10(+) years in the Labs

At the beginning of the year 2021, Qrator Labs is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. On January 19 our company marks the official passing of a formal 10 years longevity mark, entering its second decade of existence. 

Everything started a little bit earlier - when at the age of 10 Alex saw the Robotron K 1820 - in 2008, when Alexander Lyamin - the founder and CEO of Qrator Labs, approached the Moscow State University superiors, where he worked as a NOC engineer at the time, with an idea of a DDoS-attack mitigation research project. The MSU's network was one of the largest in the country and, as we know now, it was the best place to hatch a future technology.

That time MSU administration agreed, and Mr Lyamin took his own hardware to the university, simultaneously gathering a team. In two years, by summer 2010, the project turned out to be that successful. It courted the DDoS attack of a bandwidth exceeding the MSU's upstream bandwidth capability. And on June 22 MSU superiors gave Mr Lyamin a choice - to shut down or find money to incorporate.

Alexander Lyamin chose to incorporate with his own means, which effectively meant that the needed infrastructure must be built from scratch. The initial design should be distributed instead of concentrated within one network, which resources were not enough for this specific task. And by September 1, 2010, those first server sites were ready and running.

Among many other things within the company we love devices, especially old and well-preserved
Among many other things within the company we love devices, especially old and well-preserved

Of course, it was not always only about flx - a nickname used by Mr Lyamin. The company grew from a core team of 7 people in mid-2010 to almost 70 employees by 2021.

It would take an inaccessible amount of text to describe everything going on at this point within Qrator Labs. Needless to say, we are still a scientifically oriented company with a strong focus on building a robust BGP-anycast computer network closer to the Internet backbone and providing one of the best DDoS-mitigation service on top of it. Although in these ten years, everything has grown in size and diversity - customer infrastructure under defence, amount of services we develop and support, and complexity of communication.

As we were preparing an anniversary event (more on this at the end of an article) and discussing all the details of upcoming talks, it became clear that most of the company's earlier employees never expected it to grow up to its current size. Maybe that is because we sometimes get too excited about the state of the "current" and what we have to prepare for, forgetting about all the progress we've already made. Well, this article is intended that way - first of all, to remind ourselves how things changed in 10 years.

Quick facts:

  • From 1 to 14 scrubbing centres on 4 continents, islands of Japan, Singapore and the Arabian Peninsula;

  • Entering 2021 Qrator filtering network has approximately 3 Tbps of cumulative bandwidth we utilize for DDoS-mitigation;

  • From 7 to almost 70 employees from eleven cities;

  • And, literally, thousands of saved customers.

And all that without any third-party investment! Through all these years our company followed a strict self-sufficient path of growth and development. Of course, not taking into consideration the effort of everyone involved throughout all those years.

Yet we still do our best in preserving our core values: open-mindedness, professionalism, scientific approach and customer focus. Even though there are many business-related aims for the company, probably most of the colleagues would still prefer to dive into an engineering or mathematical problem that hasn't been clearly solved up to this moment. With limited resources, we must stay focused on primary research areas, which actually hasn't changed a lot: the world of BGP routing and DDoS-attacks mitigation.

The only thing changed is the public perception of "bots", which has transformed into "internet noise" (which is generated by "bots") and "internet signal" (which is generated by customer/visitor) - though for us it kind of was like that, since our primary job for all those years was and still is to put aside attack traffic for protected resources. So whatever the challenge is, you stay assured that it is accepted by Qrator Labs.

Starting off 2021 on such a high note is incredible. With everything we've achieved and accomplished as a team, through all the successes and, let's face it - some failures, that helped us improve, we are looking forward to the new era in computing and networking. Because what 2020 has shown us is that the Internet as we know it shapes the entire human ecumene ("is a Greek term for the known, the inhabited, or the habitable world dating from antiquity - Wikipedia"). We, as a civilization, become critically reliant on light speed fast communication, above everything else.

At Qrator Labs, after those ten plus years, we still pursue the same goal we started with - to provide users with uninterrupted availability of the protected resource.

Due to this once in a lifetime opportunity, we decided to hold a small online event for everyone eager to become better acknowledged with the Qrator Labs team, products, services and history.

Every talk is approximated at 15 to 20 minutes so that you could expect a solid two hours of presentations by Qrator Labs representatives.

Mark your calendars for the upcoming January 19, because here is what is going to happen starting 12 o'clock Central European Time.

I/III - First Hour

"10 years of business development: from scratch to growing business, serving first customers and saving careers, and now conquering emerging markets with a leading technology." - by Maxim Beloenko, VP of Global Sales.

"Building a technology surpassing competitors, never-ending research mindset, computer science and the practical implementation side." - by Töma Gavrichenkov, Co-founder and CTO.

5-minute break

II/III - Second Hour

"Third-party integrations into Qrator Labs - our work on improving the services we provide under one roof with partner's technologies - CDN and WAF." - by Andrey Leskin, Product Manager.

"Qrator Radar - a 5+ year journey from internal service to a standalone product." - by Eugene Bogomazov, Software Engineer.

5-minute break

III/III - Third Hour

"Pre-sales & Integration: - Technical pre-sale - how we onboard the most complex customers;- Partner Integration - do it once, and it keeps on giving;- Developing product vision - do it twice, then make a product out of it." - by George Tarasov, Pre-Sale Engineer.

"Network Operations Center day-to-day life in a cybersecurity company." - by Dmitry Shemonaev, Head of NOC.

"Results of the decade for the company. We are coming out with innovations in the 20s. Further growth of the 1st echelon company based on research activities and relationship with the customer as an investor." - closing remarks by Sergei Pasechnik, Head of Sales Department at Qrator Labs.