G-Core Labs, a global CDN technology company and provider of cloud and edge solutions, is expanding its number of hosting and CDN PoPs continuously. HostingJournalist.com sat down with G-Core-Labs’ Vice President Products, Dmitry Samoshkin, for an interview about edge computing, peering, network PoP targets, business considerations and ambitions, as well as his personal view of the market.
“Indeed, G-Core Labs is consistently developing its global network infrastructure. In total, G-Core now has more than 100 Points-of-Presence in Tier IV and Tier III data centers spread across 65 cities around the world, from Los Angeles and Buenos Aires to London, Moscow, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Sydney. At the moment, we have points of presence on all continents, and our CDN performance indicators in Europe and the CIS are one of the best, according to the Citrix analytical system. In addition to content delivery services based on our network, we also offer high-quality hosting, a public cloud, and cloud storage.”
“Our goal is to provide the best network coverage possible worldwide with minimum delay and maximum reliability. We’re working on about 100 projects for new points of presence. Over the next two years, we should open at least 20 additional locations of our infrastructure.”
From a technical perspective, what type of hosting, CDN architecture and PoPs do you aim for?
“At the heart of our network infrastructure lies the edge paradigm. Following it, we strive to open Points-of-Presence for CDNs, hosting, cloud, and storage as close to end customers and audiences as possible to ensure minimum response time and high reliability of service.”
“Edge computing is the future of cloud services. How did Internet providers and the corporate sector work before? They installed 200 – 300 servers in one big data center in Frankfurt, and everyone was happy. Today, for your services to be in demand, you need to have 20 data center locations across Europe with 20 servers in each one.”
“If needed, we can easily scale up our server capacity. For example, in Brazil, we started with 3 -5 servers. We wanted to see the demand and assess the market. That experiment turned out to be successful and our services were in great demand. Now, the location in Rio de Janeiro consists of 5+ server racks. (Ed. note: each rack has 30 – 40 servers.) Recently, we boosted the Latin America region significantly by launching Points-of-Presence in Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela.”
How important is peering for the quality of G-Core Labs’ global network?
“Peering with major telecom operators is very important for any cloud provider since it helps deliver the proper quality of network services. Currently, G-Core Labs has more than 5,000 peering partners around the world, including Comcast, NTT Group, Rostelecom, Telia Company, Turkcell, PCCW Global and many others. We choose the leading Internet providers in each region and link up with them in the largest traffic exchange points.”
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Security and latency, how are these two factors embedded in your network architecture and client proposition?
“Like I said, our network is based on the edge paradigm of placing server infrastructure, and this is what allows us to stay in the leading global positions in response speed. As for protection, we also rely on edge technology.”
“To filter network traffic and counter DDoS attacks, a number of our competitors have scrubbing centers that consist of only a few points. Roughly speaking, maybe one point on each continent.
We try to place separate equipment in several countries at once in regions of presence (for example, Europe or Asia), as well as in different cities of large countries like the USA and Russia. All servers used to operate CDNs, hosting, cloud, and storage are reliably protected from cyberattacks of any complexity and volume thanks to unique G-Core Labs technology based on intelligent, real-time filtering of incoming traffic”
G-Core Labs was founded in 2011 as a network provider. In 2016, you’ve added CDN services and hosting services, including dedicated servers and virtual servers, to your portfolio. Why exactly at this moment and why not from the start?
“During the initial years, G-Core Labs was developing its network infrastructure for a number of large clients. By 2016, we had accumulated great experience and expertise while building a global network with one of the best response times on the market. That’s when we decided to scale up our business and launch our first multi-purpose product – a CDN and hosting service – with user-friendly personal account, comfortable rates and quality tech support.”
From 2017 onwards, G-Core Labs has launched various other solutions including DDoS protection, cloud storage, a video broadcasting platform, as well as a cloud platform. Can you explain how these solutions fit your long-term product strategy and what other products we can expect from G-Core Labs in the near future?
“It’s simple. G-Core Labs can offer any online business a cloud service system built as a one-stop solution that meets the entire range of the company’s Net-related work requirements.
Today, any company operating on the Internet needs high-quality hosting; a website that loads in a fraction of a second; the capability to scale up their IT infrastructure in a few clicks when traffic increases; tools allowing them to quickly and inexpensively set up Internet streaming of video content; reliable and safe data storage; and an effective system of countermeasures against unscrupulous competitors and scammers that launch DDoS attacks or steal client data.”
“We are meeting this challenge by offering an international content delivery system ready for any traffic load and integrated with cloud object data storage and an advanced media platform for OTT live streaming and video-on-demand delivery. We also provide dedicated and virtual servers located on all continents, a full-scale cloud infrastructure based on IaaS and PaaS models, and highly effective protection against DDoS attacks and fraudulent activities.”
“Recently, we launched Meet, a multi-purpose video call service for businesses with free plans, and we’re getting ready to present our DNS service soon.”
You’ve built your content delivery network on Arista hardware. Can you share with us why specifically Arista? And why a single-vendor network?
“It’s true that we use the Arista hardware for our network, but that’s because it meets our requirements for quality and price. We also work with other vendors as well, including Cisco and NetBox.”
There are quite many CDN players globally, and also quite many hosting providers with CDN offerings. What makes G-Core Labs different and what is the driving force behind your market successes?
“G-Core Labs is one of the top-10 global CDN and hosting providers, according to a variety of ratings and research agencies. Our main competitive advantages are our own secure global network with one of the best response times on the market, premium technical support working 24/7 and the readiness to deeply customize upon customer request.”
G-Core Labs now employs around 250 people, right. What helped you cope with the difficulties of growth from SMB-level to a midsized company?
“We’re closing in on 300 full-time employees all over the world, and this growth has happened only in the last two years. What allows us to scale quickly is established effective internal processes and automation in all aspects, wherever possible. At the same time, we still use the startup approach, thereby retaining flexibility both in relations within the company and in responding to customer requests.”
“It’s also worth noting that for a long time, long before the pandemic, G-Core Labs had been practicing a distributed work format where members of the same team can work from Amsterdam, Munich, Moscow and Melbourne. We’ve been successful in finding the best specialists from around the world and integrating them into our work processes.”
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G-Core Labs’ CDN network has a global reach. What network/traffic impact do you notice, if any, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis?
“Undoubtedly, during mass self-isolation this spring, people around the world spent more time than usual on various media and entertainment resources, while also actively making purchases online. In March – May 2020, in comparison with the same period last year, we recorded an increase in customer traffic in the video game industry by an average of 50%, and in media companies by 20% and more. Every day during this period was actually like a day-off from the traffic point-of-view, even though there is normally a decline during spring and summer.”
What will the COVID-19 crisis mean for G-Core Labs’ future business?
“The coronavirus is a temporary phenomenon, but the trend for further digitalization will stable. We’ll continue to observe a shift in consumer behavior and habits towards digital products and services, and, accordingly, the load on our infrastructure will increase. The branches of telemedicine, online retail, and digital education will actively develop, as well as services for organizing online meetings, virtual reality, and augmented reality. It’s noteworthy that today we can already see fairly new phenomena of public life, such as online bars where people who are forced to isolate gather for virtual meetings with friends to discuss daily news over a drink. Even live streams of family celebrations, weddings and funerals are held.”
About Dmitry Samoshkin
Dmitry Samoshkin is Vice President Products at G-Core Labs.
To learn more about G-Core Labs, visit: https://gcorelabs.com.