For our new series of Blogs we interview partners and customers of who we think might have an interesting view on how the internet market is developing. We kick it off with Yulia Makhlin from Fusix.
Can you tell us a bit more about your organization and your background?
Fusix is a consulting Internet Service Provider. We build IP networks for our customers, manage them and give them transit to the public Internet.
My background is in satellite communications and contract management in international companies. It gave me a broad perspective and the opportunity to develop an analytical mindset. At Fusix I am the company’s director. Except myself, everyone is a Network architect, a Network engineer, or a software developer. It keeps me mentally fit and I am proud to be a part of the team. Everyone does the job he likes and we have a lot of fun together and with our clients. A role of director is very enjoyable this way.
What is the biggest change, you think, comparing the Internet business from now to the early starting days of the Internet?
The internet was a scientific project in the beginning and people involved in it knew each other in person. Regional Internet registries (they assign IP addresses to ISPs) are still not-for-profit organizations. However, 25 years later Internet is a source of profit for professional ISPs and – sadly – digital criminals. A paradox, but true: while it has become a part of everybody’s everyday life, only ISPs decide which routes everybody’s traffic travels on the global web.
What do you see as the biggest challenges & threats in the current ISP landscape and how do they impact customers?
We should realize that ISPs operate similarly to airlines: direct, relevant flights are more expensive than flights with transfers, because airlines protect their cheapest routes by dropping passengers at the closest and cheapest airport. ISPs do the same, they send your traffic to their cheapest or even free of charge routes that they have.
When you book a flight, at least you have a choice, different airlines compete for your order. Now imagine that you have only a house airline of your home airport. This is the situation you are in, if your business applications are connected by one Internet provider. It controls, which routes your traffic goes in and out. In other words, it controls a part of the user experience of your core services, and you have no say in this process. This is what we want to change by helping companies to build and run their own IP networks. You may be specialized in education, SaaS or have a web-shop and focus on the global or a regional market. We use your core business priorities for configuration of your route selection policies. This is what it is about.
But isn’t it too expensive to run your own network?
The cost of an IP network that serves interests of an enterprise is usually overestimated. It is assumed that one should buy one of the newest models of a router and employ a network engineer with a salary of thousands of euros per month. Compare this to cloud-based solutions and your next step will be choosing between one or another cloud provider.
But lets review the cost assumptions. First, a refurbished router model from 3-4 years ago has a perfect set of routing features for a mid- to a large-size enterprise. And in some cases, you do not need to buy. It is possible to lease ‘routing functionality’ from us or from our partner. Finally, employing a network engineer is also not a must. Fusix runs a stand-by 24/7 Network Operations Center for more than 30 networks. We know all network designs and automated management of all networks in the same way as our own backbone. Plus customers have a lot of network management tools and information on-line. In the result, for 300 – 450 euros per month you have all relevant routing functionality and a professional team that looks after the wellbeing of all your Internet connections.
Is this solution already available on the market?
We believe our solution is unique. Its roots are in the personality of the CTO and founder of Fusix – Niels Raijer – who is a co-founder of two non-commercial networking organizations and loves to make designs on a white board. To glue this passion for networking and consultancy, we continuously invest in automation of network management, which is the base for a scalable NOC.
Common sense says ‘try before you buy’, so we offer a very reasonable, fixed price for building a network that can select routes from multiple ISPs. Then you get a trial period for managed routing, stand-by NOC and Fusix Internet access. Experience Internet connections that work for your core business. I am sure you will find it a valuable tool to grow further.