11th birthday or another year of growth behind us

[gtranslate]

We have had another successful year. In many ways we have moved forward, learned new things and gained another part of the market. We would like to celebrate all this with you.

Company

2020 was the first year that the company generated such a large profit that we decided to split a portion between shareholders and employees. EBITDA increased from CZK 8.89M to CZK 14.85M (+67.04%). At the planned general meeting, the current shareholders will be able to vote for a dividend of CZK 43.47 per share. Just for the record, the subscription (and sale) price of the share in 2012 was CZK 100.

We expect further growth in the coming years, without major investments. So both the dividend for shareholders and the remuneration for employees will grow. In addition, we have 3 big services in test operation that are waiting to be completed – WEDOS Cloud, WMS and WEDOS CD. Another very promising one is in the pipeline (WEDOS AnyCast) and we plan to start testing it publicly in a few days.

WEDOS activities are growing, so this year we had to intervene in the business conditions, which can no longer be so universal. They are now divided according to the type and focus of services.

Three new WEDOS subsidiaries were also established:

  • WEDOS Pay, s.r.o., which will be in charge of our new payment system WEDOS Pay. For administrative and accounting reasons, we need a new system that allows for quick and convenient payment, including deducting small amounts for hourly billing. We have reached a situation where the fees to third parties are so high that it simply pays to build our own payment system.
  • WEDOS WHOIS Domain Privacy Protection, s.r.o. As the name suggests, it will be responsible for the protection of personal information for domains. In the first phase, only WHOIS data protection is planned. However, there is also a more advanced solution planned to help you with administration and, if necessary, solving legal problems. There is so much potential here that we had to set up a subsidiary to do it 🙂
  • WEDOS.cz, s.r.o., which will serve only the Czech market. In this way, we want to gradually have subsidiaries in each country. Later this year we would like to establish WEDOS.sk and WEDOS.pl. It is likely that more will be created as we gradually expand our field of activity or establish branches abroad.

New ISO 27017 and ISO 27018 certifications

In mid-March, we managed to complete two important new certifications, ISO 27017 – Security controls for cloud services and ISO 27018 – Protection of personal information in public clouds.

These are relatively new certifications that address the security of user data in the cloud and the security of the entire infrastructure – software, hardware, staff, infrastructure, etc.

The goal is to set service and process standards to minimize security threats, technical issues and the time it takes to resolve them. These certifications are a certain guarantee for our customers that their data is not only well taken care of, but that if anything goes wrong, there will always be someone there to fix it according to a predefined plan.

We have discussed the new certifications in detail in the article We have obtained two important cloud certifications ISO 27017 and ISO 27018.

We have made these certifications mainly because of the upcoming new services WEDOS Cloud and WEDOS CD. For many of our customers, these certifications are a prerequisite for them to move data from foreign competitors who have these certifications to us in the future.

Employees and Collective

Our collective has grown again. We are already around 40 and hope to get more colleagues soon. By automating and optimizing processes, we have been able to reduce the burden on operations and customer support (why let someone do something manually when a robot can do it faster and more accurately). However, we would like to move more with the development. We have lots of ideas for new services and improvements to existing ones, we just lack the people to do it all.

Although we have been recruiting continuously since the very beginning, this year we had the highest number of vacancies ever. Furthermore, we have invested the most money and time ever in reaching out to new prospective colleagues.

In the long run, this is the only problem that is keeping us from more growth and further expansion.

WEDOS DC1 “Bunker”

If something isn’t being built in DC2, our first datacenter is being upgraded. Even when our schedules are packed to bursting, what we do is often decided by the current status of suppliers or the free dates of third parties who have to do some work that we do not dare to do ourselves.

In DC1, everything is in place. There are already 2 powerful motor-generators, each of which can tighten the entire datacenter. In addition, they are separated by a fire wall and both are made for continuous operation. We’ve already moved all the air conditioners from the roof to the yard (see photos), where the sun doesn’t shine on them as much and most of the noise goes into the yard, so we don’t disturb the neighbours.

