Zenbox: hosting that is truly Zen thanks to Beyond.pl’s colocation services.

 

“We always wanted to be in the top league, so when selecting our data center partner we considered the companies from the very top of the list. Beyond.pl sets the best standards for maintaining IT infrastructure in Poland, be it in colocation or the cloud. If we want to compete with the biggest players, our advantage needs to come from partnering with the best – such as Beyond.pl.”

Bartosz Gadzimski
CEO Zenbox

Zenbox, which holds a permanent spot among Poland’s Top5 hosting providers is also one of Poland’s fastest-growing hosting companies. Zenbox offers cloud hosting services based on an efficient network infrastructure. The innovation of Zenbox services is primarily based on a “noiseless” service, a modular approach to cost settlement, and an intuitive customer panel. 80% of Zenbox’s customer base consists of B2B customers such as small businesses, provincial city governments, and e-commerce stores. Zenbox prides itself on its reliability, professional and friendly customer service, and superior user experience. Zenbox has ambitions to move into the top three shared hosting providers for medium and large enterprises in the next few years

 

 

Hosting is an industry for the disciplined

The Polish shared hosting market, the most popular hosting service type, is mature and demanding. Competition exerts price pressure and customers expect concurrently reliable and high-quality services. Although the market is growing at about 10% per year, Zenbox is growing twice as fast.

As a hosting company, Zenbox provides access to server resources, which are the primary component of the offer, coupled with value-added services. The company currently provides its services via approximately 50 servers, each with about 1,000-2,000 email accounts, which translates into nearly 100,000 accounts in total.

Hosting is quite a demanding service. The customer expects the service to be ‘cheap, good, and pleasant,’ and even a microscopic breakdown and interruption in services creates a negative reaction from customers. Being responsible for 100,000 accounts, we are no longer a company that is forgiven when something stops working,” explains Mariusz Sitarz, Chief Technical Officer at Zenbox.

From the start in 2012, Zenbox took a specific interest to ensure the highest levels of security and availability of its IT infrastructure while concurrently looking for optimal models for its physical hosting and maintenance. The company also took a conscious decision, in the beginning, to outsource infrastructure hosting and maintenance services to an external partner.

Initially, the company opted for Oktawave’s public cloud. Later Zenbox decided to migrate its systems and leased servers to two data centers located in Warsaw, Poland.

However, as Zenbox’s requirements for infrastructure services grew from year to year, problems arose as suppliers were unable to keep up with their increasing demands. Specifically, they were unable to provide sufficiently efficient equipment and maintain the required quality in relation to service delivery. Unfortunately, this also started to have a negative impact on the quality of Zenbox’s hosting services. Among others, critical was the assurance of an appropriate level of operation of servers, the protection against minor hacking attacks, the provision of backup services, and the maintenance of an adequate service quality level and technical support by the supplier.

Each car has four tires and a steering wheel, but manufacturers from the automotive industry offer a different user experience, service and maintenance support, and level of safety. The same goes for data centers. It is not enough to just place equipment into the hands of an external supplier. It’s the service level and technical expertise that makes the difference,” notes Kamil Niemira, sales and marketing director at Zenbox.

 

 

From the cloud to traditional colocation

Zenbox took a strategic investment decision to move to Beyond.pl in August 2014. The company took a conscious decision when selecting Beyond.pl’s world-class data center facility with top-rated security standards from which to provide its clients with the finest quality of hosting services.  Zenbox initially chose Beyond.pl’s proprietary e24cloud public cloud physically hosted in its data center, and later expanded the service with a hybrid solution prepared and maintained by Beyond.pl in its data centers in Poznan, Poland. The hybrid solution combined the advantages of the e24cloud public cloud and private cloud hosted on dedicated infrastructure.

We talked to many partners from the domestic and international markets. After many months of negotiations, the vision of deploying a dedicated environment at Beyond.pl turned out to be the best. Moving to Beyond.pl was a key driver supporting our business development strategy, with the emphasis placed on security, allowing us to in turn ensure the highest level of availability of our services, and finally peace of mind, i.e., the state of zen,” notes Bartosz Gadzimski, CEO of Zenbox.

