Tuesday, 28 October 2014 05:36

Megaport splits, appoints shutterbug CEO Featured

A recent Denver Maddux shot of the Brisbane skyline A recent Denver Maddux shot of the Brisbane skyline

Data centre connectivity vendor Megaport has spun off its fibre assets and announced ambitious global expansion plans under a new CEO who was formerly at Microsoft.

Megaport will now be led by keen photographer Denver Maddux. who has come in from Microsoft.The company was started just last year by PIPE Networks and NextDC founder Bevan Slattery. Now the company will split in two as its dark fibre assets are spun off into a new business called  Superloop.

“Superloop’s mission is to drive innovation to the fibre infrastructure layer in key Asia Pacific regions,” said Slattery. He said the company’s initial network in Australia will go live in January 2015, with its dark fibre connectivity between the major the data centres of Global Switch, Equinix and NextDC in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Megaport has a total of about 60km of fibre in the three cities. Megaport’s new Singapore fibre network, which will run for about 130km around the city state, will go live shortly afterwards.

In announcing the de-merger, Slattery said that spinning-off Megaport’s fibre assets into a separate company would free up Megaport to focus on global expansion of its interconnectivity services.

“I thought it was important to be crystal clear about Megaport’s mission and provide focus and clarity for the Megaport platform. The underlying fibre network was developed as an enabler for Megaport in its initial markets.

“The accelerated growth of the network has created a stand-alone business, warranting an independent strategy and resourcing that can be provided within Superloop. We are building the only independent, pan-Asian fibre infrastructure provider, which is something rather special and unique, so much so that based upon early customer demand I expect Superloop to be break even in its first full year of operation.”

Earlier this year Slattery also started another business, called Sub artners, to lay undersea fibre from Australia to Asia. He told iTWire that Sub Partners cables will come ashore at Superloop facilities in Singapore. He said the Singapore network was ahead of schedule.

“Our strategic duct access arrangement greatly reduces the time and cost to rollout the network in Singapore. This means we can offer certainty and provide services to our cornerstone clients sooner,” he said.

Superloop’s Singapore network is well underway with over 70% of the network expected to go live in March 2015 and roll-out completion around July. The network will provide connectivity to cable landing stations in Tuas, Changi and Katong, as well as key data centres including Equinix and Global Switch.

Megaport offers a virtual cross-connect (VXC) and Internet exchange (IX) for ISPs to share internet traffic. Its key differentiator is the provision of connectivity between data centres with self service provisioning timelines of under two minutes. In just 12 months of operation in Australia it has over 100 connected cloud providers, enterprises and network service providers.

Slattery also announced Megaport’s expansion further into Asia – first to Hong Kong – and to Europe and North America. “The commitment to deploy into new geographies over the next 18 months is driven by growing demand for scalable cloud interconnectivity services,” he said. It has opened and office in London and is planning one in the US.

Overseeing the expansion will be ex Microsofter Denver Maddux, who will replace Slattery as CEO. Also appointed are Belinda Flanders to the role of executive vice president for Asia Pacific, promoted from channel and partner manager, and Brynn Maddux, who become executive vice president for Americas and Europe. She was also at Microsoft. Slattery will remain as executive chairman, responsible for strategy.

Denver Maddux was previously with digital content delivery company Limelight Networks, and with backbone network provider Global Crossing, acquired by Level 3 Communications in 2011. He is a keen photographer, operating under the name ‘Dark Exposure’ (see some of his work on Tumblr here.)

Slattery said he has known Maddux since his days building out Limelight Networks. “I have always been impressed with his deep experience and leadership in network technology, which is what we need to take Megaport to the next level.”

Denver Maddux said: “It is a tremendous privilege to join Megaport at such an exciting and critical stage. I simply could not be more excited to build on the solid foundation and already remarkable adoption that the company has executed across the Asia Pacific region.

“Bevan has really driven his vision to deliver innovation in connectivity for network and cloud providers. Building on that success and accelerating the company’s growth globally will be my primary mission.”

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