As a hosting provider in its own right, Blacknight needs to have a strong partnership with its main data centre operator, and that’s just what it has. Interxion’s culture of communication and a strong commitment to service have ensured the relationship has strengthened over time, enabling Blacknight to guarantee high levels of service to its own customers.
Since its foundation in 2000, Blacknight Internet Solutions has grown continuously, serving customers from lobbyists to multinational corporations. Its services include web hosting, colocation and domain registry.
The company’s Carlow HQ is almost 100 km from Dublin, but for logistical reasons it locates much of its physical equipment such as servers, routers and switches in data centres based near the capital, where there are abundant communications links and connections to Ireland’s neutral internet exchange.
As Blacknight’s operations expanded over time, it needed to engage more directly with a dedicated data centre operator.
“Data centre services that we take from third parties are more than mission critical. In the case of a company such as us, all of our services are online. We have thousands of customers from all over globe – in some cases running multi-million euro businesses,” explains Blacknight founder and CEO Michele Neylon.
“Once you make a commitment of moving hardware into data centres, it’s more than just an economic cost. There’s the time involved, and having to get extra telecoms connections from various providers. I think of choosing a data centre partner as almost like a serious relationship – a marriage of sorts.”
The services that we offer to clients change over time. We are confident that Interxion will be able to meet those needs and adapt to those changes
Having evaluated several operators, Blacknight chose Interxion as its primary data centre provider. “We liked the fact that Interxion has two data centres in Dublin, and it offered a level of services that would work for us,” Neylon says.
“We had done a certain degree of due diligence, and we liked the profile of other companies that were using Interxion’s centres. It’s important to know that another company whose judgement you trust is happy with the services,” he adds.
Blacknight houses its hardware at its own private suite in Interxion’s DUB1 facility. As it is constantly adding new servers to meet a growing customer base, and carrying out regular maintenance work on existing equipment, it leases office space from Interxion where a member of Blacknight staff is permanently based on site.
“Having staff physically close to the data centre, considering the amount of work we’re doing, makes sense. Otherwise we would be sending staff from Carlow every day. This saves cost and time,” says Neylon.
Interxion handles what are known as the ‘environmentals’ such as power, physical security, and connectivity from ISPs and telcos into Blacknight’s equipment.
Even when Blacknight upgraded from rackmount servers to more powerful blade units, Interxion easily met the additional energy demands. “We were able to do that with Interxion because it provided us with that kind of power density per square metre,” says Neylon.
The key to any long-term relationship is communication, and Neylon praises Interxion’s open approach, which he believes differentiates the company from other operators.
“I once sent the MD an email, and my inbox was flooded with replies from the MD and her staff trying to resolve an issue. They’re incredibly responsive, they care about what we’re trying to do and they’re interested in working collaboratively.”
Neylon concludes: “The services that we offer to clients change over time. We are confident that Interxion will be able to meet those needs and adapt to those changes.”