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2018-10-16

About eggs and baskets: the importance of agility in your network interconnection strategy

2018-10-16

The market for “interconnection services” is booming as various businesses are realizing the potential of “digital transformation”, “connected enterprises”, “hybrid hosting” and “edge computing”. So, what’s the best (network) interconnection strategy to ensure you can enable the technology for you and your customers, while still being responsive to changing market dynamics and user requirements? In […]

2018-10-08

Carving out my supply chain career path

2018-10-08

I wrote this blog post to share my development story so far, which has involved working in two very different but equally enjoyable roles. What’s been great for me is that I’ve ended up in a position which I never envisioned when I joined, and Leaseweb has really supported my change in direction. I now […]

2018-09-26

Leaseweb Service Status: Improving our communication on maintenance and incidents

2018-09-26

At Leaseweb, we are constantly striving to provide better service for our customers. We regularly reach out to our customers to understand what we do well and where we can improve. A recent survey informed us that our communication about planned maintenance and incidents could be improved. The results of the survey drove us to […]

2018-08-29

Looking back at the Leaseweb Texel Airshow 2018

2018-08-29

Thanks to everybody for making this year’s Leaseweb Texel Airshow a success, we really enjoyed having you and hoped you had as much fun as we did. For all those who missed it, we have created this fantastic after movie to try and encompass the excitement of the day! Every three years, Leaseweb sponsors the […]

2018-07-31

Intel Scalable Skylake processors – How do they really perform?

2018-07-31

Leaseweb is now offering Intel’s latest range of processors, named Intel Scalable (sometimes referred to as Skylake). As with any new release from leading hardware companies, many customers are asking us whether these new processors are worth the hype. Probably the most prescient feature is the improved hardware security. The Meltdown and Spectre flaws highlighted […]
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2018-07-16

MarTech Can Be a Marketer’s Best Friend If They Have the Infrastructure to Back It Up

2018-07-16

In a relatively short time, marketing technology (MarTech) has gone from being a small niche to a pillar of the modern marketing industry. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the pace at which technology has infiltrated our everyday lives. In the same way that most marketers have embraced smartphone technology, MarTech has exciting potential […]
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2018-06-11

Leaseweb Hosts “Fintech Talks” Event in Estonia

2018-06-11

https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/06/Twino230518-131-768x512.jpg 768w, https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/06/Twino230518-131-1024x683.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 450px) 100vw, 450px" />The Latitude59 tech conference was held in late May for the 11th straight year, featuring almost 100 speakers from 20 different countries around the globe. Topics ranged from “The Future of Cybersecurity” to “The Future of Sustainable Food,” and, new for this year, Leaseweb partnered with online investment platform TWINO to host the “Fintech Talks” event.
Latitude59 is Estonia’s largest annual tech conference, and during its most recent iteration, 13 different topics were addressed by the speakers. Priit Salumaa, co-founder of Latitude59, moderated the discussion, while the panel included thought leaders such as Roberts Lasovskis, TWINO’s P2P platform lead, Kristjan Kangro, CEO and founder at Change, and Joyce Y. Shen, venture capitalist at Tenfore Holdings and data science professor at Berkeley.
Shen’s address, in particular, covered the intersection of commerce and big data that characterizes the world of fintech, in addition to opportunities in the burgeoning fintech industry that are waiting to be filled by the next generation of startups.
A Focus on Fintech
These opportunities are emerging largely thanks to the next generation of customers. Young people have vastly different conceptions about banking than their parents’ generations, and recent developments in mobile banking technology mean that many Millennials or Gen Zers have quite possibly never been to a physical bank. Instead, they view finances through the medium of their smartphone or computer, with banking apps and other online payment options such as Paypal and Venmo.
Younger people are also growing up with different investing options, and part of the “Fintech Talks” discussion included the necessity of transparency of returns and the importance of vesting potential investment partners. For every legitimate financial institution out there, there are a host of scammers waiting to pounce. Doing due diligence before investing is extremely important for determining good investments from bad ones, and the changing face of investments makes telling the difference especially difficult.
As banks look to remain competitive and secure, they’ve begun to partner with much younger fintech firms. Tech-forward startups enable banks to revamp how they offer financial services to today’s customers, and the smaller size of these startups means they’re incredibly agile and focused.
Fintech Meets the Cloud
Fintech companies have also started embracing the cloud in order to be more agile. Cloud services allow businesses to scale capacity up or down quickly in order to react to customer demand in real time, which can also be cost efficient when you pay only for what you use.
The cloud also allows fintech companies to compete with larger (and older) financial institutions that may have more experience in the banking industry but can’t react to changing customer demands as quickly because they’re tied down by legacy IT systems. Integrating cloud technology can help smaller companies compete with the big names, as well as help larger institutions keep up with what their customers want.
No one knows for sure where fintech is going and what impact it will have, but it’s a safe assumption that this convergence of the technology and financial sectors will continue to play an increasingly important role. As fintech companies emerge to provide safe, secure, and seamless solutions for their customers, the ones that can do so the most efficiently and effectively will be the ones that rise to the top.
The post Leaseweb Hosts “Fintech Talks” Event in Estonia appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2018-06-01

