Felix Duivenvoorden

It’s not just about keeping operations running; it's about shaping the future of connectivity

Who is NL-ix?

Behind the world of the Internet, behind the world of fibers, protocols, peers and terabytes, are actual people making it all work. But who are these people? In other words: Who is NL-ix?

Today: 🤝 Felix Duivenvoorden, Senior Network Engineer

I'm Felix, a 36-year-old Senior Network Engineer at NL-ix, living in the Bollenstreek area with my partner and our nearly five-year-old daughter. Outside of work, my hobbies are as Dutch as it can get: being on my bike, or ice skating. But in a way, my work is a passion as well.

I’ve been intrigued with technology ever since I was a kid. I used to spend hours dismantling old radios and TVs, with a big curiosity about how it all worked. Turns out, that was just the beginning of my journey in the tech world.

Felix Duivenvoorden

I started my career right after I completed my studies. I began working as a consultant in a small IT company in my town, handling office automation and networking for local businesses. Back then, and it wasn’t even too long ago, that still meant going to companies for face-to-face meetings. That introduced me to diverse technological environments and client needs, which I think helped shape my understanding of the multifaceted nature of technology. In a way, it’s not just about technology. It’s all tied in with the business side of things as well, and the people working in them.

Around 2013, my career took a significant turn when I stepped into the ISP realm. Working for different service providers, I specialised even more in network engineering. This eventually led me to NL-ix, where I now play a crucial role in connecting the world. 

I view the Internet as an indispensable tool, both personally and professionally. It's fascinating to contribute significantly to making the Internet accessible and versatile for our clients.

As a Senior Network Engineer at NL-ix, I'm part of a small team of five, but we’re responsible for a wide range of operational tasks, network design, and development. We’re always collaborating closely with other teams, and together we’re creating operational stability and security, which is vital for the smooth running of NL-ix's services – and of our client’s operations.

Working for NL-ix is a unique and fulfilling experience, and pretty different from working for large service providers. In our small, specialised teams, everyone carries a substantial responsibility, which really fosters an environment where independent and expert-focused work is the norm. 

People at NL-ix really take pride in their work, and accountability is a big thing here. Because we’re not that big in terms of the number of people, it’s easier to see the impact you make.

It’s not just about keeping operations running; it's about shaping the future of connectivity

Felix Duivenvoorden

Another thing that I appreciate about NL-ix is that we’re always embracing new technologies, which is a topic that is more relevant than ever with AI entering the stage. We're open to experimenting with new techniques and innovations, even if they're still in the early stages of development. For now, AI serves as a helpful tool in various aspects of our work, and I'm excited about its future potential. The way we're integrating AI into our processes is just the beginning. It's thrilling to think about how these technologies will evolve and what role they will play in our operations down the line.

In the past year, I worked on building the new Core Network, a project that involved selecting a new vendor and entailed a myriad of challenges, including extensive testing, migrating systems, and crafting new designs. I played a significant role in each of these aspects. Now, after a year, the network has been running smoothly and steadily. 

With the construction of the new Core Network, the NL-ix datacenters and customers are directly connected to the core, meaning that traffic, or Transport, between the locations and customers, often remains local or takes a shorter route. In the new design, we also use higher bandwidths and speeds, which reduces latency and therefore gives the customer a better experience.

It's not just a technical success but also a cross-disciplinary achievement involving marketing and other departments. Working on this project has been exciting and seeing it work out well brings me and the rest of the team immense satisfaction, especially as it's not entirely behind the scenes. Seeing our work receive some publicity and recognition has been great.

In my years as a network engineer, I've found that blending personal passion with professional aspirations creates a rewarding and impactful career. Our role in network engineering is not just about keeping the operations running; it's about shaping the future of internet connectivity. At NL-ix, I'm more than just an engineer; I'm a vital part of a team that's driving the digital world forward.