2019 Summary and 2020 Roadmap. CEO Brief #7

2019 Summary and 2020 Roadmap. CEO Brief #7

Before I begin my first blog post this year, I would like to thank our customers for giving us your feedback and your trust! We genuinely value it and work hard to make Heficed the best service for you to use. Moreover, I would like to thank my team for keeping on delivering and being super focused. We are all here to do amazing things! Thank you!

Perhaps some of you would say that it is too late to talk about the 2019 summary, but since we are in the process of building the 2020 roadmap with the leftovers from 2019, I thought it’s an excellent chance to share with you what we have achieved during 2019 and what our plans are for 2020. By the way, I thought it would be awesome to share photos from the last year’s trips. Let’s start from the beginning.

Cape Town from the Table Mountain

Cape Town from Table Mountain (Feb 2019)

Rebranding

So around ten years, we had been working as Host1Plus, then having in mind, that within those years many things have changed – we have changed too. The main reason for rebranding was to establish a better marketing presence. Introduce new products or update the existing ones.

So, we have decided that our new brand will be called Heficed and it took off. I remember we had stressful situations handling all that transformation sometimes, but we knew that the new brand would introduce new products and unlock the opportunities to be the best in what we do. That said, it did not go as planned, although, in the end, we introduced for was we’ve been aiming.

Now we have a new brand in the market. It comes with a unique proposition to our customers and the potential ones. We have introduced many other features like BGP management, IP Address Market (this was a big step forward) then we went for a lot of UX/UI improvements, so we have increased around 200 or maybe even more loading speed of the Terminal.

The rest of the tasks were involved in the operations side. Since we needed to understand what you need as a customer, we’ve been actively working on customer retention. It helps build a better service experience, and we will continue doing that to improve your well-being with Heficed.

Old Town of Prague

Old Town of Prague (Oct 2019)

Events

We visited quite a few occasions during 2019. And not to mention how many interesting people we met there. I might not be 100 % accurate with the date order. Here’s a recap of the events:

  • Skiing in Gerlitzen Alpe, Austria – thanks to DE-CIX guys, we have been invited to join this skiing trip at Gerlitzen Alpe in Austria. That was a fantastic experience. Thanks to our partners DE-CIX.
  • CloudFest – traditionally, you can find us there! Last year we were one of the sponsors. Also, I had a keynote speech about IPv4 challenges enterprises have, what is our solution to that and how the market will evolve. As always, CloudFest takes part in Rust, Germany.
  • DataCloud Congress – Monte Carlo is probably the most extravagant Southern Europe spot. The congress was a great opportunity to meet with the data centre, IP transit and other partners we work.
  • The next event we went to was International Telecoms Weeks (ITW) – that was a big one and gathered thousands of people in one place. To imagine: Telco industry size is around $1.46 trillion, which is massive! Since Heficed team is in IP transit business too, we went there to meet with the Telecom guys and discuss the new opportunities and recap where the market is heading.
  • Connect (by Cloudflare) – Cloudflare is our close partner, and they do a fantastic job. The only thing what is left is to congratulate them with such an achievement – IPO. We visited their new HQ in London. It was interesting to learn more about future plans. Great job, Cloudflare!
  • Web Extraction Summit 2019 – one of our clients ScrapingHub developed a fantastic engine for data mining, which is vital for business decision-makers. It is essential to understand that in most of the cases data mining is one of the drivers in today’s sales, strategic decisions and overall business success. It was great to catch up and learn about where the data mining industry is heading.
  • Cephalocon Barcelona 2019 – We are heavy Ceph addicts, and all our cloud infrastructure is running on Ceph. We could not resist the fact that Cephalocon hosted so close in Europe, Barcelona. Meeting great guys who are running massive Ceph clusters, and it was an excellent chance to get more experience and share the knowledge.
  • M3AAWG – I love the M3AAWG community; it is probably the warmest community I have met. However, the M3AAWG community is involved in fighting spam and abuse. Great keynotes and Montréal is a great city to host such an event.
  • NANOG 77 – it was the first time we went to NANOG, and I was impressed with how much knowledge is up there. A lot of great minds gather in NANOG event twice a year. We picked up plenty of ideas from the NANOG community to build one or another feature that you will see shortly.
  • ARIN 44 – most of the things went around ARIN policy. I can say that the ARIN community is amicable and unique, in a way that most of the guys are from the US and Canada. Comparing to RIPE, it is one of the most significant RIR communities today.
  • ICANN66 Montréal – it was a great event if you prepare for networking. If you come to ICANN meeting without doing your homework, you might end up wasting your time trying to engage with people during the event. However, ICANN is the place where you can meet people making decisions on how the Internet will look in the future.
Austin, TX in Cloudy Sky

Cloudy Austin, TX (Nov 2019)

2020 Roadmap

It would be great to save the best for last. After travelling the world and bringing back ideas and thoughts, we decided to keep on developing our IP Address Market. We see that the Internet needs this type of solution due to a couple of reasons:

  • Fighting against spam and abuse. Giving the ability to help to develop RPKI integration.
  • Enable the ability to control BGP sessions and making sure that they will not be hi-jacked.
  • We are educating to share the IPv4 resources on the lease basis. We see that there is a gap between trust and safety. The reason for that in most cases was that IPv4 lease was a taboo topic for many enterprises, because of the spam and abuse issues. Our goal here is to minimise this gap.
The road to success is always under construction. - J. Nusch

“The road to success is always under construction.” – J. Nusch (Frankfurt Airport. Nov 2019)

Bare-metal is the next cloud definition. Looking at the actual trends, the community noticed that simple things could work too, meaning that you take server, wrap automation around it and get a bare-metal cloud. We think that bare-metal alone is just a small part of what DevOps or servers admins are struggling. In many cases, providers forget that network plays a significant role, that is why we want to stay focused on bare-metal wrapped around networking functionally and its automation. Moving subnets around locations, automatically configuring the BGP sessions and forgetting about LoAs, that is the aim we have in our 2020 roadmap. The end of Q1 should release full bare-metal automated provisioning. With that, we are going to build the next set of features and expand provisioning with network services.