There’s still some work going on inside. We have completed the modernization of the electricity distribution, where the busbar system in the server room replaced the original classic cables. It’s down below the floor and the ceiling. The individual branches do not cross and converge at the rack itself. We originally bought the busbar system for DC2, but we liked the whole solution very much, so we decided to put it in DC1 with the next modernization. Of course, everything is designed with reliability and fire protection in mind. Fire resistance of all distribution systems is a priority for us. We even use only flame retardant cables. How many such datacenters are there? There won’t be many…

The advantage is easier handling (you just click another socket where you need it). The busbar system is designed for industrial halls with high consumption, so it is sufficiently oversized and at the same time the wiring inside is protected both physically and against fire. The only drawback is that it is much (many times) more expensive, but it is worth the work saved in the future.

This year, we launched a major operation to redesign the internal network. Everything is more robust, more durable and more economical. We are also gradually switching completely to Arista switches and vXLAN technology.

We are still dealing with the IPv4 shortage. We have to be extremely sparing with them. Their price on the market is still rising. Thus, we suppress the sale of VPS SSD and VPS ON services. This pushes us more into the WEDOS Cloud, where you can have a large number of VPS ON for one IPv4. We anticipate that we will need to produce more guidance in this regard.

In DC1, we plug in more and more HPE Moonshot server cabinets (each with 45 servers and 2 switches), which saves us a lot of space. In recent years we have significantly increased the air cooling capacity through freecooling, so we can keep everything cool. The HPE Moonshot concept and technology allows us to scale our services significantly without requiring a lot of space. One rack can have up to 405 physical servers. In addition, more seagulls will become available as soon as the old servers are finished.

Besides HPE Moonshot in DC1, we are actively testing the HPE Cloudline CL5800 Gen9 Server (2x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2680 v4 processor with 2.4GHz frequency, 512GB RAM, 100x 10TB HDD) for WEDOS CD service.

Another new feature in DC1 is the new HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage. These are repositories that use AI to optimize performance and predict problems. This storage can handle 3 million IOPS with a response time of under 1 ms. HPE guarantees data availability up to an incredible 99.9999%. They can scale up to 80 PB / one system.

Some services are already running on them, including NoLimit web hosts set up since autumn 2017. After the migration, we saw a reduction in disk-related work and problems, and even on a sample of 49 physical servers running NoLimit, we saw an increase in average page generation time in PHP after the migration. We assume that this is more likely to be a better handling of peaks for sites that process larger volumes of data (both in size and number of files).

We deployed 3PAR on 49 servers with NoLimit. The average processing time of a PHP script has been reduced by several percent.

Can’t wait to migrate everything we can to them 🙂

WEDOS DC2 “Underground”

After the first pandemic wave in 2020, management committed to occupying office space in our second datacentre for test operations. Everyone with a company laptop was to take their seat. Everything that was missing was promptly purchased. The event was a success and most of those who attended have stayed in the DC2 offices.

We still have plenty of space available in the DC2 offices. If any of you are thinking of changing jobs😉

As the demand for multimedia content is growing, we have also improved the conference room. We bought lighting, green screen and necessary hardware. Now we can stream content virtually instantly. The presentation does not have to be on a screen, but directly behind the lecturer.

In December, we demonstrated the benefits of the free video conferencing service WEDOS meet, which is based on the open source Jitsi. This service was originally intended as part of the WEDOS CD, but due to the development of Covid it is available free of charge and without registration for anyone, including encrypted transfers. It has been used by teachers for online teaching, companies for meetings and also by friends to go online for one 🙂

Of course, just like us, you can broadcast your conferences via social networks. The service has a special feature for this.

Finally, the illuminated wall logo we have been waiting for has arrived. Looks really good 🙂

We already have a working company logo in the building. It's right by the entrance.

During the 2021 holiday season, the office space was upgraded with more powerful air conditioning systems to ensure more comfortable working conditions even when the office is more occupied. New air-conditioning units have also been installed in the conference room. The DC2 building is situated at the bottom of a hill and only receives sunlight in the morning.

In the past few years, we bought the land behind the datacenter building so that nothing would prevent us from using it for further construction. This year we have completed a makeover, or rather made a completely new driveway with everything and additional parking behind the building.

Concreting the road.

And here’s the almost finished parking lot. At the moment everything is already fenced and we are still going to do one more row of fencing with razor wire.

The current number of parking spaces in the second datacenter is around 20, which should be enough. There are dozens of other parking spaces within 200 metres.

Before the holidays, we moved the last motor-generator from the parking lot to the roof, where it was temporarily. That puts all the motor generators in place. In DC2 it’s 2 outside on the roof and 3 inside.

