Datacenter Operator in France Uses Clavister as an MSSP to Protect Their Customers
It’s is a scenic landscape that the world over is known and loved. The lavender fields of Van Gogh and Cezanne are here, drawing in visitors to the South of France, to the mythical region known as Provence with its call of wine and rich food. With its main city of Marseille—a bustling port that traces its maritime lineage back to the Phoenicians—Provence is known as the postcard perfect landscape of tranquility and the joie de vivre of the Gallic philosophy of life.
Nestled in these rolling hills, however, is another side of life. This one is the technological, the one that has some of the sharpest minds working on European infrastructure projects of great importance to France and the greater continent.
It is here that we find one such company, Hosteur, doing just that as they create the infrastructure to protect their customers who use their datacenter and services to conduct their business. Hosteur, starting in its life in 2003 as an Internet Service Provider (ISP), has been providing highly reliable and safe hosting services for their customers using their industrial grade datacenters in France. It is here, in the Aix-en-Provence region that we visit one of them and hear the story of how they protect their infrastructure using Clavister and how they’ve evolved from an ISP to the new breed Managed Service Security Provider (MSSP). As we walk the halls of servers and firewalls, we discuss with CTO Florent Gentric this important transition. “I think that our business vision has professionalized a lot,” he narrates of the Hosteur story, “with regards to our customers’ requirements, which have grown, which have themselves become professionalized. Customers who deal with new technologies, E-commerce especially, or web service applications have specific needs. These customers have grown, their needs have changed, and we followed that path,” he says proudly of Hosteur’s dedication to the highest standards of service to their customers and their absolute need to connectivity. “We had a true partnership, a friendship even with some of them. And we wanted to assist them on the way and to offer them outstanding technologies.”
One of those technologies is virtualized security, using a software defined firewall instead of a physical one to protect networks. Clavister, a leader in this field as one of the first to develop a virtual firewall/machine (VM) in 2008 found a perfect partner in Hosteur who uses the VMs to protect their clients, all the while using InControl to manage the instances. “Virtualization allowed a company such as ours, which used exclusively hardware, stacked physical servers, to achieve higher reliability, security, quality of service, quicker incident response time and reaping savings in our energy footprint of course and physical space in a datacenter which are by no means trivial costs,” Gentric says of that transition. But convincing customers has been an education process. “At some point the issue of data security and data access was raised,” he explains of how they introduced Clavister’s VMs as a preferred choice for managed security to their customers. “The market was a bit reluctant at first on grounds of cost but also on grounds of implementation and infrastructure complexity. We looked for a long time for a product which could combine low cost and service delivery. And that is when we met Clavister. Finding a product such as Clavister which offers affordable price and an impressive level of trust and, what’s more, a European product we were able to convince these reluctant customers, by telling them ‘Work with this product, try it out, you won’t regret it’. Being able to provide a firewall, or several, to a customer, for dedicated uses, quickly and easily, to manage them globally and guaranteeing the same quality of service for all, no matter the client’s service criticality. This is why Clavister was a no brainer,” Gentric closes, looking at the rows of servers—protected by Clavister technology—that, day in and day out, provides the business continuity his customers demand.