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Nitrado improves network quality even further
Together with Nitrado we’re keeping online gaming on target. Multiplayer online gaming is a fast-moving market that has seen rapid growth in recent years, with open world games such as Minecraft, ARK and DayZ ramping up the demand for computing and storage capacity. As a leading provider of gaming server hosting with more than 20 years of professional experience in this arena, Nitrado has been there to see the market flourish over time. In a bid to enhance their business and expand, the company was looking for a reliable partner to provide high-quality IP transit at a worldwide scale and on-the-go support for any issues, thereby aiding Nitrado’s own growth and solidifying their strengths as a global games server. This came in the shape of NTT, and we began working with Nitrado in 2018. Apart from offering strong connectivity to eyeball networks, we’re also providing Nitrado with our VLink virtual transport and DDoS protection services. As a package, these services aim to help the hosting provider fulfill their goals in a secure way.
Nitrado, owned by marbis GmbH, is a leading global provider of gaming servers and application hosting that was founded in 2001. The company provides infrastructure and expertise that aims to turn games into amazing multiplayer experiences, and partners with games studios and publishers. With headquarters in Karlsruhe, Germany, the company has 80 employees and more than 6,000 servers worldwide.
Great gaming, uninterrupted
Nitrado is set on providing uninterrupted gaming to give players a first-rate experience.
"Gamers are probably the most demanding customers", said Marcel Bößendörfer, CEO at marbis GmbH. "Every millisecond counts. For gamers, latency is super-important. Imagine you’re in a fight in-game and there’s slack or something that is disrupting gameplay, this is something they don’t like."
The company views a quality experience as being based around maximizing three key components: power, internet and server hardware. While having their own solutions in these areas, Nitrado was seeking a partner that could also grow around these central aspects, ensure proximity to eyeball networks, and build up and bolster its backbone in their main focus markets of North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Meanwhile, in a gaming world that faces continuous DDoS attacks, the company has developed their own customized DDoS solution, SteelShield. At the same time, the risk of high-volume attacks is always on the rise in line with the increasing bandwidth of home connections.
To provide a flexible solution with different levels of protection, Nitrado was seeking a service to play an additional complementary role to their existing solution, helping to mitigate well-known attacks before they even hit their infrastructure, and allowing them to focus their own efforts on offering a bulletproof solution at Layer 7 level.
"The quality of support is really good. When you talk to someone at NTT, you really see how responsive and knowledgeable the engineers in the NOC are. They know what they are doing."
A cross-section of services for reliable, secure gaming
We were selected as the partner of choice for our ability to aid with Nitrado’s business expansion strategies and provide several services that aligned with their goals. The partnership leverages a cross-section of products across the range offered by us via our Global IP Network, helping the client benefit from a robust, joined-up service.
After first linking up Nitrado to a location in Frankfurt with a single IP transit port, the relationship has expanded rapidly on the global scale, with connections added in the couple of years since in London, Los Angeles, New York and Miami, followed by Singapore and Sydney, and upgrades carried out in most places to 100G. The next location is planned in Tokyo.
Nitrado uses our VLink product, a virtual transport service that merges the flexibility and scalability of Layer 3 technology with the dynamic traffic paths and management capabilities of Layer 2. This helps increase the capacity that Nitrado has available.
We have meanwhile, delivered a mesh solution connecting Nitrado’s three locations in the US as well as Sydney. This further improves latency and provides a better experience for seamless gameplay, helping underpin Nitrado’s status as a high-quality hosting company.
In addition, Nitrado has adopted our DPS Control product to complement their own SteelShield DDoS protection service by offering an extra layer of support on top. Via this, the game server company provides access control lists (ACLs) to block the network from certain types of traffic.
Last, but certainly not least, by partnering with us, Nitrado gains access to an experienced Network Security Team and Global Network Operations Center (NOC), allowing the company to access continuous support whenever needed, to experts with the right know-how.
"This is a great example of a partnership that is grounded in trust, teamwork and mutual success," said Jon Reeson, Sales Director, Europe for the Global IP Network division at NTT. "Nitrado, being an agile player in the gaming industry, was aiming to partner up with a Tier-1 IP transit provider that offers a rare combination of high-quality network, comprehensive set of BGP communities and award-winning customer service, and we were able to offer that."
"Every millisecond counts. For gamers, latency is super important."
Complementary services with first-class support
The continued relationship and rapid expansion with NTT are testament to the benefits that Nitrado has gained from using the range of services offered by the Global IP Network, helping the company to scale and grow on global markets, while achieving their aim of building long-term relationships with partners.
The low latency and stable connections that have been bolstered under the partnership have helped align with one of Nitrado’s central goals – which is, at the end of the day, to provide a great gaming experience. Bößendörfer said the partnership has further acted as a gateway for his company to high-quality peering connections, as well as DDoS services that work effectively alongside Nitrado’s own solutions. Through these, we've been able to filter out high-volume attacks before they hit the network, while allowing Nitrado to focus on their own SteelShield DDoS service.
On top of that, Bößendörfer has been impressed by the quality of support from NTT, with access to the NOC and our engineering experts meaning a quick route to people in the know who can address any issues, and no need to battle through first-level support. By having great access to our teams, the partnership has also built over time and achieved more of a consultative nature rather than the traditional buyer-seller relationship.
"The quality of support is really good," said Bößendörfer. "When you talk to someone at NTT, you really see how responsive and knowledgeable the engineers in the NOC are. They know what they are doing."