Opengear

Opengear provides the automation, network resilience and security necessary to efficiently manage and protect critical IT, network and power infrastructure.

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Opengear Solutions for Network Resilience

i3D.net is a leading provider of high-performance hosting and global infrastructure services. The company notably excels in game hosting and infrastructure, serving 100 million gamers daily for game publishers and independent developers on consoles, PC and mobile. The i3D.net network is one of the world's top-10 most connected hosting provider networks. i3D.net is now a Ubisoft company, having been bought by the French publisher in 2018.  

Ensuring network resilience is an important business priority for i3D.net. To maintain its global operation, i3D.net runs a complex low-latency network, with thousands of servers spread over more than 35 points of presence on 6 continents. 

It is key that this network is kept up and running at all times. As Rick Sloot, chief operations officer, i3D.net explains:

“Ten years ago, this was very difficult to achieve. There were very few ways of handling and managing your servers when the internet went down and those that were available were expensive and did not work well. As technology has advanced over the past decade, customer expectations have grown in line, and a high level of network resilience is now demanded by our users.”  

“As we expanded as a business, opening up new locations around the world, it was becoming increasingly difficult to find a vendor capable of delivering a reliable way of keeping us up and running at all times, across all our locations.” continued Rick Sloot. “

We struggled to find local vendors who could support us. Often, we weren’t able to pinpoint the issue or access the faulty equipment. We needed to find a way of managing equipment remotely, identifying and resolving the problem, while keeping the network online. 

“We started to look for a vendor who could work with cellular technologies such as 4G and who could deliver out-of-band management. Opengear fitted the bill perfectly. Opengear’s tools can support 4G cellular out-of-band connections in all our global locations which has enabled us to save time and money. We were looking for a partner that could deliver triple-A equipment on time all over the globe and knew we could rely on Opengear for this.”  

i3D.net decided to work in partnership with Opengear and implement its ACM 7008-2-L Resilience Gateway to provide smart out-of-band management to its entire IT infrastructure, and also to provide a built-in backup LAN and/or backup Internet connectivity option for all their remote sites. 

Reaping the Rewards

Today, i3D.net uses the Opengear Resilience Gateway as a fall-back, providing out-of-band management, as and when required, to its routers all over the world. It has achieved a raft of benefits as a result. For example, it has helped to significantly streamline the process of bringing new sites online.   

In the past, when i3D.net had to carry out a deployment outside the Netherlands, a technical operations engineer flew to the location and installed the new switches but would typically struggle to configure them.

Today, i3D.net simply connects the Opengear Resilience Gateways to these network switches and its network operations engineers back in the Netherlands are then able to configure the whole site remotely via the Opengear device. “This is very powerful and a huge benefit for us in terms of the time and costs saved not only in provisioning but also ongoing maintenance” commented Sloot.   

Using Opengear Resilience Gateways also allows i3D.net to stay one step ahead of any pending network failures. According to Sloot:

“We don’t like downtime and neither do our customers. 

Today, if there is an issue, we can directly connect to our routers anywhere in the world without having to wait for someone at the locations to access and fix it. The agility of the Opengear solutions means we can quickly help our customers and maintain our high standards as a performance hosting company.” 

Looking Ahead

Today, i3D.net continues to expand and open global locations dynamically. It is also in the process of switching to a new Juniper Networks router platform. As Sloot explains: “This will give us the opportunity to launch our Global Low-latency Anti-DDoS solution (GLAD). Every region where we are changing the router and do not have an Opengear Resilience Gateway will now receive one. 

“Finally, we have an enterprise customer for which we are remotely managing servers, running routers and firewalls in their own environment. We are planning to place the Opengear solution there. It marks the first time we have carried out a deployment of Opengear’s Resilience Gateway outside our own data centres.”     

The rapidly expanding use of Opengear at i3D.net bears witness to the broad benefits it brings the hosting provider and also highlights a partnership that goes from strength to strength today and will look to evolve further in the future. i3D.net is on a fast growth path and Opengear continues to support its dynamic expansion worldwide.  

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Opengear and i3D.net have written a case study on how the network resilience helps i3D.net with it's global network to having no down time at all. This case study can be viewed by downloading it here.

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