Celebrating Solvinity NL-ix and NL-ix's 20-year partnership in the industry

March 2024

A small party with cake was held to celebrate Solvinity and NL-ix's 20-year partnership in the industry, which is no small achievement. While enjoying coffee and cake, memories of collaboration over the past two decades were reminisced upon.

Twenty years ago, things were vastly different. One anecdote that popped up: Solvinity utilised a network of radio links for some local customers. This worked well for quite some time, until one day traffic started dropping periodically. As it turned out construction started nearby: Every time the crane they used was turned in a certain direction, the beam was blocked, causing the connection to drop.

Moving away from the anecdotes: "I don't recall how we initially got into contact with NL-ix, but at the time, our customers indicated that they wished to peer with a variety of Dutch ISP’s” recalls Patrick, Solvinity's Lead Engineer in Network Infrastructure. 'And we thought well... that's all nice, but it takes quite a bit of time, you have to maintain everything and it needs to be redundant too. But then NL-ix came along, and our customers could suddenly peer with everyone, so that solved a major problem for us.”


As time passed, DDoS became a more pressing issue, prompting Solvinity to seek solutions. NL-ix once again proved valuable. "We were particularly fond of NL-ix's approach of separating traffic, dedicating separate physical interfaces for Dutch-only traffic" remarked Marc, who was a Network Architect at the time and is now the CTO at Solvinity. “This enabled us to handle traffic differently, creating flexibility and limiting the impact of a DdoS.”

Solvinity provides “Secure Managed Cloud” services primarily for Dutch-based companies. Solvinity therefore has to deal with a lot of traffic. That is why it is very important for Solvinity to have good connections, especially to 'the rest of the Netherlands', such as KPN and Ziggo. The ability to segregate Dutch traffic from other traffic has therefore proven to be very valuable for Solvinity.

NL-ix offers us the opportunity to send traffic with different VLANs and with different BGP communities without the hassle of managing prefix lists.

Marc Guardiola Radersma - CTO @ Solvinity

Bandwidth has increased significantly over the years, but what Solvinity notices is that the Internet is truly an elusive thing for many companies. And that's where Solvinity helps and assists in navigating this complexity: Often more is possible than expected. Solvinity divides the traffic into different segments, for example traffic from the Netherlands, traffic from the EU and traffic from the rest of the world. “If there is a DDoS attack somewhere, we will handle some traffic differently, but applications will remain accessible to our customers.”

Solvinity doesn't manage individual BGP sessions and BGP management, but uses NL-ix for this aspect: NL-ix offers Solvinity the ability to steer traffic using different physical connections, VLAN’s and BGP communities, supplemented with configuration options like ‘prepend’, ‘more specific’ and ‘less specific’, without the hassle of managing prefix lists.

“Ideally speaking, you would prefer to do that even more granularly: There is an increasing demand for 'quality peering', where traffic priority can be determined more precisely, because customers are also increasingly realizing that their business continuity depends on the Internet. There may be more to be achieved in this area, we would like to think about this further in the future with NL-ix.”

As for the future of the Internet in 20 years, who knows? But hopefully, there will still be opportunities for another cup of coffee and cake.