All 5 motor-generators are designed for real continuous operation, for example for places where there is no electricity and need the motor-generator to run all year round. Diesel refuelling etc. must be carried out without stoppage. We had them custom-built. The individual components are from different brands of suppliers and different series.

The entire DC2 area is also already fenced and secured. There are still a few things to tighten up and plug in. However, before we start the first user data in the DC2 server room, everything will be ready from this point of view. In addition, a minimum of two trained staff will need to be on site at all times for TIER IV certification.

We also managed to complete the outdoor water cooling circuit that connects DC2 to the nearby swimming pool. This will remove heat from the building and heat the pool. According to our calculations, it can keep all conceivable hardware that can fit into the data hall, or oil baths, with a reserve. Whether it’s a hot summer or freezing winter nights.

We expect to start sending the first heat to the pool next year. We could have done it now, but we didn’t want to disrupt the current season.

In the next year, the question is how much further we will move with oil cooling and how much interest there will be in our services. Hardware or manufacturing other oil baths is not a problem. On the other hand, we are starting to see a significant increase in the price of electricity, which may lead us to decide to move as many services as possible from DC1 to DC2, where their operation will be significantly cheaper.

As far as the data centre interconnection is concerned, DC2 is connected to DC1 by two routes, each of which leads via a different path. Both of them were blown up by ourselves and all the optics were welded. If necessary, we are able to repair the damaged part of the route ourselves.

We have several colleagues who can weld optics. Three of them have practical experience in the field, even in extreme weather. We have our own welder that was running almost constantly in 2021. One of my colleagues “welded” literally kilometers of optics in DC2.

Until recently, testing on servers in oil was only done in DC1. During the holidays we connected the servers in the oil baths in DC2 with optics. So far they have been running “empty”, i.e. we have only tested how they heat up the oil. So we can start running test services on them. A hot candidate is the WEDOS OnLine extension, which currently monitors our customers’ services at the level of availability of individual sites and lets us know if something is not working somewhere. We would like to take it a little further and we would not mind downtime or unplanned outages as part of these activities. At the same time, this WEDOS OnLine extension sufficiently loads the entire HPE Moonshot. This way we will have data about the hardware status from real operation.

The 3rd tub arrived last week with a number of design modifications that will lead to better oil circulation and heat dissipation. Other modifications are more for better handling. For the record, it is about 5 centimetres shorter in length than previous versions.

This is still a test version and we plan to make further adjustments. There have also been modifications to the exchangers on the racks, where we decided to go more efficient.

In the coming year, most of the work in DC2 will be in the server room itself.

WEDOS DC3 “Kravín”

We informed you last year about the plans for DC3, which will be designed as a complex of 5 buildings (including 2 datacentres). We had hoped to have something built by now, but it turned out that the authorities needed a little “more” time to process all the permits. We got the green light just before the holidays, after more than 15 months.

Unfortunately, due to the current prices of building materials and labour, we decided that it was not worth starting the construction at all. At present, demand significantly outweighs supply in the construction industry. We believe that this state of affairs is temporary. We don’t need DC3 at the moment. We still have enough capacity in DC1 and we can get more by removing the old servers and DC2 is empty.

We believe that if we wait, we can build DC3 at a fraction of the current cost.

Services

Over the past year, we have added several services to our portfolio. The largest of these is WEDOS WebSite. Thousands of our customers have already loved our simple block editor. True most in the free variant 🙂

Another innovation that has fallen a bit by the wayside is called EWM (Early Warning and Monitoring). We know from our experience that normal availability monitoring is not enough. Many things can go wrong, and EWM can help you keep an eye on them. The great advantage is its versatility. You don’t have to install or insert anything anywhere. Just buy a domain from us and activate EWM as an additional service.

Domains

In March last year, WEDOS became an ICANN accredited registrar, which opened the way for us to directly register a number of domain extensions. Of course, it was necessary to modify our system and arrange cooperation with the registries of individual domains. We celebrated our last birthday by launching the registration of new domain extensions.

New Domain Extensions (nTLDs)

Our domain offer has grown a lot since last birthday. After establishing a successful cooperation with Radix registry (more than 30 thousand domains in the last year), other registries gradually started to contact us. My colleague in sales was very tough and insistent in negotiations. Thanks to this, we have been able to offer you a number of interesting new domain extensions at great prices or even for free 🙂

At the moment you can find a total of 313 domains in our price list. We’re negotiating more. It would not be a problem to add them, but we are trying to negotiate the best possible conditions in the long term. Some meetings take longer, but then it’s worth it.

