Willem Jan Vastenholt
Info Support is a specialist in developing, managing and hosting bespoke software and providing Business Intelligence and integration solutions. The company is very much knowledge driven and offers more than 300 trainings, mostly on software development. Info Support has over 400 employees in the Netherlands and Belgium.
"Info Support develops software for large businesses, like insurance companies and banks, and the government. For the most part, we use Microsoft.NET, but we also work with Oracle and Java. Most of our people work on projects for our clients, but we mostly trade in knowledge. We are enormously knowledge driven and focused on technology.
I work as Manager Datacenters on the department MITS: Managed IT Services. From our datacenters, we support and maintain the entire lifecycle of our clients' software. That mostly concerns web applications or services. We use BIT for housing only. Our philosophy is that we want to be in control of our entire stack and we want to be able to access everything ourselves. So, we hire empty racks at BIT where we install our own equipment. BIT provides power, cooling and internet access. We have eight racks in BIT-2 and 7 of our employees have independent access to them. On our platform, we have 1500 virtual servers, for clients and for our own corporate IT. We have our own little server room in our office in Veenendaal, but that is still on office that can never compare to an actual datacenter.
A very important reason for choosing BIT, was its Dutch origin. Based in the Netherlands and with a Dutch owner. That really matters to many of our clients. When using a virtual machine at Microsoft, it is not clear whose it is and who has access. You are likely to be bound to US laws, like the Patriot Act. This would be a problem to law firms for example, because all email conversations and files need to be confidential or even secret. This also applies to patient records in health care and many other situations.
For this reason, BIT's ISO 27001 certification is also very important. Our clients ask for that. When a company needs a service from one of our clients, the entire chain up to and including the datacenter is audited and all parties are required to have an ISO 27001 certification. BIT is completely up to date on that front. I think you can hardly go without such a certification as a datacenter nowadays, but not everyone shares my opinion.
Furthermore, I like that BIT is affiliated with NaWas, the National anti-DDoS 'Wasstraat'. BIT came to us with that - I had never heard of it before. NaWas is a technical method that makes it possible to divert all traffic through a so-called 'car wash' in case of a DDoS attack. We could do that ourselves, but that would require additional contracts and equipment. We would have to get DNS and certificates and that gets complicated quickly. BIT can tackle it on the routering level: as soon as they detect an attack, they router the traffic through that 'car wash' and solve the problem.
Add that all together and it should be clear why eighty percent of our systems are housed at BIT. The remaining twenty percent is housed with another party, since some of our clients prefer to spread their risks like that. BIT is a very nice partner to work with. They are extremely technically driven, and their employees are just like those at Info Support. We can cooperate quickly and efficiently with them. It all comes down BIT providing us with a datacenter of exceptional quality. I hardly have to worry about it."