 multi-site markets coming online over the next 24 months, we expect to be the largest provider of edge colocation, edge networking, and edge exchange services in close proximity to the last mile networks.”

Vapor IO’s unique edge architecture would create city-sized logical data centers by combining geographically dispersed micro data centers into a single fabric on a metropolitan basis.

Vapor IO Logo

This allows its customers to operate servers in locations that are closest to the access networks, near the end users and devices to enable “the next generation” of applications and services.

Kinetic Edge Exchange, Cloudflare

In November 2019, Vapor IO announced its Kinetic Edge Exchange (KEX) service, the world’s first software-defined system for interconnection in edge locations. The company also announced a multi-city deployment with Digital Realty, the global provider of data center, colocation and interconnection solutions. By deploying the Kinetic Edge Exchange on PlatformDIGITAL, the companies make it possible for customers to build new distributed workflows spanning dynamically from core to edge.

“Vapor IO has the key ingredients to deliver critical edge computing infrastructure to the top U.S. metropolitan markets,” said Josh Johnson, principal at Berkshire Partners. “We believe they have the technology, expertise, and access to the required land and fiber to build a nationwide footprint. We’re excited to partner with Vapor IO as they deploy fully-integrated edge solutions that improve performance, reduce costs and enable new applications for their customers.”

The first 20 cities to feature the Kinetic Edge platform are (in alphabetical order): Austin, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.

Vapor IO also has announced a U.S. partnership with Cloudflare. As part of this partnership, Cloudflare will roll out its cloud services via the Kinetic Edge platform across 36 U.S. cities. This partnership would unleash a new class of applications, giving developers the power to run serverless functions through the Kinetic Edge platform, in close proximity to end users and devices, using Cloudflare Workers as well as extending Cloudflare’s “security, performance, and reliability” services even farther out at the edge.

The Kinetic Edge Platform

By placing IT equipment on the Kinetic Edge platform, companies would enable a new class of applications that depend on low latency Internet services near the devices that utilize them. Vapor IO‘s Kinetic Edge platform would deliver the fundamental infrastructure services required to deliver edge native applications. Kinetic Edge services include:

Kinetic Edge Colocation

Kinetic Edge Colocation offers customers the ability to place compute, storage and networking equipment in close proximity to the last mile networks, making it possible to deliver “low-latency” edge services. The Kinetic Edge services utilize Vapor IO’s patent-protected enclosure systems, which feature the proprietary Vapor Chamber and Vapor Edge Modules, which are carrier neutral facilities designed with multiple layers of physical and logical security appropriate for a multi-tenant facility. Multiple colocation sites in any one Kinetic Edge city can be treated as availability zones for resilience delivered via high availability software techniques, such as those available with Kubernetes.

Kinetic Edge Networking

Networking on the Kinetic Edge platform is provided by the Kinetic Edge Fabric, a combination of physical fiber networks across each Kinetic Edge city. The fabric would offer granular software-defined controls to create the network infrastructure needed for each customer or application on top of a flexible foundation. The Kinetic Edge Portal lets customers create real-time, virtual private networks that span multiple data centers across the city.

Kinetic Edge Exchange (KEX)

Edge meet-me rooms and the software-defined Kinetic Edge Exchange services provide interconnection and data exchange capabilities at every Kinetic Edge location, making it easy for networks on the Kinetic Edge platform to cross-connect via the Kinetic Edge Portal, gaining high-speed access to last-mile networks, regional data centers, metropolitan aggregation points and interconnection centers, as well as public cloud and private data centers.

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