Stateless adds new capabilities in general release of Luxon software-defined interconnect platform

The improvements to Stateless’ Luxon platform are intended to expand its use cases and its appeal as an open interconnect platform which easily allows things to be built on top.

Network-as-a-service startup Stateless, which came out of stealth in January, and launched their Luxon software-defined interconnect [SD-IX] platform into beta in May, has now announced Luxon’s general availability. The GA release has several enhancements that come from lessons learned in the beta.

Stateless’s technology addresses what has been a lack of automation of the different paths and Layer 3 services for a service provider’s tenants. The Luxon platform lets them maintain quality of service, visibility and control while delivering composable Layer 3 Network Services to interconnect points, and monetizing them effectively.

“The beta release has now been in labs with multiple prospective customers,” said Mike Anderson, Stateless’ VP of Marketing. “The beta customers brought additional use cases to our attention, and discovered new things they would like the platform to do. This was always our objective. We believed people would be attracted for one or two problems that they needed to solve, but then would realize how composable and extensible it is. People have latched onto that much more quickly. We also added some new features, particularly around security.

One of these new features is IPsec [Internet Protocol Security].

“One of the learnings of the last four months is the need for IPsec in the colocation space,” said Simon Wheeler, Stateless’ Director of Product Management. “The need for IPsec is a consistent driver within the colo provider industry, and that’s why we are releasing it at this stage. It was on our roadmap back in the spring, but we brought it forward.”

Another is the recreation of the SecureNAT security technology originally developed for the SoftEther VPN

“We learned that the composable design of our microservices allows us to  recreate SecureNAT by using a simple combination of network functionalities to allow these capabilities to be available without hardware,” Wheeler noted. “This provides us with the ability to create these higher-level network functions without having to bring in another vendor. This composability, and the extra revenue streams from combining them, is a strong validation of our microservices approach.”

This release amplifies the ability to create early infinite interconnects for service chains, with network services any combination of security services, data encryption, and routing. This scalability lets Luxon deliver up to 4X the number of interconnects, and reduces cost/Gb by up to 50 per cent.

“This transforms how customers think of building interconnects,” Anderson said. “It’s networking as code. We’ve extended that down the stack to Layer 2, and up to additional Layer 4 and 5 services. All of this is controlled via an API – that’s what’s so exciting. The Luxon platform comes with a user interface and an API that lets users extend it into other systems. The beta showed service providers want to extend more services to end users. They want to be able to set up interconnect all by themselves and colos want to let them do that. To make that happen, they need more machine to machine control over network infrastructure. That’s what Luxon lets them do – integrate the API with their customer portal to let customers do their configuration. They want to give that control to the customers and Luxon allows them to that.”

Connectivity options have been increased with additional connection protocol support.

“These increased connectivity options simplify integration into customers’ networks,” Wheeler said. “We have a very strong ability to adopt VLAN Layer 2 connectivity and we have expanded it to VXLAN and EVPN adoption for enhanced Layer 2 connectivity. This is another thing that we moved that up the roadmap because of what we learned from the industry in the beta.”

The GA release also has new software-defined switch technology which has been added to the release.

“We’ve been investing in new switch technology that is cutting edge, but which was difficult to design,” Wheeler stated. “If it was easy, someone else would have done it before. A lot of switches rely on custom ASICS to work properly. We’ve driven the concept of software-defined even further, into the switch itself. This  gives the inherent flexibility to handle those applications with EVPN, VLAN and VXLAN. So our secret sauce isn’t just on servers, but on switches.”

Wheeler also emphasized Luxon’s multi-tenant support that lets enterprises and service providers enable end-users to manage their own interconnects at scale.

“Multitenancy seems to be more of a hot topic in the industry,” he said. “Luxon’s Web scale can handle thousands of tenants at the same time – far beyond physical or even VMware NSX. It’s one of the things that validates the approach we have been taking.”

Anderson said that the beta experience and the new enhancements reflect some subtle changes in the messaging around Luxon.

“We have come to recognize there are three key things people are going to benefit from through the platform,” he indicated. “One is the simplicity of being able to configure just the piece you want instead of a huge monolithic device. If you just need BGP routing, you can just deploy that. Second is our very adaptive and scalable architecture that lets you stitch network functions together. Finally, initially we focused on data centre operators, and we still think there is a strong market there as enterprises move more things into data centres. But we really see Luxon becoming a platform for interconnect that datacentres and enterprises and IT service providers will be able to use. It’s more of an open platform, and we see others being able to build things on top of platform, and extend the platform and its use cases.”

Stateless will demo its latest Luxon platform at 451 Research’s Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit September today through Wednesday, in Las Vegas.

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