New Trend in Cloud and Dedicated Server Hosting

2018-06-01

https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/06/iStock-828938138-768x512.jpg 768w, https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/06/iStock-828938138-1024x683.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 350px) 100vw, 350px" />Leaseweb is currently seeing a change in the kind of orders we receive. While there is still a growing demand for cloud hosting, we are also noticing an increased demand for dedicated servers. The likely reason for this trend is that more and more highly specialized Tech companies (most of them active in the SaaS, MarTech/FinTech or gaming industries), would like to have more control over their infrastructure, cost and performance.
For the purposes of this blog post, I will use the term “cloud” to mean a virtualized environment with additional features. HyperScalers, for example, offer these kind of platforms. When I talk about dedicated servers, it means completely automated delivered servers or physical servers in highly customized setups with NVMe’s, GPU cards or 10GE+ uplinks, for example. In many cases, the total environment of the customers asking for this sort of specific hardware ends up in a hybrid cloud, as where the specific parts of the infrastructure (or the base load) ends up on dedicated server, and the commodity part in the cloud.
I believe that in the near future, commodity hosting will move more and more towards cloud environments to offer fair rates at acceptable performance levels with lots of flexibility in the contracts. Specifically, when there are many peaks in the load and you do not want to spend too much time on the maintenance of the environment, cloud will be the preferred solution. My guess is that this will be the case for at least 90% of the IT load worldwide. However, if you really need to pinch out the last CPU frequency or lowest latency, you might see your cloud bill raising to unacceptable levels, or you might even not be able to find your target performance. And exactly for that reason, we now see a growing demand for dedicated servers, with high specifications or very customized solutions. Although this is just a small amount of the requests we receive, it is starting to become a trend.
Dedicated servers instead of cloud will only be cost efficient if you have a certain critical mass of infrastructure, meaning that for most startups, this is not the preferred way of hosting. However, for infrastructure heavy scale-ups or more mature companies, moving parts of the infrastructure to dedicated boxes might be an interesting option to consider if you have at least two out of six possibilities listed here:
–          Your cloud bill is of a certain significance, meaning that you paying GBP 10K per month or more
–          Your application is in need of ultimate network performance, meaning that every added millisecond is one too many. Or you really need the lowest latency to almost all parts of the world, or to very specific locations where the current cloud providers are not able to deliver this
–          Your application needs very high CPU clock frequencies or very quick and predictable responses for the CPU
–          Your application needs tremendous amounts of RAM, to deliver the performance you need. This is valid for example in cases where you have a big Databases running in memory
–          Your application needs extreme fast disk access, or you want to move RAM towards NVMe disks
–          Your application has a lot of base infrastructure, and does not need to peak (meaning that PAYG services won’t be of really value for you)
If you have at least a yes for two of the above six possibilities, it might be interesting to consider a move from cloud towards dedicated servers or probably even more interesting, to consider a hybrid cloud solution, in which your infrastructure is partly hosted in the cloud, partly on dedicated servers. Of course, this might mean more system administration, but with correct tooling, monitoring and maintenance this should not be of too much hassle. On top of that, I’ve now seen several cases where the cost improvement was between up to 60% of cost decrease, so spending a bit more time om server management might still be a valid argument to consider. Leaseweb looks forward to the future to see how this will further develop!
The post New Trend in Cloud and Dedicated Server Hosting appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2018-05-24

