AWS Outpost Server, the 1U and 2U form factor capability announced by AWS at Re:Invent at the end of 2021, is imminently available from Continent 8 (C8) globally.

In this post Justin Cosnett provides an overview of the C8 service and capability to support our customers in using AWS Outpost Servers to deploy an AWS service capability into any of C8’s 80+ (and growing) locations.

AWS Outpost for Real Money Gaming (iGaming)

As per our most recent AWS press release – C8 has been rapidly enhancing its multi-cloud portfolio through its partnership with AWS.  This culminated in achieving Advanced Tier partner status in December 2021 and enables C8 to be a Solution Partner provider with core competencies to support our customers in Real Money Gaming (iGaming) wishing to utilise AWS services in the highly regulated and specialist environment.

In attaining this partnership level, C8 has successfully supported the order and deployment of over 40 AWS Outpost Racks, in 8 states and connecting over 100Gbps via Direct Connect to AWS Regions, demonstrating significant customer success and referenceability.

As shown in our reference case studies for Fanduel and Esports Entertainment group – C8 has been able to provide managed connectivity and network edge for AWS Outpost Racks.

AWS Outpost Server (1U and 2U Form Factor)

Enabling a range of AWS Services to customers via 1U and 2U form factor Servers, AWS creates an Outpost Family which now brings a smaller footprint into an existing co-located environment in a standard industry colocation Rack:

This low footprint entry allows customers to deploy into existing or new environments separate network infrastructure to achieve interconnectivity and scale and resilience.  This is because each Server is a standalone node, with no clustering capability currently or shared storage.

C8’s AWS Outpost Server package – all in one solution

Similar to an AWS Outpost Rack, the Outpost Server is expected to be deployed with an existing or full local area network infrastructure environment.  With Real Money Gaming (iGaming) – C8 has been able to enable “greenfield” deployment of AWS Outposts for customers with no existing infrastructure through network edge cloud capabilities.

C8 is continuing and indeed expanding this with a simple package for customers to deploy AWS Outpost Servers into a C8 location in a “pay for what you use” fashion, with inclusive:

  1. Server Installation and AWS enablement configuration
  2. Co-Location and Power starting at a minimum 1U
  3. Network Edge functions with customer portal for managing:
    1. Firewalling
    2. Load Balancing
    3. Routing and Switching
  4. Managed Connectivity:
    1. Internet Connection including DDoS protection
    2. AWS Direct Connect private connection to AZ
    3. C8 iGaming Exchange access with premium portal analytics

C8 is packaging this as a simple monthly recurring fee, with connectivity by default all charged at a single rate on usage depending upon location, and the ability to add more Servers at a simple fee per U.

With an option for further MPLS onward connectivity to other remote installations or implementations of infrastructure – as demonstrated in the overview diagram, C8 is able to deliver this simple package and network edge capability by utilising a Network Edge cloud using VMWare NSX-T, and can even provide a managed option for customers who either lack or do not want to perform network administrative functions.

Along with a Network Edge cloud, C8 can leverage an existing co-location footprint to consolidate and multi-tenant customers into a secured Rack, which C8 monitors and manages to ensure full industry best practice environment delivery.

Further posts and articles on C8’s growing AWS and multi-cloud capability, and more details on our iGaming (Real Money Gaming) exchange will be announced in the near future.

Our Solution Architects will be happy to discuss any potential AWS Outpost Rack or Server requirements with customers via your Account Director.

Continent 8 (C8) is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Select Consulting Partner and has built the capabilities to support customers accelerate the adoption of AWS cloud services. Esports Entertainment Group, a full-stack esports and online gambling company, required a partner to deliver reliable and dedicated connectivity scalable to requirements. C8 worked to produce a suitable regulated solution to fit the various challenges faced. 

The Customer

Esports Entertainment Group is a full-stack esports and online gambling company fuelled by the growth of video-gaming and the ascendance of esports with new generations. Their mission is to help connect the world at large with the future of sports entertainment in unique and enriching ways that bring fans and gamers together.

With a “core-AWS” platform design, and a regulatory requirement for dedicated in-state transaction processing, an AWS Outpost was the necessary infrastructure stack, connected to AWS regions.