 

Smart collocation

The crucial moment for the development of Zenbox’s solution came in June 2019 when the decision was taken to transition from thy hybrid private cloud on dedicated infrastructure and e24cloud to a traditional colocation environment, rolled out in its entirety in Data Center 2. Zenbox commissioned most of the work related to the migration and installation of equipment to Beyond.pl. All equipment was handed over directly to Beyond.pl’s Smart Hands specialists, who carried out the installation and deployment of the solution without the requirement for Zenbox specialists to physically visit the site. Beyond.pl was responsible, among other things, for arranging the logistics related to the hardware, ensuring their security and insurance during transport, and finally their deployment and installation. Beyond.pl wholistically ensured the transport of the Infrastructure from an external location to Beyond.pl’s data center in Poznan, Poland, its deployment and configuration. Following deployment, Zenbox engaged Beyond.pl’s Smart Hands team to provide managed services including maintenance of the migrated infrastructure.

Zenobox is hence is provided with all-around 24/7/365 Smart Hands support. All necessary infrastructure services are carried out to ensure efficient system operations, e.g., connections services, maintenance of devices, and infrastructure configurations.

Zenbox backup processes are being carried out independent of the primary infrastructure. As recommended by best practices, duplicated infrastructure is maintained in a separate location from the primary one. According to the cross-backup model the duplicated data is maintained in  Beyond.pl’s infrastructure in Data Center 1 (in Poznan, Poland app 10km away from DC2).

“From its early days, Zenbox has adopted remote ways to operate, so ensuring highest quality Smart Hands services was crucial for us. Migrating servers to a data center is a complicated operation that needs a trusted partner. The process carried out by Beyond.pl ran very smoothly. Frankly speaking, Smart Hands took care of everything and we saw our infrastructure for the first time approximately 1.5 years after the colocation service was launched. This proves the top quality and professionalism of Beyond.pl,” emphasizes Bartosz Gadzimski, CEO of Zenbox.

Benefits in the Zen spirit

Today, in Data Center 2  of the Beyond.pl Poznan campus, Zenbox collocates 99% of its infrastructure. Almost 100 servers  ensure the availability of crucial hosting services: for production, service and e-commerce entities from all over Poland. The cooperation has flourished and allowing for the IT infrastructure to double in 6 years. Beyond.pl provides the necessary service level to meet Zenbox’s growth ambitions, in the context of the data center chamber, hardware configuration, and telecommunication network.

Since the launch of the collocation service, the majority of interactions between Zenbox and Beyond.pl focused on the installation of new equipment or scheduled maintenance works performed by Smart Hands experts and not troubleshooting events.

In low-budget data center providers, while encountering an issue, we would have to wait several hours or even days to have it verified and fixed. After switching to Beyond.pl, bugs have been completely eliminated. Having various experiences of cooperation with prior suppliers, we appreciate the high quality service and customer experience offered by a premium data center,” says Mariusz Sitarz, Chief Technical Officer at Zenbox.

Zenbox’s IT team also uses the “mBeyond.pl” service management panel on a daily basis, an online tool available free of charge to all customers. The solution allows the team to view services in real-time, to test their parameters, access current billing information, and, if necessary, quickly create new tasks in the system.

 

A hybrid model for efficiency and optimization

While becoming more and more specialized Zenbox went through a complete technological cycle relating to IT infrastructure – from the public cloud, provided via leased dedicated servers and the e24cloud cloud at Beyond.pl finally ending the journey with a hybrid model provided via collocation services with a private self-managed cloud. Each step was taken with the means to optimize costs on hardware infrastructure servers, switches, and concurrently software license fees. And even with small margins for improvement, a hosting service provider such as Beyond.pl can guarantee cost optimization.

