​Micron21 prepares to launch DDoS mitigation datacentre

Micron21 is preparing to deliver DDoS protection as a service to its global network, which will be hosted from its Melbourne-based datacentre from July.

Micron21 Datacentre is gearing up to launch its first datacentre in July, and has extended its reliance on Brocade's networking solutions to grow its global network.

Recently, the company pushed its network out globally to Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and Singapore through Brocade's infrastructure, giving the company an additional 700Gbps of bandwidth -- 200Gbps in Asia, Europe, and North America, and 100Gbps in Australia.

Micron21 director James Braunegg claimed the company's network is Australia's "most peered network", and the advantage of that means it is able to stay on top of keeping its network secure.

Micron21 recently built its own Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation platform that is now being offered as a service, and is currently being used to protect major Australian ISPs, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and web hosting companies, as well as numerous enterprise networks and government departments locally and internationally.

Braunegg added the peer network allows the company to become "an expert on dealing with cyberterrorism", and clean unwanted traffic close to the source.

"There is no point trying to centralise cleaning when you have distributed attacks across the world. To combat a distributed attack, you need to have distributed ways to absorb that traffic as close as possible. For us, it's about peering with as many networks as possible," he said.

"There are about 70,000 networks globally, and the top 20 countries represent 80 percent of those networks. Within those 60,000 networks across 20 countries, only 15 of those networks have more than 1,500 peers. We're number 15; that's a significant amount of reach because we want to be as close the source as possible, so it means we can stop unwanted traffic coming back to Australia."

Braunegg highlighted Micron21 differs to the likes of Akamai and Black Lotus that offer similar services because those companies often export affected traffic out of the local country and clean it, before bringing it back in.

The largest DDoS attacks Micron21 has experienced so far was 90Gbps from a cloud service provider; prior to that was 34Gbps from a department store during the Christmas period, but most attacks Braunegg said are around 1Gbps to 3Gbps.

Micron21's first datacentre is currently being constructed inside a building located in Melbourne's eastern suburbs that previously housed the company's former business -- a stamp production firm used by Australia Post. The company has already invested AU$9 million in the facility over the last three years.

According to Braunegg, the idea to turn the business into a datacentre service provider initially came about six years ago when it was still producing stamps for Australia Post. He said one of the requirements for the company was to install a fibre optic network to ensure it could support the secure transmission of stamp information to Australia Post.

But for Braunegg, he saw the installation of the network as an opportunity to start a business within the business, and decided to resell the extra space that existed on the network to friends. He was asked to take over the family printing business while he was studying medicine at Monash University, and admits to having always been interested in running his own company, saying he started his first IT business in year 8 selling computers to fellow students.

"I put in one rack and one split system about six years ago [when] the printing industry came crashing down, and the datacentre industry started to rise. Very quickly my one rack went to three, four, five, and six," he said.

"We eventually took a step back and said: 'Not only do we have product that's working, we are a business within a business'. So strategically during 2014 we tried to remove the printing company, without letting anyone know what we were doing, and that has allowed us during 2016 to convert the entire building into Australia's first Tier 4 datacentre."

The company is currently in the application process of achieving Tier 4 certification. Braunegg explained it will mean the facility will need to deliver 99.99 percent uptime as all components will be fault tolerant to achieve this status.

"So you could lose any aspect of the datacentre, but every single component is independent from one another ... so services will remain unaffected."

Braunegg also noted that the facility, when completed, will give the company 10 times the capacity that currently exists, and expects to see no less than 10,000 customers on the network in the future.

Braunegg said the company would like to eventually build out a disaster recovery offering, but for now it will rely on larger facilities from NextDC, M2, and Equinix, and the company's existing dark fibre network that spans 45 kilometres to Melbourne CBD.

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