123Video: Internetcapaciteit videostreaming in Nederland nauwelijks te vinden

Dutch YouTube sought high and low for suitable hosting provider

With 2 million unique visitors, 80 million page views per month, more than 350 million films viewed within one year and 6 Gigabit per second in data traffic, 123Video is a heavy Internet user. One of the few hosting suppliers in the Netherlands that can provide the infrastructure we need is Leaseweb.

The founders of 123Video, who had by then sold their previous success Relatieplanet.nl to the daily national newspaper De Telegraaf, began a Dutch version of YouTube in December 2006, using the same model as the American variant, but with films and reactions primarily in the Dutch language. But the founders did not expect that it would become such a success so quickly. They started with a relatively small hosting provider, with some irritating consequences for the performance of the 123Video site in the early phase.

Films that keep buffering
“The hosting provider we were using at the time had a maximum capacity of 1 Gigabit per second for all of his clients,” says Marnix Wellinghoff, Technical Manager of 123Video. “We filled that capacity in about a month, which meant that the websites for all of the other clients were totally unavailable. We were then cut down to about 60 percent of the data traffic that we actually had. That slowed the site down and streaming didn’t work well at all. Films kept buffering and were constantly interrupted to load a new film fragment. Visitors lost interest, so we had to find an alternative solution quickly. We finally found it at Leaseweb. Leaseweb currently possesses a total broadband capacity of 150 Gbps; that’s a huge difference with 1Gbps.”

Next year: 12 Gbps!
Initially, 123Video kept looking for alternative hosting providers with a capacity of 10, 20 or 30 Gbps. Wellinghoff: “Since most of the providers in the Netherlands have that kind of capacity, and we only expected to be at 2 or 3 Gbps within a year. Luckily, we decided not to do that. We are growing so fast that we will pass the 12 Gbps mark by next year. The other hosting parties would have become a problem for us again. We really need a hosting party that has a high-quality network infrastructure available and that can scale bandwidth well. At Leaseweb, they have the philosophy that they need to have twice as much capacity as their clients use. For us, that means that we can add bandwidth flexibly and without much time or effort.”

The engineers at Leaseweb
In their search for a suitable hosting partner for video streaming, 123Video scoured the entire country, initially with only negative results until the company was told of Leaseweb’s hosting qualities by a supplier of streaming solutions. “For comparison, we considered the hosting provider used by the ANP, but that party couldn’t provide the service level that we need. We really need that added value, the extra service from the hosting provider, like when we have to set up equipment such as switches, load balancers and servers, but also for maintenance and the expertise with Microsoft and Linux. Leaseweb’s engineers have that expertise, and we can always call on them.”

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