During this Q&A Vice President of Hosting and Operations Support for Internap, Zachary Smith, talks about the technological impact of Internap’s recent acquisition of Voxel and why the marriage is a fortuitous one for both companies’ customers – and for the team at Voxel. (For one, the newlyweds got to experience the geek equivalent of registering for fancy china – they went shopping for the next generation of servers.)
Q: The Managed Internet Route Optimizer™ (MIRO) platform is a product that sets Internap, and now Voxel, apart from its competitors. Can you tell us why it’s so special?
A: The MIRO platform is one of Internap’s secret sauces. It constantly monitors the entire Internet for the best route between any and all locations. And then it adjusts dynamically using some pretty advanced code so that the end user gets the absolute best delivery experience.
We’re really excited to see how Voxel’s approach to network services, which has been about building web scale and large pipes for delivery can be improved by leveraging the MIRO platform.
Q: The combination with Internap means Voxel’s customers now have access to six data centers around the world. Why is that significant?
A: One of the things Voxel was never able to do was to provide all the data center services or acquire all the data center assets we wanted to. For any hosting company, data centers are your lifeblood. They need to be strategically located at core Internet points, and they have to stay online all the time – twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. Internap is an expert at building Internet infrastructure all the way down to its data centers, and we now have premier sites in Santa Clara, Dallas, New York, Atlanta, Singapore, and Amsterdam, where we’re able to leverage our platform.
Q: Why does it matter where a server is located? Why Amsterdam, Singapore, Santa Clara, New York, Atlanta, and Dallas?
A: There are key points throughout the Internet where people exchange traffic. These points are critical. They’re where all the networks meet. They’re where everyone wants to put their data centers and wants to put their servers. And the great thing about Voxel and Internap’s new combination is that we’re really covering all the hot spots. We’re pretty excited to be offering our entire platform from cloud servers on demand to our dedicated servers, managed hosting and content delivery around the world. You’ve got the West Coast, center, and East Coast of the U.S., plus Europe and Asia, pretty much covered.
Q: Have you visited any of the data centers? What are they like?
A: The great thing about these data centers is they look really cool. When you go and visit an Internap data center, you’re immediately impressed by the security services around it. You’ve got to go through the many gates, the sign-in sheets, the whole shebang — but once you get inside, you see what’s being guarded. You see the P-NAP, and you see where all these networks are connecting and delivering tens of gigabytes of traffic across the Internet, as well as just the overall quality and build of the Internap facility. There’s a huge amount of pride in these places.
Q: How has the combination with Internap given you free reign to indulge your inner geek?
A: Here at Voxel, we really like servers. We play with them every day. We read everything from Slashdot to Tom’s Hardware to try and suss out the next generation model to get to our customers. Essentially, we’re a little bit nerdy about servers.
One of the great things about being acquired by Internap is it gave us a mandate to go out and build a large amount of infrastructure for the increased demand. The cool thing about that is we get to buy a lot of servers. So we were able to pick and choose the absolute latest platforms, new chipsets from the different providers, memory configurations, and the latest in hard drive technology whether that was SSDs or flash memory. It’s going to be very cool to bring these cutting-edge platforms to our customers at a really incredible price point.