.com/.net

Becoming an accredited registrar for .com and .net domains is not easy. Verisign has quite strict conditions in this respect. We managed to meet all the requirements without any major complications. Currently, all contracts have been signed and our system is ready for registration. We have even been quietly registering .com and .net domains directly with us for a few days now 🙂

The domains that we currently have with a third party will be gradually transferred to us. Thanks to this we will be able to solve all problems directly and we will also save a little bit. Currently Verisign has made .com domains more expensive. We believe that thanks to accreditation we will keep the price.

.cz

Despite the advent of new domain extensions and tempting promotional prices for .eu domains, it is still the .cz domain that is the most popular with our customers.

According to the official CZ.NIC statistics, we have long been the most popular hosting for .cz domains. In September we hosted more websites on .cz domains than the next 3 biggest competitors in the ranking.

.sk

Although we have been planning to expand into Slovakia for a long time, it has not happened yet. We have a Slovak website ready, but for full expansion we would need to have everything translated and to provide Slovak customer support.

We are currently taking care of almost 12 thousand .sk domains (about 2.73% of all .sk domains). We make special discount coupons for Slovaks and they can also participate in our big competitions. There were two of them this year. One for Apple iPhone 12 and the other for Sony PS5. Another one is planned.

.eu

The .eu domain is the second most popular with our customers. We therefore try to take advantage of all available opportunities offered by the EURid registry to promote it.

We currently have just over 49,000 .eu domains (1.32% of all .eu domains), which ranks us 21st worldwide.

Other domains

There is no significant interest in other domain extensions, so we are not currently planning to add domains from other countries to our offer. Of course, this can change from one day to the next. We can act quickly when demand increases. We have skilled developers and a good reliable system where it is easy to implement anything quickly.

EWM (Early Warning and Monitoring)

The unobtrusive additional service Early Warning and Domain Monitoring (EWM), based on the good experience of WEDOS OnLine, is rapidly growing in popularity. Once you buy it and start using it, you know you need it 🙂

It can alert you not only to current problems, but also to subtle ones that you might never find out about and can cost you a lot of money. For example, it monitors whether your website or mailserver has accidentally been blacklisted. Many e-shops lose a significant percentage of customers because their potential customers’ emails fall into spam for this reason. EWM would have been enough. It will notify you where you are on the blacklist and you can request a delisting. And that’s just one of the many threats you’ll learn about thanks to EWM.

We intend to slightly modify the EWM service in the coming months to make it more interesting.

Shared web hosting NoLimit

WEDOS WebSite is still the most popular shared web hosting in the Czech Republic. Many things have been improved, others have been gradually fine-tuned. We have managed to reduce the number of incidents and their duration. This is also evidenced by data from customer support, which is currently dealing with more administration than website problems, as well as business data. The number of service terminations due to outages is down 19.7% and is currently 4.3 times lower than the reason for leaving due to price, which is the most common reason for changing service. And I’m really cheap 🙂

Of course, more customers are increasing than decreasing and we are extremely happy about that. The number of new NoLimits increased by more than 6,000 year-on-year.

This year, we moved the NoLimit data from the servers to the new fast HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage, which relieved us of several concerns, and we also saw a slight speed increase in PHP page generation.

What we perceive as a problem is that still part of web hosts on older servers have not been migrated to the new solution, where databases are many times faster, proxy server helps with traffic and more powerful processors make everything easier. At the moment, everything is ready for gradual and, above all, safe migration.

And what is the future of NoLimit? We have some ideas for further improvements. However, we are currently seeing interest in NoLimit waning in favour of the new WEDOS WebSite service. So if we were to go somewhere, it would be towards higher performance or dedicated hosting for a specific purpose. The question is whether as an extension of NoLimit or as a standalone service.

WEDOS WebSite

WEDOS WebSite is the hot news of this year. Our new block editor, where you can put together your own website in minutes, is a favorite of thousands of customers. We were very pleasantly surprised by the interest. We try to keep the service attractive by continuous innovations as well as commercially.

We bring you stories of people who have built their own websites on it. We have also prepared a page with examples of existing websites built on WebSite.

