Qbine status update 2021
“We see users start with a free Qbine package and expand later on with all the websites they manage for all their clients.”
Gijs van Gemert, CEO at Serverius
This year, the R&D team of Serverius worked hard to improve Qbine. Lots of improvements and new technology were added, new users joined, and Qbine adds more value in a changing European political climate. Here’s an update.
From a simple WAF service to an all-in-one web application protector
After the start in 2020, the first half year of 2021 went quite nice. Without much publicity, day by day more people started using Qbine to improve their websites. This positive growth is mainly because Qbine is the only European service that can compete in many ways with large foreign companies like Akamai, Cloudflare, Imperva, and Barracuda. It seems to be a serious European alternative because there is no real alternative. In some cases, there are examples of WAF, or DDoS proxy, services. But all other current “alternatives” have limitations in some way and can’t be used in a professional way.
The landscape of data security changed a lot in 2021. Using non-European services is something that government and healthcare and most commercial Enterprises will not accept any more. Simply because their user doesn’t. For example, past arguments like “The company is non-European, but our servers are located in Europe” can’t be used anymore. Even when it’s still applying to the rules AVG. The full-service chain, from infrastructure location to software, to its access, it’s maintained, and the beneficial owner should be 100% European.
A lot of Serverius users are using raw materials like colocation, NOC as a Service, object storage, and other knowledge infrastructure services as a base, and Qbine as an additional service. In 2021 it’s nice to see that slowly it’s also the other way around. New customers enter as Qbine users and later on, they subscribe for other services too. For them, the word “datacenter” is completely different from our past Serverius users. For the most of them, data centers are considered as buildings that deliver power and cooling and offer carriers services, plus high skilled technicians to support their hardware. But for the new Qbine audience, the data center is being considered as one store where he can buy all ingredients for his own infrastructure. Like some kind of supermarket, which has a bakery, a butcher, and the grocery department under one roof. With all the above, Qbine is a product that fits well in today’s society and in the transition that the sector is in. It has become an essential piece of Serverius its umbrella company strategy where it’s now noticeable in the growth of the product.
Enhanced Qbine functionality
Qbine contains a lot of technical functionality, which can be used apart from each other or as an all-in-one solution. For most of our users, the value of this product is in small details, where core functionality is obvious. Because of Qbine’s own success, a lot of things like logging clusters had to be developed again, to keep them in the air. For example, one user with 16.000 domains was not able to apply for free SSL certificates and so the whole underlying engine had to be build again.
In total, these are the things that have been addressed in 2021:
- Firewall: entire new functionality, where own black, white, rate-limit and validate (captcha) IP lists can be made.
- Load-balancer: HTTP latency reduces, statistics have been added.
- Statistic content caching: entire new functionality with configurable options like “Cache only static content”, “Allow serving stale content on error”, “Purge cache” has been added.
- IP top-talkers: entire new functionality, whereby virtually all other functionalities, the result is being displayed graphically. With s single mouseclick, IP subnets can be added to personal or general black and whitelist.
- Lets Encrypt SSL: all underlying technology to apply for a domain and Lets Encrypt SSL for every website.
Next to these things, the development and integration of the EOKM database child abuse database have been improved. This remains a great collaboration because Serverius also thinks that you need to take as much action as possible to reduce child abuse.
“2 years ago, our R&D team started with investigating and building new technology, but in the meantime there’s already an oiled machine that is faster than ever before. But still, our software is in-house developed, without any contribution of commercial nor Open Source software. This way we can give lots of extra guarantees, because we’re able to aim for technical results”, says Hidde van der Heide – Head of Research and Development.
“We’re going to develop rigidly in new technology, these coming years. In doing so, we will focus on rolling out the European PoP locations and combining Qbine to other services of Serverius. For example, we’re currently running a test to offer secure storage to EuroStack, in combination with Qbine. This way we can make our security smarter with several AI models. It’s great to see that services, offered under the umbrella of Serverius support each other more and more”, says Hidde.
Looking back at the past year, we see that we have now achieved 100% uptime. Whooha! During the development stage in the years before that, uptime still flickered sometimes, but that’s a thing of the past. Never say never, because every web service has its problems, but because Qbine uses 11 data center PoPs, the risk of failure is minimized. In terms of robustness, Qbine also performs above our own expectations, as DDoS attacks are launched on it on a daily basis. Other users are not affected and websites under DDoS are always being kept online.
A new type of user
Lately, we’ve welcomed a new type of user: web(consulting)agencies. Companies often build and manage many websites where global management and integration in their own back-office systems is really essential. “We see users start with a free Qbine package and expand later on with all the websites they manage for all their clients. Sometimes just a few websites, sometimes hundreds. For example, one of the users has fully integrated our platform through API calls. By automation, almost 3000 of their websites where use Qbine in a day”.
“The nice effect from our new large-scale users is that they also request new technical functionalities. They were almost all added quickly, which we get a lot of positive reactions from our users. It’s perfect interaction between our R&D department and our clients. That’s what keeps our development team improving Qbine and makes us being a cool techie club”, says Gijs van Gemert – CEO.
“Another positive development is that more large Enterprises like healthcare authorities, golf clubs, and game platforms are moving to Qbine to fight complex DDoS attacks. Although there are many European DDoS solutions on the market, Qbine is the only one that can filter HTTP-level attacks. Its advanced layer 7 SSL technology is distributed over multiple countries which offer real performance when there is a need. Also, any other European layer 7 suppliers simply don’t use purpose build HTTP-proxies. In most cases, it’s again some kind of hosting NGINX proxy which will never be able to offer real-time SSL encryption data traffic inspection without latency loss like Qbine can. Therefore, they can’t distinguish good or bad traffic and so, which will result in bypassing a big amount of bad DDoS traffic to the website hosting environment.”
Made & managed in Europe
As mentioned earlier, Qbine has been developed by Serverius without any external commercial services, nor open-source software. The whole chain to offer this product is made and managed by the engineers of Serverius. Therefore, we are in control, we know how it works and we are able to fully support the solution. In addition to third parties like suppliers, foreign investors, shareholders or others.
We are the ones who hold the reins. Qbine is made and managed in Europe. Around us, we see all kinds of initiatives created, like the well-known GAIA-X. They underline the necessity of these kinds of guaranteed services. The laws and regulations stand for a guarantee that nothing will go over non-European chain items anymore. For example, there are plenty of European services and companies that claim to be GDPR-compliant, where you can question whether they actually are. Many, in fact, have to deal with foreign legislation in addition to European legislation, and these are actually always in contrast to our European standards and values. So our guarantee is that we handle customer data correctly and carefully. We dare say that we go one step further than the GDPR and thus reduce a little risk for website owners.
The next future steps
In the upcoming years, Serverius move on like it is doing now. The R&D department will also start with integrating other services like EuroStack. If that will embrace Qbine’s the same way as today, it will make our engineers even more proud and help us make the European internet a little bit better.