Thanks to our cooperation, we managed to reduce the costs related to IT infrastructure by around 30%. Our cloud based on collocated equipment ensures high availability, and it costs us slightly more than rented dedicated servers. However today, we have 5-7 times more infrastructure than seven years ago. We have managed to keep our infrastructure expenses in check while increasing the quantum of  processed data several-fold,” notes Bartosz Gadzimski, CEO at Zenbox.

 

Partnership based on common values: security and the green energy mindset

Thanks to the infrastructure being housed in a premium-class data center, Zenbox can scale its range of services to thousands of clients without losing the highest security standards. The level of security is confirmed by Rated 4 certificate obtained by Beyond.pl from the American National Standards Institute TIA-942. Beyond.pl Data Center 2 is the first in the European Union and the only data centerin Central Europe with such certification. ANSI/TIA-942 Rated 4 standard guarantees the highest level of security, proving resistance to failures in Data Center 2 and confirming the level of service availability at 99.995%. The potential downtime is limited to 26 minutes per year, however no downtime was experienced by Beyond.pl since commissioning Data Center 2 in 2016. The Data Center is also provided with the highest level of power redundancy, cooling and professional managed services, including anti-DDoS protection. In the event of an attack, in case of high-bandwidth links malfunction, the traffic is verified and diversified so the services can work flawlessly. Zenbox, with clients from Poland and with ambitions to develop services in neighboring countries, appreciates Beyond.pl’s broad competencies in the area of ​​communication services. Access to multiple telecommunication operators, including Tier 1 players, EPIX – the independent Polish Internet Exchange access node in Data Center 2, and low data transfer times throughout Central Europe, allows Zenbox to provide hosting services at an optimal level and with minimal downtime risk.

In summary, we perceive stability and safety as a prerequisite . Connectivity in Beyond.pl is at a top-European level with access to Tier 1 carriers, and all the support tasks are carried out professionally and according to the schedule. Beyond.pl employs experts who know what they are doing,” comments Mariusz Sitarz, Chief Technical Officer at Zenbox.

Zenbox also shares with Beyond.pl a common need for sustainability: a factor commonly ignored in multi-tenant server rooms. This is an essential aspect for Zenbox, since the company committed to reduce its carbon footprint to provide green hosting services. Beyond.pl Data Center 2 is one of Poland’s most energy-efficient data processing facility, powered by 100% green energy, with optimal energy utilization reaching a PUE of 1.2.

In Zenbox, words are followed by actions; this is the DNA of our business. Our motto is ‘worry-free hosting,’ and we try to do everything possible to make it happen. When we say that we provide secure services, it is not a matter of words and software, but we are going one step further: we are heading with our infrastructure to the safest and greenest place in Poland,” sums up Kamil Niemira, Sales and Marketing Director at Zenbox.

High quality of colocation services:

  • Smart Hands proficient technical teams;
  • Infrastructure that meets the standards of the most up to date and most efficient infrastructure;
  • Readily available possibility to expand the scope of services;
  • Short time and safe implementation of hardware migration to a new data center?;
  • PUE up to 1.2 enabling optimization of energy costs related to the colocation of IT infrastructure;

 

 

Security and business continuity:

  • the highest security standard as the only Central European data center with the ANSI 4/TIA 942 Rated 4 certification;
  • contract binding guarantee of response and recovery time;
  • wide range of connectivity services – redundant communication, low-latency in Poland and Europe, carrier neutrality.

 

Services provided by Beyond.pl to Zenbox:

  • e24cloud public cloud;
  • Dedicated infrastructure;
  • Migration and onboarding of IT infrastructure to Data Center 2 Beyond.pl;
  • Colocation;
  • Backup as a service;
  • Managed services by the Smart Hands team.

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Products and solutions

Colocation

The highest security standard and business continuity for your colocated equipment.

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e24 cloud

First public cloud in Poland. Unlimited flexibility and control of your instances. Run any number of virtual machines in just a seconds only when you need larger compute capacity.

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IT administration

Expert administration and configuration for your IT environment.

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Backup

Protect your data in the most secure Data Center in Central Europe

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