TL; DR: Streamline Servers began 15 years ago with a single dedicated server in New Zealand. Since then, it has grown into a major international provider of gaming and business servers optimized for protection against DDoS attacks. The company can mitigate threats that other providers overlook, and it runs secure points of presence (PoPs) in several countries that are connected with undersea cables. As part of its network expansion in Australia, Streamline Servers recently released unmetered VPS, which it can offer thanks to its deep commitment to global infrastructure.
Streamline Servers caught lightning in a bottle not long after its founding in 2007. The company initially served clients in the gaming market, but its offerings were so popular and secure that it quickly progressed into a comprehensive service provider for companies of all sizes.
“We started from a single dedicated server and eventually expanded to the Australian market a couple of years later,” said Nathan Harding, Streamline Servers CEO. “And from there, we expanded, with a large deployment to Singapore, eventually into Tokyo, and then we expanded through North America and to Europe.”
That massive success was driven by the company’s decision to mitigate a growing problem: distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. A DDoS attack is a coordinated assault on a server by people who aim to overwhelm the server with a large uptick in traffic volume. Eventually, the server slows down, adversely affecting legitimate visitors, and the server itself may even crash.
“Our growth largely came from DDoS protection in the industry just not being up to par,” said Callum Hansford, COO of Streamline Servers. “Being in the gaming industry initially, we saw a large amount of DoS attacks, and we’ve tried every single provider under the sun. None of them were able to do what we needed.”
Around 2007, the company started building its own solution, which spread across the globe. Today, an international network of dedicated routers, transit links, undersea cables, and Ethernet infrastructure feed into the company’s robust DDoS protection services.
Streamline Servers delivers optimized gaming and voice servers, and dedicated and VPS for individuals and businesses. The company offers standard shared hosting in both Australia and the United States, and it still provides the game servers that made it famous, with each focused on a specific title.
Game Servers Require Protection From DDoS Attacks
Initially, many DDoS attacks focused on game servers because the people most inclined to launch those kinds of attacks were gamers themselves. More recently, however, that calculus has started to shift, driven by the changing nature of the internet’s bad actors.
“When we started 15 or so years ago, game servers were usually targeted. Today, they’re targeting all types of enterprise web servers, VPS, dedicated servers, corporate mail servers — everything seems to be a target,” Nathan said. “So the capabilities we’ve built from our gaming days are relevant today and have become one of our core competencies, which is what has made us successful. Building out this DDoS protection solution globally has set us apart from everyone else.”
Although game servers still require DDoS protection, that calculation is increasingly critical for business leaders. As more companies rely on servers for mission-critical functions and revenue generation, even a brief outage can prove costly.
“We like to ask our enterprises what they’d do if their web servers were offline for a day or they lost email for a day. How much money would they lose?” Callum said.
Increasingly, DDoS attacks aren’t a form of retaliation among gamer subgroups. Instead, they are a tool used by cybercriminals who demand a ransom, often in the form of bitcoin, to cease attacks. Although ransomware attacks tend to make the news, as with the 2021 Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, DDoS campaigns against unprotected servers are commonplace and hard to correct while an attack is underway.
Thoughtful Security is Essential for All Hosted Servers
Protection against cyberattacks requires layers of foresight. Solid security should start before companies need security. All servers should have redundancy — to failover if one specific server is knocked offline — and responsive support from the hosting provider.
“You have to trust that the company is focusing on security elements like we are,” Nathan said. “It’s what our clients want and value. And the reason why most of our clients are word of mouth is that they are so satisfied, and they love what we do for them.”
Streamline Servers maintains several forums where customers can find information about emerging threats and potential mitigations before the general public finds out. The company offers an overview of the problem and possible solutions to gauge interest in that specific release. That means the company’s customer base is directly involved in shaping its product and service portfolio.
“We’re trialing a new mitigation platform for clients that places a significant amount of value on DDoS protection and security,” Nathan said. “We provide them with a beta mitigation system. These things we can only really develop with constant feedback from clients. And clients are at the forefront in assuring that what comes out of development is usable.”
Although companies like Streamline Servers can empower businesses to protect themselves, true information security doesn’t mean buying a product and hoping it works. Business leaders must engage thoughtfully in their corporate security posture and partner with security-minded providers to ensure they are covered and can adapt quickly as threat assessments change.
Streamline Servers Secures Critical Services and Infrastructure
The risks to corporate IT increase as cybercriminals evolve their nefarious skills. Early DDoS attacks targeted game servers with the goal of simple disruption. Modern attacks are more complex. They target corporate servers and include demands for cryptocurrency payment to make the company whole again.
Companies can mitigate their risk by employing an active security posture, which often includes a partnership with Streamline Servers. The work is never really done because threat vectors frequently change, so complacency is a risk in itself. Businesses can share accountability and best practices by working hand-in-hand with security experts.
Streamline Servers isn’t all about security. The company’s hosting platform, which stretches across datacenters in several different countries, is innovating an unmetered VPS platform.
“Australia is probably the most expensive market for transit and services,” Callum said. “What we’ve been able to do — because we built such a large network — is offer completely unmetered VPS solutions starting around AU$30 per month, which is completely unheard-of.”
The company’s network of undersea cables creates opportunities for ultra-secure, low-latency connections between major cities. For example, a connection between New York and Sydney only requires two hops, which brings significant advantages to companies that depend on the speed and reliability of global network connections.
“It’s strange,” Nathan said. “While what we’ve done is important and costly, it’s opened a lot of doors for us, which wasn’t our expectation all those years ago. There have been a lot of benefits that are just flowing from the effort put into building what we have today.”