In an era of disruption, Application Programming Interfaces (API) can be used to solve critical networking challenges as well as creating new opportunities to collaborate.
Service providers looking to safeguard their future in a rapidly evolving market have to consider the benefits of API for their business.
Network APIs can effectively connect the islands of the Software-Defined Network (SDN) platforms present in today’s global connectivity market. A truly federated and collaborative approach is the only way forward for efficient, programmable networking.
Programmability and Service Orchestration
Federated networks not only have the power to create a partnership that enables best available pricing, integrated commercial models and consistent support, but also interconnect networks at the physical and orchestration layer to provide synchronised capability for deployment and threading of services across each network. Service provisioning is handled by the individual partner, effectively enabling end-to-end command and control of both networks to deploy services.
With programmability and service orchestration a reality, not only is provisioning services on a partner’s network possible, there is full visibility into the state and health across the networks. This in turn means that customers get a more seamless, transparent Quality of Service, in a more cost-effective and timely manner. This kind of cross-carrier automation will be one of the major dividends of the API revolution.
Epsilon has set itself the strategic objective of becoming a cornerstone API hub within the networking community, enabling a range of partner companies to interconnect networks and automate service delivery. It has become a gateway into the programmable world for partners.
Streamlining and simplifying their first steps to global connectivity via API, connecting islands of network services through seamless SDN platform interconnection, as well as facilitating and automating access to Cloud Service Providers (CSP) and Internet Exchanges (IXs). For these partners, Epsilon is their bridge to a whole new way of buying and selling services.
One of the early partners in this ecosystem is DCConnect, a Chinese on-demand connectivity provider. DCConnect has a unique China-wide SDN network with extended access to more than 118 data centres and 11 CSPs, including Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Tencent Cloud and Huawei Enterprise Cloud, that are available through DCConnect’s network infrastructure.
Epsilon successfully interconnect its SDN platform, Infiny, with DCConnect’s SD-Cloud Express using API. This instantly expanded the reach of Epsilon’s service capabilities within China. It is a partnership to boost the growing adoption of Cloud-based services in China, whilst also bi-laterally enabling DCConnect’s customers to access global destinations across the Epsilon’s network fabric.
A New Ecosystem
Wholesale operators are now in an API economy where networks are no longer restricted to a single ecosystem. Beyond this space, managed service providers and cloud-based solutions providers can use the APIs to add network services to their platforms and portfolios. This not only enhances their service offering, but also adds new value to their enterprise customers.
It is not too ambitious to say that we will see more and more players interworking with APIs to deliver an increasingly efficient and programmable networking model. This is even closer to reality as we see industry consortiums, such as MEF, pushing for the adoption of a single common API across service providers. This is an ecosystem that can only get richer and more diverse as it develops.
By using API, partners can open up their networks and services to create a new customer experience. Competition in the future will be focused on the capabilities of the SDN platform and the partners present there. APIs will accelerate the development of network services, with innovation coming in the form of bundled and tailored offerings for each vertical market. It can also lead to new graphic user interfaces (GUI) being used for delivering new applications and services to market comprehensively.
Organisations of all kinds benefit from simplified access to the platforms and services they need in a scalable and programmable way, just as they currently access compute needs from Cloud services. Network APIs are ushering in a new era of connectivity, allowing for greater automation and visibility that transcends any boundaries.
Jerzy Szlosarek is the Co-Founder and CEO at Epsilon