Interview with John Stone Chief Technology Officer Continent 8

As CTO for Continent 8, John is responsible for translating technology innovation into business value for Continent 8 and its eGaming customers.



Why did Continent 8 implement a new DDoS protection platform?


It has been very evident in the last 12 months that customer concern in relation to personal data loss through multilayered distributed denial of service or application focused attacks have increased due to public incidents such as Wikileaks, Sony and numerous others. Continent 8 has been successfully protecting gaming customers for the last 5+ years from those types of threats. As the available software and hardware tools to these organisations or individuals have become more powerful, It is only appropriate that Continent 8 deploy new technology, procedures, and increased personnel to meet and address this increased threat, now and into the future.


To continue protecting our customers, Continent 8 has partnered with Arbor, the technology and deployment market leader in DDoS protection platforms. This has been critical not just in terms of their considerable experience to date, but also due to their leadership position in forming a global ecosystem for attack statistics collection and mitigation signature collaboration.


Unlike alternative DDoS solutions Continent 8 is focused on the protection of our customers’ individual host services while providing the customer with the option of multiple layers of visibility appropriate to their particular application or security requirements.


Has there been much ground work to be able to introduce these new Services?


The best way I could describe the last 12 months would be “Quiet Transformation”. Continent 8 has been offering high availability hosting, ISP connectivity and DDoS successfully for many years to the gaming industry. “Change never stops”, our customers requirements are changing and the service options and levels they require will naturally change as well. On this basis Continent 8 has changed as well, to create the platform for the future we have expanded and transformed in multiple areas, all of which are positioned for the continued delivery of services enabling Continent 8 to support our customers with their business challenges.


We have expanded our physical footprint through the addition of France and now Gibraltar. In addition we have completely rebuilt the backbone network, adding additional resilience, capacity, and transit providers, while enabling MPLS services on an end to end basis with increased SLA’s. This was a key prerequisite to the deployment of the new DDoS platform and this is an example of the planned integrated approach to the development and deployment of future services by Continent 8.


It must be noted that this was achieved through the excellence of the Continent 8 support and engineering team while providing continuous levels of availability and support to our customers.


Can we expect any new services in the coming months?


While there has been considerable investment and transformation in relation to the Continent 8 service delivery platform in the last 12 months, the activities are ongoing and will continue and even accelerate into the future. Changing customer requirements and Continent 8 developments already completed in 2010/2011 will allow Continent 8 to deploy incremental services focused directly to address our customers upcoming OPEX, CAPX, or service level challenges.


The MPLS platform allows Continent 8 to position ISP or private networks solutions, on-net, off-net or as a mix, appropriate to the customer’s budget and business resilience requirements. It will allow Continent 8 to facilitate more managed network services such as VPN access to MPLS, Hosted Acceleration services and global reach through partnerships.


In addition while the new DDoS platform is currently focused on the end to end protection of customers within our data centre locations, we will be offering DDoS protection for non Continent 8 locations that will include 3rd party data centres and customer specific locations.


In addition within the next 12 months, Continent 8 will provide an initial offering of Iaas (Infrastructure as a service) and virtual servers as a service designed to support startup gaming companies, but also larger companies looking to gain the benefits of cloud through infrastructure consolidation.


Article appeared in Continent 8 Newsletter, Issue 1 Autumn 2011


Posted in Press Articles