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The Fabric Explained: A Q&A with Technium's Michael Joseph

Boston: The Evolution of Connection and Innovation

The late 1960s were glorious years in Boston. It’s the period of time when what we know now as the internet was born. Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) - located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was contracted to create an information-sharing network to connect universities and government entities. Originally called the Arpanet, as it expanded to allow public connectivity, it was rebranded as The Internet. This life-changing invention spawned the technology industry as we know it today. 

While this story deserves to be told (and, in fact, was captured in the novel, Where Wizards Stay Up Late), the internet itself has evolved into the Cloud. 

Most organizations have mantras such as, “Cloud First,” or “Born in the Cloud” to indicate a focused strategy. The focus of this blog is to describe how a Boston-based uniquely evolutionary solution - The Markley Network Fabric (the Fabric) - is fundamentally changing how businesses can harness the power of connectivity and security for seamless operations.


What is The Fabric?

Simply put, The Fabric is a service architecture designed to maximize performance to the cloud. It is built to include access to the Boston Internet Exchange, a unique Boston-based IP peering network that represents the fastest path to the cloud. It is designed to optimize network performance, reduce latency, and eliminate the unnecessary costs associated with intermediary networks.

The Fabric is operationally transparent and clean. It is a customizable path to all of the cloud services you use, as well as the fastest internet path in the region. Best of all, this service was conceived by engineers from AWS and BBN as a means of solving some of the challenges specific to the internet and the cloud. 


Why is The Markley Data Center Important to The Fabric?

The reasons are plentiful! Let’s start with some of the most important: 

  • Markley is New England’s largest, most comprehensive multi-tenant, mission-critical data center and carrier hotel, offering unmatched customer service, performance and reliability. It is also on FEMA’s (Federal Emergency Management Agency) critical infrastructure list 
  • It offers a 24/7 critical environment - reliable, redundant, and uninterrupted infrastructure services, guaranteeing 100 percent uptime across network connectivity, power, environmental (cooling/humidity), and security components 

The Fabric and AWS Local Zones  

AWS Local Zones are also connected to the parent region via Amazon’s redundant - and very high - bandwidth private network, providing applications running in AWS Local Zones fast, secure, and seamless access to the rest of AWS offerings. 

When it comes to Life Science organizations, AWS has become the production data center for all early and mid-stage companies. Local Zones further accelerate this mission by allowing very high speed, high response builds of critical scientific tools - a strategic advantage!

Additionally, by using the innovative Fabric connectivity, AWS services are a data center cross connection away - meaning Local Zones and Regions become nearly as fast as servers in the back room. 

Technium’s network team can design the perfect solution to leverage the power of AWS connectivity, as well as other services present on The Fabric. We are experts in traffic engineering, ensuring research and user experience is optimized.


What is the Secure Fabric Upgrade?

As a continuously improving service architecture, this year’s most recent improvement is that The Fabric has been enhanced with service security technology, called the Hosted Perimeter Gateway (HPG)— a monthly service allowing for the elimination of local firewalls, and offers full security analysis and design. Technium, in collaboration with Markley, has created this security upgrade to enable businesses to:

  • Lighten the burden of security management
  • Align with an expert policy enforcement team - 24 / 7
  • Continue to enjoy the high-speed value of The Fabric


How is The Fabric different from Software Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN)? 

SD-WAN is a service design that allows multiple internet circuits to be treated as a single bundle. The power of SD-WAN is a simple deployment, with a limited need for highly skilled labor and the full use of all circuits. 

Technium, as a service provider, offers SD-WAN—and highly recommends it for multi-region or global deployment. 

It is important to note that The Fabric is local only to Boston but provides a significant advantage over SD-WAN for regional companies. With proper service design, the Fabric eliminates the degradation that users experience in SD-WAN circuit failure modes. It also allows for cloud service access. 

SD-WAN is internet only - it does not properly support network architectures with cloud connections. The Fabric does!


How is Secure Fabric Different Than Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)? 

SASE is a tremendous service that is disrupting the world of security enforcement. Firewalls are being replaced by SASE solutions, while both remote and in-person office work is being unified under this security service solution. 

As a service provider, Technium does support and deliver managed SASE, but within the Boston region only, there is a better way! The Fabric delivers the best possible cloud and internet connectivity. By enhancing The Fabric with HPG (Hosted Perimeter Gateway), Boston businesses receive the highest quality, fastest, and now most secure service possible. Our designs are often architected to include multi-region SASE and Boston-local HPG over the Fabric: the best of both worlds! 


Want to find the connectivity solution that is right for your company? Contact us.