The system integrator who wants to provide a complete service to his customers must be able to rely on his suppliers. In the entire process, from design to implementation and management of broadband networks, the supplier must work with the system integrator. Relined has been that party for Arcadiz for many years and for many customers.
Blaak in Rotterdam is perhaps the most metropolitan street in the Netherlands. From Beurs metro station on the corner of Coolsingel to Blaak train and metro station 500 metres further along, the six-lane road is lined with high-rise office buildings housing banks, insurance companies and the Chamber of Commerce.
It is no different at the square where the train and metro station will be above ground. Cube houses, high-rise flat blocks, even more office buildings and, of course, the beautiful Markthal (market hall) dominate the picture there. However beautiful, it is a petrified environment. Not really the place to stick your shovel in the ground to lay a glass-fibre cable.
Arcadiz and Relined then joined forces. During the entire design, from fibre-optic connection to the layout, they worked together continuously. Everything was done to find the best solution for the client together.
Yet that is the question Arcadiz received from a client who was looking for a reliable and fast connection with a large bandwidth and low latency. These are requests that Arcadiz receives frequently. The company is a network integrator with over 20 years of experience in designing, building, monitoring and maintaining telecom networks in the Benelux. Arcadiz builds customised solutions for its customers, who mainly ask for bandwidth and security.
"Our customers often have specific requirements, such as encryption of data or database synchronisation between data centres," says Walther van Oorschot, key account manager at Arcadiz. "Our clients therefore ask for a dedicated network for themselves. We hire this from partners such as Relined in order to build a customised solution for our clients."
Large, international companies and organisations in particular know how to find Arcadiz. Banks for example, pharmaceutical companies, telecom providers and universities, for whom high bandwidth, low latency and geographical redundancy are important. And reliability: "They expect five or six 9's of availability, so an uptime of 99.9999 percent. That means you have to provide quality equipment and fibre that is not prone to failure."
"There is also an increasing demand for bandwidth, for example because more and more work is done in the cloud and for Big Data that may or may not be processed in a private cage in a data centre," says van Oorschot. "As well as for the support of the primary business process such as dealing and trading, which are also particularly time-critical."
Trading quickly and safely
This also applies to Arcadiz's new client, an international trading house in a highly competitive market that has separated itself from its parent company and now has offices in one of the offices on the Blaak in Rotterdam. Which also means that they have to provide for everything themselves, from a good Ethernet connection to a connection to two data centres.
"In a general sense, customers choose Dark Fiber if they want a completely private network. That has to do with security and flexibility. If you want to use multiple services, it's easy if you have your own fiber," says van Oorschot. Dark Fiber is so suitable for that, because the customer gets his 'own' fiber-optic connection. It is a private connection that no one else can access. High bandwidth, privacy and security are a given.
"This customer wanted to use encryption and Fiber Channel, a special protocol for database synchronisation and replication, and multiple Ethernet connections with high bandwidth, on the Dark Fiber. Low latency was also important. In their competitive market, they want to be the first to buy the goods, and that involves milliseconds. And the connection had to be redundant, running through two different routes, for extra security."
Arcadiz chose Relined as its Dark Fiber supplier. "Because we have good experience with their availability and security. Because Relined has few disruptions to the network. Generally speaking, their glass fibres lie along the track, where digging is not appreciated. If there is planned maintenance anyway, we are warned well in advance so that we can take measures and our customers can continue to use our services."
"Price is also important. Relined is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive, but it does offer a good combination of price and quality. You can buy in cheaply, but the savings are often cancelled out in the operational phase. Finally, agreements with Relined are simply good. They keep their promises and communicate well.
Together with Relined, van Oorschot created the design for the new network. "Relined managed the entire project. Relined carried out a site survey with the end customer and a contractor to see how the connection to the office could be made. Relined also took care of the fibre routes: what is the available infrastructure - and not just the last 100 metres - how can we separate the Dark Fiber geographically? Relined also handled the permit application process.
Because the new customer was continuing independently and moving its data to two other data centres - a second data centre for extra security - that too had to be resolved. "First of all, we checked with Relined to see which data centres it already had Dark Fiber installed. If you don't have to dig, that saves a lot of time and money. In the end, they advised the client Bytesnet in Rotterdam and NorthC Datacenters in Delft. The geographical distance is good and yet they are separate routes. We built the new data centres in parallel and then switched over service by service from the old data centre. To do this, we temporarily used a connection from Relined between the new and old data centres, so that we were able to migrate everything in phases."
Three months after laying the connection via Dark Fiber, van Oorschot looks back with satisfaction. "The entire migration to the data centres has been completed and our client can now use its renewed infrastructure to support its primary business processes.
This is partly thanks to the excellent cooperation with Relined, with whom we tackled the entire project together. By keeping communication lines short and informing stakeholders in a timely manner, we were able to keep any delays to a minimum, especially during the challenging times brought on by Covid-19."