We currently have about 2.7 thousand WEDOS WebSites. Customers appreciate the simplicity and that they can take care of everything themselves. They don’t need to pay anyone else to both create the site and edit it. Compared to their previous sites, they appreciate speed above all. Given that these are html pages, it probably won’t surprise anyone that the server returns the page in 3 ms on average. Moreover, the proxy server can cache all the content.

WMS (Web Hosting Managed Server)

Unfortunately, the development of WMS has been a bit frozen. We have found that customers are using the WMS a little differently than we originally proposed. Technology development has also moved on a lot since the original design. In other words, what WMS solves by making NoLimit better can be done completely differently and better.

So we are going to sit down over the service and decide what path to choose. How to make a high-performance and simple service that will be attractive for the next 5 years. The technology to do this is there and very good.

Currently, our customers have 112 WMS, on which they operate over 1.7 thousand separate web hosts. So there is a lot of interest in the service and, to be honest, we have practically stopped promoting it. Customers most often appreciate the dedicated power they can use at will and the ease of managing multiple projects. On the other hand, they are bothered by the lack of charts and some limitations related to Let’s Encrypt, for example. We have recorded all the criticism, operating experience and ideas and will work with it.

VPS/VPS SSD

The service is debugged and seamless. We deal with the minimum requirements for it. About 980 customers are still running on a VPS without SSD, which can no longer be bought, and they are fine with that. We have less than 2.9 thousand customers on VPS SSD. Although VPS SSDs are still being purchased by new customers, overall we see more of an outflow to VPS ON, where the processors are significantly more powerful and it is possible to set the parameters according to your own ideas.

From time to time we get asked if we plan to make the service cheaper. Unfortunately, this is not possible for three reasons. Our operating costs (especially the price of electricity) are rising. We are running out of IPv4 addresses, which are crucial for the service, and the price of new ones is getting extreme. We would rather see customers on VPS ON or WEDOS Cloud, because we can ensure cheaper operation (oil cooling, WEDOS Cloud can run a large number of VPS/VMs under one IPv4) and further development.

VPS ON

This service was a response to the demand for a more powerful VPS and the first to run on our cloud solution. For many, it was also meant to be a transfer station to WEDOS Cloud, as VPS ON is essentially one VM on WEDOS Cloud.

The service is relatively well perceived and the number of new VPS ONs is growing steadily. We currently have about 1740 VPS ONs active.

In mid-August, we did a small survey of VPS ON for social networks. At that time we had 1706 active VPS ON services. All VPS ONs combined had 5,609 GB of RAM and 72,275 GB of SSD (NVMe). Customers had purchased 3,071 vCPUs of which 385 were reserved. A large number of customers use the option to set up only what they need and run only VPNs on them, for example. The average VPS ON has 42.36 GB but the median is only 20 GB.

We also recently did a survey of who is actually buying VPS ON and found projects from large companies.

The service is thus purchased by users for casual or occasional use, but also by large companies that often handle key projects on them.

WEDOS Cloud

Because of WEDOS Cloud, this year we acquired new certifications ISO 27017 – Security Controls for Cloud Services and ISO 27018 – Protection of Personal Information in Public Clouds. Read more in the article We have obtained two important cloud certifications ISO 27017 and ISO 27018. With these certifications, we wanted to end the test operation. However, there were still some infrastructure modifications planned and the new HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage hardware was being tested, so we postponed the live operation until everything was tested.

The service works well. If something goes wrong, it is due to our (un)planned adjustments and interventions. Once we start live operation, there will be no further interventions unless necessary.

For the next year, the plan is mainly to finish the test operation and start promoting the service. We also plan to:

  • Start the service in DC2 – the customer will be able to choose where they want to set up the VM. In addition, we will be able to issue a green traffic certificate for VMs running in DC2. Which means that the service is cooled in oil and all the waste heat is further used (heating the building, heating the pool) and all the electricity comes directly from the hydroelectric plant. It really doesn’t get any greener 🙂
  • Add cheap storage – currently VPS ON and WEDOS Cloud run on NVMe SSD or SATA SSD. That’s not ideal for backups because SSDs are expensive. We plan to add classic server HDDs to the offer, which can be used from VPS ON and WEDOS Cloud.
  • Larger VMs – most customers are happy with a limit of 16 GB of RAM per VM, but there are those who would like more. Next year we plan to test new servers for HPE Moonshot, which will have more RAM and we could offer the possibility to set up larger VMs there.
  • Private Cloud – this project has been sidelined for now. Technically, the service is designed for this. We would like to come back next year.