Needing a provider to create a solution which would deliver reliable and dedicated connectivity scalable to requirements, Continent 8 (C8) worked to produce a suitable regulated solution to fit the various challenges faced.

The Challenge

There were multiple requirements to be met from technical to commercial, with an over-riding desire for repeatability through a template solution design:

 

 

The Solution

C8 proposed and delivered a solution using its regulated public cloud to create a network edge:

“We can offer Network Edge Services (NEaaS) to provide all of the functionality required to connect an AWS Outpost to the internet and to AWS, both private and publicly. Our customer utilised this infrastructure design to meet their vast needs including a regulatory approval solution and low latency, resilient connectivity. The customer now benefits from a regulated, scalable and cost-effective solution.”

Justin Cosnett, Chief Product Officer at Continent 8 Technologies

The Benefits

About

Continent 8 Technologies (C8)

Founded over 20 years ago, C8 is an award-winning, multi-jurisdictional, global network solutions provider that connects, manages, and secures the world’s most valuable information.

The company has data centres and strategic points of presence in over 80 connected locations spanning Europe, the Americas and Asia, and is expanding rapidly. Its carrier-grade network powers some of the biggest brands in iGaming.

With a first-to-market strategy, C8 is currently live in 23 states with future sites planned in the near future, enabling customers to capitalise on the fast-growing market.

C8 is an AWS Select Consulting Partner and as a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN), the company can assist iGaming operators and suppliers with AWS services and solutions. This includes the deployment and hosting of AWS Outposts throughout the US, via an AWS Outposts Enablement Package, which provides a delivery team to lead, co-ordinate and support the deployment from pre-install to go-live.

AWS

In 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) began offering IT infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services – now commonly known as cloud computing. One of the key benefits of cloud computing is the opportunity to replace up-front capital infrastructure expenses with low variable costs that scale with your business. With the Cloud, businesses no longer need to plan for and procure servers and other IT infrastructure weeks or months in advance. Instead, they can instantly spin up hundreds or thousands of servers in minutes and deliver results faster.

Today, Amazon Web Services provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of businesses in 190 countries around the world.

Learn more about C8’s AWS Outposts Enablement Package and how we can accelerate your cloud strategy here.

Download the Case Study here: C8 Case Study AWS (EEG)

 

 

Continent 8 (C8) is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Select Consulting Partner and has built the capabilities to support customers accelerate the adoption of AWS cloud services. The customer, a sportsbook operator, required a partner to meet multiple requirements for connectivity, and C8 was able to deliver a tailored template solution. 

The Customer

FanDuel Group is an innovative sports-tech entertainment company that is changing the way consumers engage with their favourite sports, teams, and leagues. The premier gaming destination in the United States, FanDuel Group consists of a portfolio of leading brands including America’s #1 Mobile Sportsbook app, a leading daily fantasy sports platform, FanDuel Casino and Stardust, its casino brands, as well as TVG, the leading racing media and wagering platform. FanDuel Group has a presence across all 50 states and 12 million customers. An official sponsor of the NFL, WNBA, NBA, NHL, MLB and PGA TOUR, FanDuel operates 16 retail locations across the United States.

The well-known, licensed sportsbook operator is growing rapidly in the highly competitive US iGaming market. They are building their US solution via a repeatable, regulatory compliant AWS Service capability, to achieve and maintain player acquisition and revenue growth.

With an “all-AWS” platform design, and a regulatory requirement for dedicated in-state transaction processing, an AWS Outpost was the necessary infrastructure stack, connected to AWS East & West regions.

Needing a provider to create a solution which would deliver reliable and dedicated connectivity scalable to requirements, Continent 8 (C8) worked to produce a suitable template solution to fit the various challenges faced by FanDuel.

Continent 8 are a key and strategic partner for FanDuel and the combination of Continent 8 Data Center services and Amazon Web Services has enabled FanDuel to focus on its mission of being absurdly fan-focused by delivering the best product in the industry.”