BYOIP feature was always on our list, but we still kept on finding reasons why not to automate this process. We got to the point where we saw that BYOIP must develop and integrated so that you will see it is very near future. You can track our 2020 roadmap to see what is on our list and what we have already launched. You can also request a feature and – I promise – we will put it on the roadmap.

IPAM Search & Filtering expansion – this is where you will be able to filter minimum and maximum prices, extend your search with A, B and C class IP ranges. Many other features included in this expansion, so you should find the IPv4 pretty quickly and straight forward.

IP Health – that is a big topic we been working on for the whole of 2019. Firstly, most of the stuff is already under the hood, but only for our internal use. However, we want to expose it publicly, so that all IPs that listed in IP Address Market would have blacklist check and any additional information for you to save your time checking every blacklist yourself.

IPv6 Support – discussion about IPv6 is going on for very long time in our office. That is probably the same situation where we need to expose everything publicly, that is what we will try to do in 2020 roadmap so that you could do IPv6 management as well as you can do it now with IPv4.

Gerlitzen Alpe, Austria

Gerlitzen Alpe, Austria (Jan 2019)

Whitelabel of IP Address Market – as you know, we already provide API to our customers. We want to extend it to that level where you could integrate a full-suite of our services using your system. Having that in place you would be able to set your pricing for any service we provide (actually you can already do this with Kronos Cloud and Proto Compute).

Service Status Page – recently we had a few downtimes which showed us that we need to improve our notification process. That is why we would like to introduce (hopefully in Q1) our service status page where we would also post any system/network incidents and resolution times with the critical service monitoring.

Bare-Metal order form expansion – some of you already let us know that you require to expand our bare-metal order form, we hear you! We are going to offer a more flexible order form for bare-metal (Proto Compute) for you to get the best out of it. The ability to choose the amount of RAM, how many SSDs, etc. will be introduced together with it.

Private Cloud – since we are getting more and more requests for the VPC (virtual private cloud), as Kronos Cloud hasn’t got this type of functionality, we have decided to evaluate how much time it will take us to get it up and to run. However, since we use CloudStack, we believe this could be an excellent opportunity to enable it on our Kronos Cloud for more abilities like private network option or other bits and pieces that VPC can bring together with it.

Terraform Integration – Terraform is becoming a big thing these days! Having in mind that many private and public cloud providers are already there, we have decided to do the Terraform integration too. We also welcome you to be as our beta testers in return we will give you perks like free credit and servers.

WHMCS Module – the module itself was a big debate. Since we never got from the ground who needs it (in most cases our customers use API to develop everything themselves), so we never rushed to spare our time developing it. Again, if you need WHMCS, let us know. The more requests we get, the more chances that we will include it into our this year’s roadmap.

Virtual Pricing – the name of the feature sounds a little bit strange; what do we exactly mean by that? Virtual pricing is a feature that came up from different customers with different needs. Large customers who use our service wanted to have the agreed prices so that we would not be adjusting them each time they want to order something. So we decided to expand our billing capabilities and introduce virtual pricing where agreed pricing will be shown in your account only. Together with that, premium customers will be able to have one invoice for all of their services on a particular day of the month.

Beta Testers Wanted

If you would like to participate in 2020 roadmap features testing where you would be able to have free service credits and services, please contact us, and we will get you on board with other beta testers. Soon, we will announce the plan for beta testers. A separate Slack channel will launch for all beta testers that will join the program.

You do not have to be the customer of Heficed to participate. Although there are a couple of requirements:

  • You must be a developer of any programming language
  • Good knowledge in Linux
  • Excellent skills of network management
  • UX/UI experience would be an advantage
  • Ideally, you do this daily
Monaco Bay

Monaco Bay (Jun 2019)

January Releases

The first month of the year is already gone. There are a couple of things we have already introduced. ‘Make an Offer’ feature in IP Address Market and Easy Access in Terminal.

Make an Offer feature allows you to suggest a custom price you would like to pay for an IP subnet. We have added this feature to test how you guys are engaged to use it. If it seems to become popular, we will apply it for the rest of subnets with some expansion functionally to record the offer history, etc.

Talking about Easy Access, we had an idea to introduce a demo account to have a walk-through the Terminal. But then again, after a lengthy discussion, we came up to the brilliant idea where an email address can access most of the Terminal and expose most of its functionality.

Delivery Continuity

We will keep on building Heficed as network engineering and infrastructure service driven by the market and our customers. We are planning to have many more series focusing more on the internal and external features we will introduce. Your feedback is critical to us, and we will make sure to align most of the input with our roadmap. 2019 was already a significant preparation for the 2020 roadmap. Many things that we do are still not widely available in the market, and many ideas are needed to prove to work.

From now on, you will have a monthly blog post published by our team leads to enlightening how we built or what are we planning to develop, and why. Again, you can suggest any of your features on our roadmap page. If you have any ideas to share or would like to discuss business opportunities, please feel free to reach out, and we will be more than happy to discuss it further.

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