Dedicated servers

We have dedicated servers as an additional service for customers who need their own iron. We bought some a couple of years ago and they’ve been mostly sold out ever since. We haven’t bought new ones in the last year. It doesn’t even make much sense to us. They take up a lot of space and we rent them out at a minimal margin.

Currently, we have no plans to expand our offer of dedicated servers. The exception is the VIP program, through which you can get the entire HPE Moonshot with 45 servers and 2 switches. Unfortunately it is not possible to change the configuration.

WEDOS CD

WEDOS CD is a new service that is still in the testing phase. It allows you to store your files in the cloud and, for example, work with documents online using the OnlyOffice office suite.

The service has become quite popular. We currently have 1393 active WEDOS CDs. However, most are in the free version.

The advantage is that it is also covered by our new ISO certification on cloud security, so your company data is safe and also in the Czech Republic.

Last November, we added the ability to hold online video conference calls via WEDOS CD. They are still available for free at meet.wedos.com. During the pandemic, many companies, schools and private individuals used them. We use them ourselves if one of our colleagues is unable to attend a meeting.

WEDOS Disk

The WEDOS Disk quietly lives its life. There are no problems with it, no complaints about it. Almost 11,500 are active. Many of our customers can’t get enough of this simple data storage solution.

WEDOS OnLine

WEDOS OnLine is becoming an increasingly popular service. Most users think of it as just another web accessibility metric that can monitor the web every minute, but it actually does much, much more.

He’s currently coping:

  • Send a ping and watch for a reply.
  • Classic HTTP and HTTP(S) availability measurement.
  • Monitoring and measuring response speed.
  • Monitoring server response.
  • Site redirect monitoring, site status codes. So you can trace what might have broken.
  • Various error messages.
  • DNS response speed.
  • Checking IMAP(S), POP3(S), SMTP(S) will ensure that you know when you are not receiving emails.
  • Option of monitoring via IPv4, IPv6.
  • Expiration and proper setup of SSL certificates is recommended.
  • Unobtrusive FTP(S) monitoring has already saved many a backup.
  • Expiration and correct DNSSEC settings.
  • IP check on black lists.
  • Changes in the settings of individual monitored items (DNS change, IP address change).

Further monitoring and controls are added gradually.

Currently, WEDOS OnLine is completely free and in test operation. We think we’ve done enough testing. We would like to launch paid tariffs by the end of the year.

WEDOS VIP

The WEDOS VIP project, which is designed for more demanding customers, has not made much progress in the last year. The reason for the restrictions was because of Covid. The VIP program also includes a tour of the company’s facilities and arranging details in person. Of course, it can be solved online, but the trust is built on seeing everything with your own eyes.

Community

We have neglected the community a bit in recent years, which we would like to correct in the coming year. We are trying to create more user-interesting content, but the meetings and conferences are the key.

Events and meetings

DC2 is ready for smaller events as well as conferences. Soon we will be launching a three-day event focused mainly on expanding our collective. It will also include lectures and a tour of the datacentre. There will be an online stream and recording of the event.

This kind of action fits the current situation. There are still some restrictions on the number of participants, so only those who want to check us out in person will come. However, we will have interesting information for everyone in the form of lectures.

This event should be followed by others with a specific thematic focus. We will see how it goes and, more importantly, what measures the government will introduce in the autumn.

help.wedos.cz

Our community website help.wedos.cz is growing and thanks to it, the pressure on customer support has dropped significantly. This gives support colleagues more time to deal with individual requests and creative activities such as maintaining and expanding the knowledge base and community guides.

We’ve also found that the community site suits some customers better. There are more reasons, but for example, it is the opportunity to read the opinion of more people, or the unbiased opinion of one of the other customers. Further, they don’t have to rush. On online chat, some customers feel pressed for time. But there are more reasons.

Overall, some statistics have improved over the last year in favour of the current form of customer support (community website, online chat, contact form + knowledge base/tutorials). For example, the number of service terminations due to dissatisfaction with customer support dropped, and we also had to deal less with customers complaining about third-party sites.

The number of brand-new customers and the number of first orders for services from existing customers is growing. These are the two groups that put the most strain on customer support.

