Building a better business

We've come a long way in 15 years


It starts on a trampoline

It was the summer of 2002. Two school friends were creating a website that would eventually become one of the worlds most successful gaming communities, the Nexus Forums.

Those friends were Simon Blackler & Robin Scott. While taking a break on the trampoline they got to talking about the nature of website design, and how people were charging an awful lot, for not very much. Given their new found skills they postulated that perhaps they could do a better job, and for less. So, as the young are want to do, they just got on and did it!

University Years

In early 2003 we incorporated Krystal Solutions LLP and by the end of the year we'd stopped designing websites, deciding instead to focus exclusively on hosting them. I went to study Computer Science at Exeter and met Tom.

We started with a US based reseller plan which we outgrew as word spread of a hosting company that actually cared about their client base. A US based rented dedicated server followed, which exposed us to a new tranche of learning opportunities. We learnt about servers—which hard drives, RAM and CPU combinations provided the best performance and how to harden them against attack. It wasn't long before we needed another server, and then another.

As university finished I started to think about the long term. We had 4 servers in the US and it was time to evolve again. Plans were made towards the end of 2006 to move our operations from the US to the UK.



In January 2007 we undertook our trans-atlantic migration, the single biggest, and most important, business decision we've ever taken. The plan was to migrate all of our hosting plans from rented US servers to our own UK servers. We took out a cabinet at The Bunker and purchased our own router, firewall, switch and servers and started.

It was a rougher ride than we'd have hoped for but our loyal clients stood by us and when the dust had settled they were well rewarded. Performance was markedly improved, having no trans–atlantic round trip delay, and with us in direct control of every aspect of our operation, from our internet connectivity all the way up to the software that ran on top of the servers, and everything in between, we were able to provide them with an exceptional level of service, all the while backed by UK support.