Arcadiz

Relined and system integrators such as Arcadiz look for the best solution for customers

For the creation and management of an Ethernet connection with high bandwidth and low latency as well as good security and privacy, you want a system integrator such as Arcadiz. Relined Fiber Network works closely with these parties. For example, in the case described below. The customer was looking for a reliable, fast connection to be used for the provision of several services. A connection offering high bandwidth, low latency and a high degree of security through encryption. Dark Fiber is a highly appropriate choice for this as this gives the customer its own fibre-optic connection, managed completely in house and fulfilling all requirements.

Arcadiz and Relined acted together to achieve this. Throughout the design process – from creating the fire-optic connection to the final set-up – the two companies continuously operated in tandem. All with the common aim of jointly finding the best solution for the customer.

A system integrator which wants to offer its customers a complete service has to be able to trust his suppliers. Through the entire process – from design to implementation and management of broadband networks – the system integrator and its suppliers act to achieve the best solution for the end customer. For many years now, and for many customers, Relined has fulfilled this role for Arcadiz.

De Blaak – Rotterdam

Of all the streets in the Netherlands, de Blaak in Rotterdam could well be the one that most makes a ‘big city’ impression. From the Beurs metro station on the corner and the Coolsingel up to railway and metro station Blaak at least 500 metres away, the whole six-lane street is lined by tall office buildings belonging to banks, insurance companies and the like, as well as the Chamber of Commerce.

The same impression is made by the nearby square characterised by its cube homes, towering apartment complexes, even more offices, and of course the stunning Markthal building. However impressive, this is a concrete and steel environment. Not really suited to digging trenches for the laying of fibre-optic cables.

Tailor-made solutions

Nevertheless, this is what Arcadiz was asked to do by a customer needing a reliable, fast connection offering high bandwidth and low latency. Arcadiz is a network integrator with more than 20 years’ experience in the design, realisation, monitoring and maintenance of telecoms networks in the Benelux. Arcadiz builds tailor-made solutions for its customers, most of whom make high demands in terms of bandwidth and security.

Our customers often have specific wishes – for example, encryption of data or database synchronisation between data centres”, says Walther van Oorschot, key account manager with Arcadiz. “So our customers need a dedicated network all of their own. We rent these from partners such as Relined, in order to create a tailor-made solution for our customers.”

Arcadiz creates these solutions mainly for large, international businesses and organisations such as banks, pharmaceutical companies, telecom providers and universities, who place great emphasis on high bandwidth, low latency and geo-redundancy. And reliability: “They expect five or six 9s in terms of availability: that means an uptime of 99.9999 percent. Which means we have to deliver high-quality equipment and fibre optics that are not susceptible to malfunction.

In addition, there is increasing demand for bandwidth – for example because more and more work is taking place in the cloud – and for Big Data, whether processed in a private cage in a data centre or not”, Van Oorschot continues. “The same applies to support for primary operating processes such as dealing and trading, which are also particularly time-critical.”

Rapid, secure action

This is the case for one of Arcadiz’s new customers – an international trading house operating in a very competitive market which has moved away from its parent company and now has its offices in one of those buildings on de Blaak in Rotterdam. Which means that it now has to provide all of its own resources, from a good Ethernet connection to connections to two data centres.

Generally speaking, customers choose Dark Fiber if they want their own, completely private network. This is related to security and flexibility. If you want to make use of several services, it’s easier if you have your own fibre, says Van Oorschot. "Dark Fiber is so highly suited to this because the customer gets its ‘own’ fibre-optic connection: a private connection that no one else can access. This guarantees high bandwidth, privacy and security".

This customer wanted to make use of encryption and Fiber Channel on the Dark Fiber: a special protocol for database synchronisation and replication, as well as several Ethernet connections with high bandwidth. Low latency was also important. In their competitive market, they want to be the first to buy the goods – and we’re talking about milliseconds. The connection also had to be redundant, running via two different routes, for even more reliability.”

Relined Fiber Network

Arcadiz chose Relined to supply the Dark Fiber.

Van Oorschot: Because we’ve had good experiences with the availability and security they provide, and because Relined has few disruptions to its network. Their fibre optics generally follow the railway lines, where digging is not favoured. When planned maintenance does take place, we are informed well in advance, so we can take measures and our customers can continue to make use of our services.”

Price is also important. Relined is not the cheapest or the most expensive, but has a good price/quality ratio. If you save money through cheap purchases, the savings are often lost during the operational phase. Finally, making agreements with Relined is easy. They keep their promises and communicate well.”

Van Oorschot drew up the design for the new network together with Relined. “Relined managed the entire project. Together with the end customer and a contractor, Relined carried out a site survey to find out how to realise the connection to the office. They then provided the Dark Fiber connection: what is the available infrastructure, how can we geographically separate the Dark Fiber? Relined also carried out the permits process.”

As the new customer had become autonomous and was relocating its data to two other data centres – a second data centre to provide extra certainty – a solution had to be found for this too.

First, together with Relined we looked at the data centres where Relined already had Dark Fiber. If you don’t have to dig, this saves a huge amount of time and money. Eventually, they recommended Bytesnet in Rotterdam and NorthC Datacenters in Delft to the customer. This meant a good geographical distance, which is good for low latency, and the routes are completely separate both geographically and internally. We set up the new data centres in parallel, and then switched over service by service from the old data centre. We were able to temporarily make use of one of Relined’s connections between the new and the old data centres for this, meaning that we were able to migrate everything in phases.”

Redundancy

In order to guarantee that the customer would be connected to its new data centres at all times, Relined installed a connection from the head office on de Blaak to the data centre in Delft and the data centre in Rotterdam. Two geographically separate connections were realised between these two data centres. So there will still be a ring, irrespective of any part of the connection going down. This means that the connection between the data centres is assured at all times.

The collaboration

Three months after the Dark Fibre connection was made, Van Oorschot looks back with satisfaction.

“The whole migration to the data centre has been completed and our customer can use its new infrastructure to support its primary business processes. Thanks in part to the good cooperation with Relined, with whom we tackled the entire project. Keeping the lines of communication short and informing those involved in good time meant we were able to keep delays to a minimum, particularly during the challenging times brought about by Covid-19.”