About our own cloud set up and how it benefits you

A brief summary of why “the Cloud” might not be for you - and four reasons why the IXOLIT Cloud probably is
October 31, 2019 | Expertise

As a B2B SaaS Provider, our customers are companies for whom the payment process is always mission-critical. Understandably, a large share of the questions we are asked during the evaluation phase, therefore, revolve around redundancy, performance, and scalability of our platform. In this article our CTO Felix Privitera shares some answers.

“Is the [IXOPAY] platform cloud-based?”, we were recently asked in the context of an RFP. “We host it ourselves” was our answer. “Then your system is not technically redundant?”. Sure it is!

Such questions highlight the fact that for some, “Cloud” is synonymous with the platforms offered by Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and others. 

As this seems to be a relatively common misconception, we would like to share some insights on our approach to providing robust SaaS applications – our core business for the last two decades. Let’s start with a short definition from Wikipedia:

“Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user.”

"The fact that we have full control over the hosting infrastructure enables us to confidently offer higher SLAs than public cloud platforms, at lower price points."
Felix Privitera
CTO at IXOLIT Group

1. IXOPAY is hosted in a "Cloud" environment – our own IXOLIT Cloud

We are operating IXOPAY from two separate tier 3 data centers located in Vienna, connected via redundant, IXOLIT-owned dark fiber routes providing automatic failover capabilities and full data synchronization every 60 seconds.

Beyond our Vienna locations, we are also maintaining POPs in Phoenix (US), Amsterdam (NL), and Frankfurt (DE) that we can use to quickly shift processing load and/or data storage to other regions if required. 

Our current setup encompasses hundreds of physical servers, thousands of CPU cores, and has the capability of holding petabytes worth of data in distributed storage. This data is globally delivered through our CDN partners, or for specialized use cases can be directly distributed through very well-groomed routes in cooperation with renowned international transit providers to reach even the remotest eyeballs with sufficient bandwidth.

We are aware that some of our competitors opt to host their products on platform offerings from large, mostly US-based Vendors. Such decisions are often based on a desire to shorten time-to-market, or to compensate for a lack of resources (setting up your own infrastructure isn’t cheap!) and/or know-how.

Of course, it’s great to be able to get up and running quickly, and not have to worry about "boring" topics such as data center operations – especially when you are a startup. In fact, we also build and operate custom platforms running on these 3rd-party clouds at the request of our customers. Nonetheless, we took the conscious decision to run IXOPAY specifically off our own infrastructure, for a number of reasons:

  • 1.1 Extensive experience: Our founder built IXOLIT using the proceeds from the sale of his previous venture – one of the first web hosting companies in Austria, which had been operating since the middle of the 90s. Since its 2001, IXOLIT has been providing application hosting services to a multitude of international clients. We’ve been doing so since before Google, Amazon, or Microsoft even entered this market.

  • 1.2 Cost-effectiveness: In our experience, while it is great to be able to quickly scale up with minimal technical effort, the major public cloud platforms are simply not cost-effective, especially when traffic & processing increases steadily. This is why we have chosen to capitalize on economies of scale and run IXOPAY in our own IXOLIT Cloud, as sustained profitability is one of our fundamental requirements.

  • 1.3 Service Level Agreement: The fact that we have full control over the hosting infrastructure enables us to confidently offer higher SLAs than public cloud platforms, at lower price points. And, speaking of SLAs, it’s not like major cloud providers never go down.

  • 1.4 Legal & Compliance: Hosting all IXOPAY data ourselves and within the EU ensures that our customers are protected from judicial overreach originating from foreign jurisdictions while simplifying compliance with EU regulations such as the GDPR or industry requirements such as PCI-DSS. 

2. IXOPAY is built for the Cloud

In our view, there is a clear difference between building for the cloud and hosting in the cloud. 

IXOPAY is designed from the ground up as a Multi-Tenant SaaS product. As such, it is not only easy for us to scale it up in terms of performance. It is significantly easier to maintain than the Single-Tenant, monolithic applications that many of our competitors are offering – regardless of how and where these are hosted. 

Taking a monolithic application and placing it on an Amazon EC2 instance does not magically make it super scalable. Providers going down this path end up finding themselves in the same position as every other on-premise B2B software vendor eventually: having to maintain a multitude of different release versions of the same product, for different customers, hosted on different systems, resulting in significant technical overhead and additional cost.

We believe that the success of Multi-Tenant SaaS vs. the traditional Single-Tenant / On-Premise B2B software model over the last two decades proves that this is the best approach for enterprise software delivery in the 21st century.

3.  IXOPAY satisfies the requirements of regulated financial services institutions

We also provide IXOPAY as a "White Label" Solution to financial services providers, including Acquirers, Payment Service Providers, and other entities whose core business is processing payments. Such clients are operating in strictly regulated markets and are particularly sensitive to the topics of availability, security, and compliance. 

Before such clients decide to work with us, they always engage in in-depth audits of our technical and business infrastructure. The fact that we are regularly winning new customers in this space confirms that our infrastructure is capable of providing secure and mission-critical services that adhere to stringent regulatory & SLA requirements.

4. The blast of a Russian Topol SS-25 nuclear bomb wouldn’t affect us

And last but not least, a little fun fact about the IXOPAY Data Centers: Even if the heart of Vienna was hit by a Russian Topol SS-25 ICBM (a huge nuclear bomb), at least one of our Data Centers – and therefore your data – would survive. Yay! :-)

https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

Go with IXOPAY and your data will be safe

Contact us if you have further questions!

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