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6 Jan, 2017

2016 – A year in review

posted in Company Updates

2016 Year In Review

It’s taken us the better part of a week to prepare, but we finally have our 2016 end of year report ready. We had a lot of exciting changes in 2016, but overall it was a very packed year for us. Between moving our office, over caffeinating our development team, and making a few team-member changes, we’ve certainly had our plates full.

2016 Highlights

Hardware Swap – January

In late 2015, we met with Singlehop, at their Chicago office, to collaborate on improving our hardware, network, and DDoS deflection. After touring their datacenter, office, and team, we were able to finalize the upcoming plans for NodePanel v2. We had a great time discussing our needs and requirements with their teams, and due to the superior offerings they could provide both in terms of hardware, support, and especially network, we settled on transitioning the vast majority of our infrastructure to their data-centers in Chicago, Phoenix, & Amsterdam.

In January, we embarked on our biggest network migration and hardware upgrade since our company’s founding in 2012, which included hundreds of servers and thousands of customers, all of which had been provided with a very strict time schedule. We spent the majority of January & February transferring customers before lunch, in attempt to cause the least amount of interruptions to our customers’ gameplay.

Growing Pains – March

The massive network migration left some of our backend systems in a very vulnerable place for a few months. Rather than rely on local networks, we had a lot of traffic running between two competing network providers, which left us with an unstable connection when any upstream carriers had outages. We ultimately migrated our internal systems to the SingleHop network and quickly found our problems were resolved. We used this opportunity to improve how our system reacts to outages and how our on-call staff is alerted. Any outages we incur today are resolved in a matter of 1-3 minutes, rather than hours.

Summertime

As usual, we launched our biggest deal of the year with our Summer Sale. We exhibited at a SUPER! BitCon, an Oklahoma gaming convention, which was a huge learning experience for us. Protip: don’t commit to being an exhibitor two days after you get married. Additionally, we opted to close our UK datacenter for a short period of time. We found a significant portion of our problems were caused by this location, as well as its limited flexibility in network configuration, which made it impossible to include with NodePanel v2. We’re exploring options to re-open this datacenter in future.

End of the Year

We always find Q4 to be one of the most stressful parts of the year. We doubled down on that by moving our headquarters to the newly opened StarSpace46. We joined Oklahoma City’s TechHire program and hired a new support staff member, Stephen, within the same week. We even found the time to make our website mobile ready and add Spigot Resources to NodePanel.

NodeCDN

In 2015, we reported that we saved modpack developers over 1.5PB of bandwidth via the free CDN service that we offer; NodeCDN. In 2016, NodeCDN grew substantially, and served over 3PB of downloads via our great partnerships with the ATLauncher and Pixelmon teams. With the launch of the Pixelmon launcher in 2016, we saw a dramatic increase across our entire CDN network, and are very happy to continue supporting these great teams into 2017 and further, with ATLauncher-NEXT on the horizons hopefully soon.

NodeCDN traffic by month
NodeCDN traffic by region

Even with the constant decrease in costs from CDN providers, if our partners were to have used a CDN service, they would have expected to pay a minimum of $64,000.00 USD for the year, even with the most budget-friendly provider. We still continue to operate our CDN with little to no outages, no ads, and absolutely zero cost to our partners. If you run a community driven gaming project and want to join our CDN, please contact us here.

NodePanel v2

We’ve committed hundreds of thousands of lines of code, hundreds of new pieces of artwork, and countless hours into building the next generation of game server hosting. We’re officially launching the first closed beta of NodePanel v2 starting on March 1st, 2017. We’re keeping a tight lid on the upcoming features, but we’re very sure of one thing…