Why Open Source Platforms Are an Effective Tool for Businesses

2018-05-24

https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-843016322-768x512.jpg 768w, https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-843016322-1024x683.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />When it comes to developing tech tools or software, businesses have a few options. Companies may have a single person or company in charge of the tech, or they can develop it as part of open source. Thankfully, open source proves to be an excellent option for building and improving programs due to the innovative atmosphere it presents.
Collaboration is a major component of open source, as its very concept aims to provide experts across the globe with a reliable platform to build and develop innovative things. The idea behind the open source community is to build anything for shared purposes, which often yields a high degree of involvement and transparency. Open source platforms are also constantly evolving, and the diversity of thought from people all across the globe make them stronger and more robust.
Also, the open source community is not limited to only developers. Testers, end users, and tech writers find the plethora of tools endlessly rewarding. The mass collaboration efforts noted on open source has paved the way for companies across the world to band together in an effort to solve big problems.
 
How Leaseweb Is Utilizing Open Source
GitHub is the core location for building software, housing over 27 million users who have built and contributed to over 80 million projects. Leaseweb has currently developed 30 open source repositories and is continuing to develop and maintain more, which it will share with users while taking full advantage of the various tools available on the environment. As a company, Leaseweb actively contributes to open source knowledge, ensuring it is available for everyone’s use.
Apache CloudStack and Nginx are just a couple of the open source tools LeaseWeb uses and contributes to. CloudStack is a type of open source cloud computing software that uses hypervisors like VMware vSphere, VMware ESXi, VMware vCenter, XenServer/XCP, and KVM to manage, deploy, and create infrastructure cloud services.
Nginx, which was released under the terms of a BSD-like license, is another useful open-source software web server. This program is one that can be used as an HTTP cache, load balancer, or a reversed proxy. Not only is Nginx beneficial for Leaseweb, the company also announced that Leaseweb is its preferred infrastructure partner and a leading hosting provider.
 
Using Open Source to Strengthen Your Products
The open source platform can be extremely beneficial for IT professionals, especially when it comes to developing and strengthening new software and tech tools. There are a few things to keep in mind, though, as you begin using open source platforms:
1. Make Sure You Have the Right License
Before beginning, it’s imperative to verify you have the proper open source license. Apache, GNU GPL, and MIT offer various categories of licenses, so be sure to preview guidelines and other information on licenses before implementing repositories of your own.
2. Consider the Costs Involved
Although open source is typically free, there are some exceptions that can be found on the platform. It is important to consider some of the possible expenses and drawbacks for software. Be sure to make sure the software is free before downloading it, and also consider the hidden costs associated with learning how to use the program, installing it, setting it up, running it, and maintaining updates. Also be sure to consider potential problems with implementation, administration, and support for repositories over time.
3. Create an Implementation Plan
Finally, develop a sound plan for adoption. Whether your company is moving steadily ahead with implementation or you have strict guidelines to follow, it’s important to map out your requirements ahead of time. Clearly state what is needed as far as visible trade-offs, the desired level of support, or the process of requesting proposals. Reconsider the decision-making process in order to ensure no stone is left unturned.
Leaseweb and other professionals across the globe are taking full advantage of open source platforms to share and improve their products. One of the key benefits is that it is truly an ecosystem of innovators. There is no longer a primary focus on competition, but rather a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to work with others in order to develop new resources and opportunities. Open source is a platform for innovation, providing endless opportunities for individuals and businesses alike.
The post Why Open Source Platforms Are an Effective Tool for Businesses appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2018-05-17

