Megaport picks Twitter global network lead as CTO

Megaport has announced the appointment of Tim Hoffman as its new CTO, who it said will bring experience in scaling network infrastructure globally.

Australian interconnection services provider Megaport has announced choosing former Twitter Global Network lead Tim Hoffman as its new chief technology officer.

Hoffman will be given responsibility over Megaport's network operations, network architecture, software development, product, and procurement segments, reporting directly to Vincent English, who was appointed as CEO following the resignation of former CEO Denver Maddux earlier this year.

According to Megaport, Hoffman spent close to 10 years of his career building out telecommunications networks across New Zealand during network engineering roles at Health Intelligence Wellington, FX Networks, CityLink Limited, and Snap Internet.

"Tim was integral in leading the development of some of the most critical networks in New Zealand's telecommunications infrastructure over the previous decade," English said on Wednesday.

His role at Twitter also involved Hoffman gaining experience in "worldwide infrastructure, including all interconnection, backbone and content distribution infrastructure, and global datacentres".

"He has negotiated peering agreements with some of the largest internet backbone providers in the world, while leading the commercial effort to significantly reduce the operational costs of infrastructure," Megaport added.

The company said his experience therefore aligns with the company's "trajectory" for future growth initiatives.

"Megaport has transformed the way the industry approaches connectivity, leading the way with a next-generation software-defined network-based network which challenges traditional networks," Hoffman said.

Hoffman will begin his Megaport role on October 1.

Megaport last month announced its financial results for FY17, revealing a net loss of AU$29.9 million, up slightly on last year's AU$21.3 million net loss, on revenue of AU$10.7 million, which jumped from just AU$2.7 million a year previously.

Calling it a "year of outstanding growth", Megaport said that as of June 30, its total number of datacentres numbered 165 after adding 63 during the financial year; total number of ports more than doubled over the year to reach 1,829; total number of services increased from 1,500 to 3,764; and number of customers also doubled, to a total of 738.

"In addition to achieving record sales over the course of the last 12 months, Megaport expanded organically into many new key locations with great demand from enterprises for direct cloud connectivity," the company said in its financial results report.

"Several new strategic partnerships have been cemented across various channels, including datacentre operators, cloud service providers, managed service providers, and master agencies.

"These partnerships continue to bolster our indirect and sell-with capabilities designed to accelerate revenue while maintaining a nimble and appropriately-sized organisation."

Megaport's Asia-Pacific business unit generated 47 percent of its revenue, while Europe made up 41 percent and North America 12 percent.

During the financial year, Megaport opened a new connectivity route between Los Angeles and Sydney in May, in response to demand from enterprises in both Australia and New Zealand, enabling them to connect to any cloud node across Megaport's network using one physical interface.

The SDN provider said this would allow ANZ enterprises to cost efficiently grow outside of the region, with its routes allowing customers to connect directly to Microsoft Azure, AWS, Oracle FastConnect, and Google Cloud Interconnect without needing a physical presence of their own in all locations.

Megaport added Oracle services in April after entering a global partnership with the cloud giant to provide customers with North America-based cloud services via Oracle FastConnect.

In addition to its new Sydney-Los Angeles route, Megaport opened a new connectivity route between Los Angeles and Hong Kong in January, as well as a secondary path between Singapore and Hong Kong.

Megaport also switched on its link on the transatlantic AE Connect 13TB subsea cable connecting New York, London, and Dublin under a partnership with the cable's owner, Aqua Comms, at the same time.

In a bid to also move into the South American market, Megaport's United States subsidiary signed a deal with Seaborn Networks in February, giving it access to a fibre-optic subsea cable system between the US and Brazil to expand its services to customers in Latin America.

In return, Seaborn will be able to provide its South American customers with Megaport's SDN-enabled interconnection services via an online portal, as well as exclusively offer Megaport-enabled "broadband on demand" for connecting internationally.