Of course, there is room for improvement and we perceive everything. We would like to implement a ticketing system to ensure that the customer knows exactly what is happening with their request.

As for the help.wedos.cz community website itself, we will answer most of your questions. Mostly colleagues from customer support and CMS specialists. Occasionally, one of the engineers or developers gets involved.

However, we also have a number of active members to whom we are very grateful. This year we have launched a Reputation Rewards System where you can get one of our promotional items or even a free service (including an extension) for your activity.

The plan is to improve the look and feel and add new features that will take the community project further. Of course, we would also like to organize some kind of community meeting in DC2 where we can get to know each other.

Partner programme

We recently celebrated 19M CZK paid out in our wedos.as affiliate program. Read more in the article 19M CZK were paid out in our partnership programme.

It is in our interest that the commission system continues to grow. We have therefore decided to assign one of our skilled product managers to our affiliate program as an affiliate manager for WEDOS. He has already prepared a number of improvements with his colleague from Pojištění.cz and is actively working on further growth of our partner program.

And what awaits us in 12. season WEDOS Internet, a.s.?

One thing we know for sure is that we definitely won’t be bored 🙂

We have already written about the individual services above. Although they may not be undergoing any major changes, they are affected by, for example, changes to their infrastructure, whether physical or software. We are thus succeeding in improving their performance and availability.

Of course, we also monitor the market situation. We are not interested in the competition, but rather in what the interest is in general, where the trends are going and what new technologies are in demand. We are adapting our plans accordingly. Some of them are still very unshapely. We know we want it, but we don’t know if we’ll implement it straight away as a new service, or enhance an existing one, or go for an add-on service method.

Security

Security will certainly be a big challenge. This year we have been hit by the strongest DDoS attacks ever recorded in the Czech Republic. For a short period of time, they were even able to overwhelm us with three 100 Gbps routes. This means that the attack must have exceeded 300 Gbps. We managed to measure 164.3 Gbps and 98.1 million packets per second with sensors.

We knew that attacks in the hundreds of Gbps would come at some point, but we didn’t expect it to be this soon. Fortunately, we were prepared. Or rather, they managed to solve everything very soon. We learned from the attack. They have upgraded the network, purchased additional hardware and implemented other measures.

In the future, the new infrastructure for the planned WEDOS AnyCast DNS service, which will also include forward protection, will be of great help. In addition, if the attack is centralized, it will only drop a point in that location.

However, covert attacks will also be a challenge. For example, like the one we reported in the article A wave of new and insidious attacks is coming and WEDOS is ready for it. We have encountered several forms of these attacks. They look like legitimate traffic because they are unintentionally performed directly by a human. For example, he has malware on his mobile phone that opens a target when he opens a website at the same time. When compromised devices connect to a botnet in this way, it runs into the tens or hundreds of thousands per minute.

Our protections are only partially effective against this. This means that for a server under attack, we have to restrict traffic from, for example, mobile networks in certain countries. That can be limiting for some people. Only WEDOS AnyCast will offer the only 100% solution.

Yes, we promise a lot from the new service, but know that it will save you a lot of trouble too 😉

There are also plans to modify proxy servers so that we can see into encrypted communications (HTTPS) and actively eliminate attack attempts at the web application level. Currently we can only do this for HTTP. Thus, customers with HTTPS must rely on a common SYN filter.

By the way, last October we were already blocking more than 60% of the web traffic that nobody missed. We have also improved the evaluation of robot activity. We give the good guys more room. Limits are also tightened according to the current load on a particular server. When there’s more traffic, the robots have less room. Priority is always given to the actual visitor.

Domain Protection

As we mentioned at the beginning, we have established a subsidiary company WEDOS WHOIS Domain Privacy Protection, s.r.o., which will be responsible for domain protection. Until the beginning it will be just the protection of personal information in WHOIS, as the name suggests, but we would like to provide more on this in the future. Whether this will be part of the service or an additional service we do not know yet. These are rather ideas, but they will be implemented relatively quickly.

WEDOS Pay

WEDOS Pay is a service that will make it easier for us to invoice and possibly expand to other countries. It’s also one example that if we want to be closer to our customers we need to expand our reach beyond hosting.

We hope that WEDOS will have more activities like this next year. Let’s see, there are possibilities.

Conclusion

What else will be waiting for us in 2022? It also depends on the market situation and how many new colleagues we will get.

We can promise you it will be a ride 🙂