How the Cloud Can Help the FinTech Industry Thrive

2018-05-17

https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-636088300-768x512.jpg 768w, https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-636088300-1024x683.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />Over the past ten years, we have witnessed a major e-commerce boom. This thriving industry created the need for ecosystem relationship management, or ERM, boosting a healthy ecosystem of start-up tech suppliers to serve several industries with online transactions.
Financial technology, or FinTech for short, is what makes these types of financial services possible online. Services like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and PayPal allow customers to securely use credit cards to make online purchases, and FinTech services help companies better manage financial transactions as well as broad financial aspects of their business.
With the FinTech industry growing every day, there is a pressing need for secure and reliable hosting service providers. Cloud hosting makes this possible by being available for FinTech companies to ensure protected and instant transactions for every customer.
 
Choosing the Appropriate Hosting Option
It is neither a secret nor a surprise that the financial services industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world. Early on, a lot of companies were reluctant to choose third-party providers or transition to the cloud primarily because of the unique traits each company presents in terms of its hosting needs.
The stringent regulations placed upon the industry by the Financial Conduct Authority were also once a prime barrier for FinTech companies, although now the FCA encourages firms to take advantage of clouds and the beneficial opportunities they provide.
There are strict requirements for compliance these companies must meet simply because the industry is a prime target for cyberattacks and hackers. FinTech companies need to make sure their data is well protected by implementing infrastructures that are compliant and work by securing their data on a 24-hour basis.
This industry deals with extremely sensitive information, and a breach could be devastating to customers around the world. The adoption of cloud hosting enables FinTech companies across the globe to develop guidelines that reassure customers that these companies are secure and compliant, thanks to improved cloud migration. Also, outsourcing infrastructure security and compliance to your cloud hosting provider can save you time and money by leaving you more time to focus on security at the application level.
 
How Clouds Benefit FinTech Businesses
Using cloud technology for your FinTech business can pay off because clouds often boast few security risks, increased agility, and the ability to increase your speed to market significantly. In fact, 22 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses say that using the cloud in some capacity has given them a competitive edge, according to a survey from the Cloud Industry Forum, and 25 percent say it has provided greater flexibility to adapt to changing marketing conditions.
Although security concerns still exist, as with any hosting infrastructure, there is more confidence placed on hosted services and solutions now more than ever before. Also, once your company begins to grow, it may be beneficial to combine cloud hosting with more traditional infrastructure to increase your margins and optimization.
The FinTech industry is a dynamic field that is quickly shifting toward cloud and open environments. On top of the speed-to-market factor, cloud computing technologies also offer endless amounts of virtual computing power and unlimited storage space. There are no major upfront investments, and you only pay for what you use. Additionally, the freedom and ability to scale up or down as needed ensures your company meets every level of demand.
FinTech companies deal with e-commerce and payment transactions, typically with an end-user or consumer on the other side of the transaction. This means that speed of processing, latency, and dependable infrastructure is important for customer satisfaction. Forty-seven percent of internet users expect a website to load within two seconds, according to a survey from Kissmetrics, and 40 percent will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Using an infrastructure that is global, scalable, and delivers lowest possible latency has a big impact on the quality of the service.
Cloud-born businesses are able to expand greatly by utilizing services that scale up and down as their product offerings increase. Having a near-instant response time for scaling also enables startups to compete with larger financial organizations that are often tied down with regulatory requirements and in-house legacy IT systems. Also, the ability to control that scalability is important. That means that finding a hosting/cloud company that gives you the API infrastructure to be able to automatically scale up and down is critical. Many of the large cloud hosts provide this for virtual infrastructure, but not many do on bare metal or dedicated infrastructure. That makes a hosting provider that can provide the combination of the two very valuable.
Cloud computing offers great advancement opportunities for companies in the FinTech industry or entrepreneurs interested in diving into the field. The scalability, security, and costs of combining cloud and traditional infrastructures are reason enough to choose a hybrid-style setup to get started or expand your business.
The post How the Cloud Can Help the FinTech Industry Thrive appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.