Shane Sweeney, VP of IT at FanDuel

The Challenge

There were multiple requirements to be met from technical to commercial, with an over-riding desire for repeatability through a template solution design:

The Solution

Continent 8 proposed and delivered a solution using its existing MPLS network, Continent 8 Cloud Connect product and AWS Outpost Enablement Package:

“We have seen significant growth in AWS Outpost utilisation by our customers. To best serve our partners in the US, our team works closely with theirs to understand and meet their vast requirements. As a result, we were able to deliver a template solution to this customer, offering the most available and resilient connectivity.”

Justin Cosnett, Chief Product Officer at Continent 8 Technologies

The Benefits

About

Continent 8 Technologies (C8)

Founded over 20 years ago, C8 is an award-winning, multi-jurisdictional, global network solutions provider that connects, manages, and secures the world’s most valuable information.

The company has data centres and strategic points of presence in over 80 connected locations spanning Europe, the Americas and Asia, and is expanding rapidly. Its carrier-grade network powers some of the biggest brands in iGaming.

With a first-to-market strategy, C8 is currently live in 23 states with future sites planned in the near future, enabling customers to capitalise on the fast-growing market.

C8 is an AWS Select Consulting Partner and as a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN), the company can assist iGaming operators and suppliers with AWS services and solutions. This includes the deployment and hosting of AWS Outposts throughout the US, via an AWS Outposts Enablement Package, which provides a delivery team to lead, co-ordinate and support the deployment from pre-install to go-live.

AWS

In 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) began offering IT infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services – now commonly known as cloud computing. One of the key benefits of cloud computing is the opportunity to replace up-front capital infrastructure expenses with low variable costs that scale with your business. With the Cloud, businesses no longer need to plan for and procure servers and other IT infrastructure weeks or months in advance. Instead, they can instantly spin up hundreds or thousands of servers in minutes and deliver results faster.

Today, Amazon Web Services provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of businesses in 190 countries around the world.

Learn more about C8’s AWS Outposts Enablement Package and how we can accelerate your cloud strategy here.

Download the Case Study here: C8 Case Study AWS (FanDuel)

 

 

Continent 8 Technologies (C8) has delivered multiple AWS Outpost implementations in various scenarios for customers over the last 9 months.  These have been predominantly across the US in a state-by-state method to the iGaming or “real money gaming” customer base.  However, C8 has capability globally, and can additionally support an AWS Outpost with specific iGaming or regulatory advantages in specific locations.

In this post I will demonstrate how we can position an AWS Outpost in C8 locations at a high level and provide a template for customer deployment and the advantages that brings.

C8 is live in over 70+ global connected locations, including 20+ US states with new locations being added to the C8 global network monthly.  Connectivity services – such as connecting to cloud providers like AWS via Cloud Connect, “Into” and “Out of” jurisdiction peering combining local and global internet capability, and private highly resilient MPLS services between customers and partners – are available in every C8 site on that network.

Furthermore, a public cloud platform is available in the below locations, and we expect to increase this footprint and capability in the future:

Global Deployment

Globally, including within the US on a state-by-state basis, C8 can support an AWS outpost as demonstrated below.

As shown on this overview diagram:

Beyond service availability, C8 provides and end to end deployment professional service, inclusive project management, as part of its AWS Outpost Enablement Package.

Atlantic City and Malta

In both Atlantic City and Malta, C8 has a dual site and approved or regulated (in the case of Atlantic City) public cloud capability, as well as shared rack co-location option. This means that both locations are ready for 1U and 2U AWS Outpost form factor when available, as well as NEaaS solutions.

In addition, both locations benefit from an off-site public cloud backup capability (powered by Veeam), and in the case of Atlantic City this specifically enables compliance with New Jersey DGE (Division of Gaming Enforcement) requirements for an off-site in jurisdiction data backup.

