ENABLED GLOBAL EXPANSION AND PROVIDED ECONOMICAL SOLUTION FOR COLOCATION
Business Challenge: Server and storage upgrade, Rapid IT Growth
Solution: Global IP Network, Data Centre
Founded in 1998, Squiz provides web hosting and related products and services, including infrastructure, customer relationship management, user experience, search and training. The business has grown to nearly 550 employees and operates offices in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Poland and the United States.
- Minimise start-up costs including colocation and equipment purchase
- Expand into competitive international markets
- Achieve reliability levels that meet customer needs
- Data Centre and Colocation in Sydney and the US
- Global IP Network (Internet)
- Infrastructure hardware procurement and delivery
- Leverage support and expertise to enter new markets
- Achieve reliability including resilience against DDoS attacks
- Access vendor equipment at low prices
Grow a new business and expand into international markets
Squiz started operations when founders John-Paul Syriatowicz and Stephen Barker saw a gap in the market for a content management system that enabled users to create and deliver online products and services that connected with customers. In 2010, Squiz started their Hosting business and decided to work with a service provider that could provide cost-effective, reliable data centre colocation services. As Squiz expanded into new countries, the business needed reliable, global internet services to support its customers and to acquire new equipment cost-effectively.
Squiz builds on early relationship with NTT ICT
NTT Communications ICT Solutions (NTT ICT) value pricing and reliability prompted Squiz to colocate equipment in a single rack in the NTT ICT Sydney data centre.
NTT ICT subsequently provided extensive logistics support including low prices for data centre hardware to help Squiz grow into new domestic and international markets. This support included sourcing Dell hardware and Fortinet firewalls direct from the vendors for Squiz’s United Kingdom operations.
NTT ICT’s global presence also gave Squiz credibility as it expanded into international markets, according to Justin Higgins, Global Hosting Manager, Squiz. “Thanks to NTT ICT, when we’ve been working with customers and partners, we’ve been able to provide them with certainty as to our ability to deliver to their needs,” Higgins says. “We’ve also been through an exercise with NTT ICT to identify data centres around the world we could use to support our expansion.”
Squiz’s relationship with NTT ICT now extends to provision of gigabit fibre transit connections in three locations, continued logistics support by making hardware available at low prices, two racks of colocated equipment in the NTT ICT Sydney data centre and one rack in an NTT Communications data centre in the United States.
Squiz poised to extend further into North America, including Canada
The relationship with NTT ICT gave Squiz the confidence to expand into the competitive United States market with the colocated rack and an office in New York.
The two businesses are now identifying data centre locations to support Squiz’s planned further expansion across the United States and Canada.
“The reliability NTT ICT provides as a Tier 1 network provider has helped get us over the line when responding to tenders or winning the confidence of prospective customers in new and existing markets,” Higgins says.
This reliability extends to resilience when under attack from malicious individuals or groups. “There was one weekend where we received intelligence that we would receive a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, so we had to prepare for a large volume of inbound traffic aiming to knock us and our customers offline,” Higgins says.
“We knew that type of attack was very unlikely to cause a large global provider such as NTT ICT any issues, whereas some other providers may drop traffic when under pressure. We also know that NTT ICT handles DDoS traffic on its network backbone all the time, whereas other providers don’t. For this reason, we decided to turn off our other transit providers for 24 hours. Knowing the capabilities of NTT ICT gave us a big advantage in this case.”
Squiz also continues to benefit from the quality of service and business knowledge acquired by the NTT ICT sales team. “The dedicated account manager was extremely confident he could obtain the best possible prices on hardware for us,” Higgins says. “For example, we needed to acquire AUD$80,000 worth of memory upgrades to meet our needs over six months. NTT ICT obtained a cheaper price by being able to buy direct from the vendor and we received the upgrades every two months, in line with our needs.”
Service and support is another highlight for Squiz. The business has taken on NTT ICT global internet service and started working with NTT ICT’s Network Operations Centre. “We’ve been impressed that they’ve been quite proactive,” Higgins says. “They’ve been messaging us directly when we’ve taken links down or implemented an odd configuration and generally working hard to ensure we’re getting the best value possible from the service.”
Using a Tier 1 provider such as NTT ICT enables Squiz to comfortably realise its objective of high reliability. “Ultimately we have the confidence that if we run into a problem anywhere such as losing traffic in the United States, NTT as a Tier 1 provider with networks over there gives us a lot more reach when it comes to troubleshooting and fixing problems,” Higgins says. “We expect to expand the relationship in future so more bandwidth will be taken up, but the biggest growth will be as we operate in more data centres and our global footprint expands,” he adds. “NTT has done the hard work in getting there ahead of us, and I think that will help us enormously.”