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IBS DataFort swept into Mastertel network


IBS DataFort together with Mastertel service provider conducted a project to upgrade its core network by starting to use the Master Connect telecom infrastructure. Mastertel undertook all the expenditures related to dismantling the network owned by IBS DataFort and provided their partner with the capacity leasing services. Dmitry Borodachyov, IBS DataFort Operations Director, and Denis Kazatchkov, Deputy Director for Business Development of Mastertel, comment on all the advantages of the new partnership.

- Why has IBS DataFort decided to stop using its own fiber-optic network?

DB: Since early 2000-s, IBS DataFort hadpossessed its own fiber-optic network that connected several scores of locations, including two data centers, two points of traffic exchange and connection with other operators - MMTS-9, MMTS-10, GK IBS offices and various office centers in Moscow. All these years it had been effectively used to provide communication services for our corporate customers.

More than four years ago, the company decided to introduce our own cloud services to the market, and therefore engagement of optic communication lines increased significantly. At the same time, their maintenance costs were constantly rising. We confronted an option: either increase the capacity of our own fiber network (construct an optic cable) or try using a combined version renting third-party cables in addition to our own.

Eventually, we decided to give up on the use of our own fiber-optic network and to lease the required telecom infrastructure. After reviewing the available market opportunities, we opted for the Mastertel offer they were ready to bear all the costs of dismantling the network owned by IBS DataFort and to provide us with the service of required optical fiber lease. The only problem was to find a way to switch to leased Mastertel fiber without loss in service quality that our customers were used to.

DK: Mastertel is a company specializing in construction and maintenance of optical networks. In accordance with the agreement, in case of any breakdown Mastertel guarantees full recovery of working capacity within no longer than four hours. Moreover, as the primary and backup cables are located in different channels, so the event of their simultaneous damage has practically zero probability. Thus, the giving up our own fiber-optic network in favor of leased Mastertel channels is going to make IBS DataFort services even more reliable.

- How long did it take to implement the project?

DB: It took almost 6 months to prepare for switching to the Master-Connect network. We must give credit to our partner - we managed to do it with no failure and loss of quality. Switching had been fully completed by December, 20 in 2016, and to date, all of the objects are connected to the Mastertel optical network via two independent routes, which ensures their resiliency and reliability. Dismantling our old network and formalizing the required papers will be completed by the end of March, 2017, and we will finally get rid of enormous non-core expenditures.

- How significantly are the costs going to lower?

DB: It cost us quite a fortune every month to maintain our own fiber-optic network including the cable ducting system lease, payments to contractor companies who directly service the cable, and other overheads. As soon as we complete the transition to Mastertel capacities, our expenses will be half as much within the first year - including the cost of dismantling the old network. Beyond this period, the lease price will be halved once again.

- How will abandoning your proper network in favor of leased Mastertel channels affect the quality of services provided by the company?

DB: In 2015, during construction work an excavator destroyed the cable ducting system and ripped our primary and backup cables. It took a while to get the network back up and running. I am quite confident that the cooperation with Mastertel will allow us to prevent the recurrence of such situation and to provide the required level of SLA. Since Mastertel has a round-the-clock customer support service along with emergency crews, the cable working capacity can be restored in no time.

- Denis, and how did this project develop on your behalf?

DK: Switching IBS DataFort to the Master-Connect network is one of the most complex and large-scale projects of our company. Its successful implementation required a whole range of preparations:
  • together with the customer we developed a circuit of the network new topology, that is supposed to provide a stable and continuous operation of all company services. To achieve this, key nodes were connected by independent routes;
  • we have audited the existing IBS DataFort fiber-optic network to gain insight, how exactly to conduct this shift with minimal operational breaks;
  • we prepared cable routingplans, approved them with the customer and defined switching stages.

One of the conditions for switching routes was the partial use of IBS DataFort former infrastructure cables when commissioning facilities. In this regard, we faced a new challenge: the customers network was rather old, which made it difficult to identify the customers cables in the cable line infrastructure. Labels on many cables had been lost, so we had to identify the cables with the customer by technical means. It was especially complicated while switching the key MMTS-9 and MMTS-10 nodes, because water wells have dozens of similar cables and couplings, which altogether made the search a challenging task.
Regardless, we handled the challenges and managed to implement the project of switching the customer at the appropriate level in accordance with the technical assignment and on time. Currently we are engaged in the implementation of the final part of this project - dismantling customers old cables. I am sure we will meet the deadline with this step as well.

It is rewarding that such acknowledged and important players in the market of integration and cloud services trust us with a key infrastructure of their business. This indicates the high level of credibility with IBS DataFort services and a huge responsibility as well.

- What do you consider the main result of a successful partnership of your companies?

DB: Owing to our partner, new customers can begin to receive services in no time. As I said, Mastertel is one of the largest telecom providers in Moscow. The company has its own communication channels in the majority of large business centers of the capital. Thus, is going to take no longer than 1-2 days to connect any new subscriber. If our client's office is not yet equipped with Mastertel fiber-optic communication line, the process of designing, cabling and coordination of network construction will take from a week to a month. Without doubt the connection of offices for new customers will be much less expensive, and hence, our commercial offer will become even more appealing.

Dmitry Borodachyov, Operations Director of IBS DataFort
Cooperation with Mastertel will make our services even more secure

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