As shown on the overview diagrams:

Gibraltar

C8 recently launched a public cloud in Gibraltar, this means in addition to hybrid or new customer environments, we can deliver a network edge (NEaaS) capability for customers to deploy an AWS Outpost in a “greenfield” scenario – customers don’t need to implement specific dedicated infrastructure to support connectivity.  We can therefore confirm high level the Gibraltar capabilities as below that are now available:

In summary

Learn more about our AWS partnership via https://www.continent8.com/aws/ or contact me via justin.cosnett@continent8.com

Justin Cosnett, Chief Product Officer at Continent 8 Technologies. With 20+ years’ experience in the hosting and SaaS sectors in a number of customer facing roles, Justin has a strong technical background. He joined Continent 8 in 2012 and was Head of Solution Architect before being promoted to Chief Product Officer. 

Our Chief Product Officer Justin Cosnett discusses Continent 8’s commitment to the US and the connectivity and security solutions available to customers looking to capitalise on the fast growing market.

We have an edge in every state:

Opening in every state iGaming needs

2021 is a pivotal year for sports betting in the USA with 19 states set to decide on legalising online sports betting.

Continent 8 (C8) has pursued a strategy of providing services to iGaming in every suitable US state.  This considerable and challenging expansion has delivered a first-to-market capability for our customers with a single supplier they know can meet their needs.  The table below shows where we are as of February 2021, and we anticipate a further 8-10 states or more coming online throughout 2021.

We are regulated

The table above doesn’t just show we have opened in each state, but also that we have obtained the necessary regulatory approval, and even brought multi-site options for customers to enable in-state DR or Primary and Secondary capabilities to meet operational or compliance requirements.

We deliver reliable connectivity

In every location, C8 ensures we have dual diverse connection back to the C8 global backbone mixed with a local in-state provision.  This enables us to monitor and manage tier 1 blended internet peering as well as deliver private connectivity from production environments in-state; to corporate environments, or Hyperscale cloud providers (like AWS, Azure and GCP), or even to B2B partners, like sports data providers.  This highly available and scalable connectivity means we can provide low latency, reduced hop, guaranteed point to point packet delivery.  It’s not only central to our connect product portfolio, but also underpins our secure DDoS and WAF services.

We bring in-state capability

C8 doesn’t build a facility in every location, in many we will partner with one or several providers, as there is no single provider with a truly total US owned facility coverage.  We ensure internet connectivity is delivered to customers to guarantee an in-state service delivered in a standard method from a single supplier for contracting, operational support and commercial benefits.

Below is an illustrative C8 in-state facility topology showing the advantages, with highly resilient out of state private connectivity and tier 1 peering, as well as DDoS protected internet and even DR or secondary site capability:

Secure co-location, cloud or both

Also shown in the above topology via this repeatable platform, are services to deliver different reference infrastructure models to support iGaming – whether Casino, Sportsbook or even Live dealer.  In some states, as regulation requires, we bring a dual site capability to support active / active or backup service.  This could be customer infrastructure in a co-location offering or C8 Private Cloud with a managed infrastructure as a service solution.

Additionally we support extension of hyperscale cloud service to an in-state edge via an AWS Outpost or potentially Azure Stack, delivered behind a network as a service (NEaaS) solution.

In summary, C8 is expanding rapidly in the US and has the experience and technologies to enable rapid growth for iGaming customers. Can C8 help you expand in the US? Get in touch via americas@continent8.com

Justin Cosnett, Chief Product Officer at Continent 8 Technologies. With 20+ years’ experience in the hosting and SaaS sectors in a number of customer facing roles, Justin has a strong technical background. He joined Continent 8 in 2012 and was Head of Solution Architect before being promoted to Chief Product Officer. 

In this blog, Justin Cosnett, Chief Product Officer at Continent 8 Technologies provides information on how we are enabling AWS Outposts for our customers.

Ordering an AWS Outpost is advertised as a partner or AWS led activity; certainly customers need to have identified and confirmed sufficient capabilities prior to placing an order, as well as meeting some AWS criteria.  Until server form factor outposts are available (expected 2021); AWS Outpost is a full pre-built 42U rack of AWS proprietary equipment, with some very specific requirements (and even dimensions) to be confirmed.  It’s worth briefly covering some of the aspects or considerations which C8 assists with through our enablement package.

Environment:

Rack environment needs to be suitable, as you would expect for any computer equipment.  In theory an AWS Outpost could be placed geographically anywhere; although as AWS-only supported hardware, it has to be cited within range of AWS personnel and parts.

