This year, nine.ch will be celebrating its birthday. 15 years ago, the company Nine Internet Solutions AG was founded, taking its place in the commercial register. But how did it all begin back then? And what has nine.ch achieved since that time?
Founding and First Products
The nine.ch story begins in 1999, above a garage in Emmenbrücke in the canton of Lucerne. Philipp Koch and Thomas Hug, who know each other from their days at high school, share a passion for computers. The two students begin to discover and explore the still young Internet and go on to create a hosting platform. More by chance than anything, this develops into a business idea and they register the nine.ch domain.
With the onset of success, the two decide to start a business and have Nine Internet Solutions AG entered in the commercial register in 2002. Their first product is classic Webhosting.
The company grows rather quickly, so Philipp and Tom decide in 2003 to house the server systems (which were stored until then at Init7 and other locations) at the Telehouse data centre in Zurich. With the new data centre capacity, nine.ch also expanded its range of services to include Server Housing.
nine.ch Grows and Prospers
The product range is expanded steadily over the following years. In 2004 nine.ch uses an additional data centre location and is therefore able to offer the new products Root Server and Root VServer. The Colocation-Segment is also introduced, meaning that Quarter Racks and Third Racks can be offered thanks to the newly expanded site. With the 2006 introduction of Managed Services for dedicated and virtual servers, nine.ch is able to establish itself as the first Swiss server management provider. Managed VServer and Managed Server are now also included within the product range.
nine.ch grows rapidly and now has seven employees. The office at number 78a, Binzmühlestrasse is fast becoming too small, so nine.ch moves to 77 Letzigraben.
In order to keep pace with growth and to continue to meet customer requirements, in 2007 nine.ch elects to expand their infrastructure. This includes the construction and commissioning of the colozüri.ch data centre, witch now means that nine.ch is represented at a total of three locations.
- These are redundantly connected via a dark fibre ring.
- This means that high-availability server platforms can now be offered, spread over several locations.
- Thus, another product is created - the HA-Cluster (High-Availability-Cluster).
New Offices, New Website and 10GB Backbone
The following years, nine.ch achieves further growth with demanding hosting solutions using Managed Servers and, in 2008, moves with nine employees to new, modern offices at 243c Albisriederstrasse. As this office soon becomes too small, nine.ch decides a little later to relocate again – two buildings down the street. At 243a Albisriederstrasse, the now 19 employees have more than enough room, so things can once again start looking up personnel-wise. In addition, nine.ch welcomes lots of new customers to its infrastructure, including Rivella AG.
So that it can continue to act as a responsible provider in technical terms too, nine.ch begins in 2010 – in partnership with colozüri.ch AG – to operate further data-centre capacity with an area of 300m2, expanding its backbone to 10 gigabits. In addition, all products begin to include a 100Mbps flat-rate. The product range is also restructured in order to ensure continuous improvement of existing services. These changes benefit both existing and new customers like Dolder Hotel AG.
Focusing on Server Solutions
Up to 2012, things continue to look up at nine.ch. The existing network is expanded, another data centre at colozüri.ch begins operations and – replacing the VServer technology – virtual instances are now set up with KVM, which can likewise be managed in the newly launched nine.ch cockpit. So that nine.ch can focus exclusively on server solutions in the future, all standard hosting products are outsourced.
In corporate terms too, nine.ch development is strong. ISO 9001 certification is a major milestone. Via this, internal processes and quality management are continuously and sustainably adjusted at nine.ch. The number of employees further grows to a total of 32. In order to improve customer services, the offices remain open to customers at lunchtime and customers can now interact directly with nine.ch via LiveChat on the new website. With Ringier Axel Springer AG Switzerland, WWF, Doodle, meetinvest and Classic Driver, nine.ch is able to add more famous names to its customer base.
New Products, New Data Centre and additional Certification
nine.ch expands strongly in 2015 and 2016, setting the foundations for future success. The product range is expanded to include the products Managed DDoS Protection, Backupspace for Root (V)Server, Backupspace for Colocation, Startup-Scaleup and Cloudserver and the existing Managed Cluster can now be ordered as a geo-redundant failover solution. With the commissioning of e-shelter – another data centre site – customer needs requiring on-site ISO 27001 certification can now be met and Cockpit 2.0 also gives nine.ch customers activity streams for server events and interactive graphics as well as letting them enjoy easier administration of their data. Cloud servers can be managed through this platform too.
In order to fully meet ISO 27001 requirements, nine.ch has had itself certified as a company in addition to commissioning the e-shelter. Thus it can certifiably guarantee integrated information security.
The nine.ch-Blog is introduced, containing articles about nine.ch and new technology, and the newsletter – based on the most exciting blog articles – is sent every two months. nine.ch also introduces the TechTalkThursday, which takes place once a quarter in the nine.ch offices, bringing together exciting presentations and interested people to listen, discuss, eat and drink.
nine.ch also creates Nine Internet Solutions Limited, a subsidiary based in Canada, and is now therefore represented at two locations in order to keep pace with company growth and customer needs.
From a client-base perspective too, nine.ch is able to welcome new (and familiar) customers. With Zimtstern AG, Energie 360° AG, Pro Senectute Schweiz and bexio AG as new customers in 2015 and FC Zürich, the Finanz und Wirtschaft journal, Schweizerische Tiermeldezentrale AG, SIX Payment Services AG and Data Quest AG as new customers in 2016, the customer base just keeps growing.
nine.ch has a great deal planned for 2017 and, with around 40 employees, a new chapter of the nine.ch story is being written. The general direction of the future is the flexible use of the public cloud and expansion of our partnership with AWS.
We are looking forward to the next stages – and of course to the next 15 years and beyond. Many thanks to all our customers for your loyalty and support!