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Virtual Routers Simplify Interconnection and Reduce Networking Costs

In previous posts and articles, we’ve discussed the importance of interconnection, particularly in the context of enterprises transitioning to modern, multicloud IT infrastructures. With the rush to leverage the capabilities of cloud computing and be cloud smart, interconnection has become even more important. The more efficient, high performing and cost-effective your network architecture is, the more likely your organization will be able to compete and grow in today’s digital economy.

To achieve high performance and reduce the costs inherent in traditional Layer 3 IP routing, more and more organizations are turning to virtualization. For good reasons. Instead of purchasing hardware routing devices, which are expensive and can take a long time to receive due to supply chain delays, IT staff can spin up and configure a virtual router, and establish the interconnectivity they need, in minutes. Furthermore, automated network services platforms simplify provisioning and managing a wide area network (WAN), which enables organizations to take advantage of cloud services even if they are short on highly skilled network engineers.

Image of servers in a data center rack.
Virtual routers have become the software tool of choice for network orchestration and data transmission. For a more detailed discussion of how virtual routers can impact your infrastructure, check out Virtual Routers, the Unsung Heroes of Interconnection, Chris Malayter, Vice President of Network and Interconnection at CoreSite, which appears in InterGlobix Magazine.

Let’s take a look at the basics of virtual routers and then discuss how CoreSite can help you be cloud smart and accelerate IT modernization.

What Is a Virtual Router?

A router is a hardware device that enables other devices to connect to a private local or wide area network and the internet. A virtual router is an application that replicates in software the functionality of Layer 3 Internet Protocol (IP) routing, which has traditionally used a dedicated hardware device. Virtual routing is a form of network functions virtualization (NFV), in which the functions of hardware-based network appliances are converted to software that can be run on standard commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. This has the advantages of lowering hardware costs and allowing more hardware interoperability, rather than requiring a proprietary hardware platform.

What Are Some Advantages of Virtual Routers?

Virtual routers enable broadband service providers, for instance, to replace expensive, proprietary hardware-centric routers with routing software that runs on COTS hardware. Service providers have traditionally built out their network edge infrastructure with application specific, ASIC hardware routers. Unfortunately, these hardware-centric routers lack scalability and have to be replaced when their capacity is reached. This is a major problem given the never-ending subscriber demand for more bandwidth. This bandwidth-demand evolution is driving the transition from hardware-based networks to more flexible, software-defined networks.2

Virtual Routing Benefits Include: 

  • Elastic scalability of resources
  • Reduced hardware costs
  • Rapid application and new architecture development.3
  • Accelerated time to cloud
  • Efficient cloud-to-cloud connectivity


CoreSite Makes It Easy to Employ Virtual Routers

For customers whose IT assets are collocated in a data center facility such as those operated by CoreSite, the process is especially quick and easy, as CoreSite network technicians are on hand to provide assistance as needed. In addition, CoreSite colocation facilities provide native onramps that afford direct connections to public and private clouds and allow direct connectivity between various clouds, both simplifying and expediting establishing interconnectivity. 

CoreSite colocation customers can create and activate virtual routers on demand thanks to the rich functionality provided in the Open Cloud Exchange ® (OCX). The OCX is a software-defined network services solution that drastically simplifies virtual connections to multiple service providers. Provisioning is done in real time through a private, easy-to-use service delivery platform. Customers can quickly and easily establish fully managed direct connections to cloud service providers and SaaS providers across Layer 2 and Layer 3 and provide rapid and secure connectivity between remote premises and colocation data centers. OCX also can facilitate traffic directly between multiple clouds, especially important as you utilize cloud services that align to your cloud strategy.

Getting Connected to the OCX is Simple:

  • Configure your port
  • Select your EVC target
  • Complete your new EVC order form
  • Accept your connection with your cloud service provider
  • Connect with top cloud providers, SaaS providers and enterprises

You can view a demo video of the OCX here. You can also schedule a live demo of the OCX with a CoreSite interconnection architect here. Among its other capabilities, you’ll see how easy it is to order and automatically provision a Virtual Router.

For more information about virtual routers and how they can benefit your enterprise, read Chris Malayter’s article, Virtual Routers, the Unsung Heroes of Interconnection, which appears in InterGlobix Magazine. InterGlobix is the first magazine of its kind in the industry focused on data centers, connectivity, luxury and lifestyle with a global presence. Chris Malayter is Vice President of Network and Interconnection at CoreSite. He is responsible for leading network operations, strategy, and design as well as capacity management for CoreSite’s data center portfolio and software-defined network, the Open Cloud Exchange.

The CoreSite Team
Combining expertise, research and thought leadership to inform and advance hybrid IT.