Note: Some specific iGaming jurisdictions have been a challenge here, and we are keen to assist in overcoming this in some way, in the very near future.

Most of the requirements questions for a co-location provider like C8 are pretty standard response.  In all cases C8 has a policy of ensuring minimum ASHRAE standards for any co-location we build, develop or partner in.  However, there are questions which many co-location providers wouldn’t have in standard data sheets or RFI responses, and C8 is well versed in responding or managing these queries.

It’s worth noting that whilst the AWS Outpost rack is a relatively industry standard 42U height, many colocation facilities are setup with existing racks and containment to produce the most efficient airflow and PUE, (more often recently with 46 or 48U racks in-situ, and dual PDU).  It’s necessary to confirm any size difference and containment works necessary to accommodate the AWS Outpost rack (80 (h) x 24 (w) x 48 (d) inches), and this may bear some cost or timescale, as well as ensuring sufficient space for delivery for final placement via loading dock and all areas between.

Power:

AWS documentation shows that Outpost comes in 3 “default” flavours per published details (5, 10 or 15 kVA), though actual power draw will differ by ordered configuration and utilization.  There are very specific power feed and power connector options (8 in total published, redundant and non redundant single or three phase).  In the US, for example, C8 have found requirements often result in selection of a single phase (delivered via 2-6 whips from above or below) being the main supported configuration because of the circuit voltage and frequency available by default in US facilities.  This may be different in other geographies or even specific facilities.  Again, additional power whips / upgraded power circuit breakers or specific power connector requirements may incur some cost or timescale.

Network:

AWS Outpost support single mode fiber (SMF) with Lucent Connector (LC), multimode fiber (MMF), or MMF OM4 with LC in 1, 10, 40 and 100Gbps port speed connections.

Currently (and this may change), an AWS Outpost – whilst having local gateway and load balancer features – by default requires a “Customer owned” local area network infrastructure in order to connect publicly and privately to AWS and the internet (Hence article diagram).  This means customers are expected to either have a pre-existing network edge capability in situ, or one which will be installed to a separate rack on site, as the AWS Outpost cannot contain any non-AWS infrastructure, or indeed be accessed by any non-AWS staff for maintenance.

iGaming, where the Outpost is intended as a production or “back-end” infrastructure to satisfy geographic requirements; some customers don’t have or want dedicated owned local network infrastructure.  In this scenario C8 can assist by provided the necessary network edge as a service (NEaaS), providing all of the functionality necessary to connect the AWS Outpost to the internet (in-jurisdiction and Tier 1 peering) and AWS (privately or publicly).

C8 are already able to provision direct private connectivity to AWS (and many other hyper-scale clouds) for our customers from any C8 source site. This service (C8 Cloud Connect) can be similarly delivered to an AWS Outpost via our MPLS backbone and interconnection to suitable AWS network edge, ensuring low latency, reduced jitter and no packet loss from source to destination and not subject to public surface area for DDoS attack.

Project Management and Delivery:

With a bespoke hardware infrastructure stack, there are considerable preparation tasks and assessments and 3-party liaison before an order can be placed, let alone delivery and installation confirmed and completed.  The C8 team are familiar with the necessary information to be provided (pre- and post- AWS order), regular calls with customers and AWS specialists, and also site assessments and validations necessary to ensure all preparations and information correct for a successful deployment.

AWS Enablement Package:

As you would expect for a co-location provider for many years, C8 is well prepared to accommodate different or pre-built racks, having similarly delivered other racks, such as Infinidat, with a very similar process.  However, C8 are also able to bring network, security and industry experience and expertise to support this growing hybrid cloud and cloud partner solution requirement.

For more information on how Continent 8 can support your cloud, connectivity and security needs, get in touch via sales@continent8.com

Justin Cosnett, Chief Product Officer at Continent 8 Technologies. With 20+ years’ experience in the hosting and SaaS sectors in a number of customer facing roles, Justin has a strong technical background. He joined Continent 8 in 2012 and was Head of Solution Architect before being promoted to Chief Product Officer.  

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