Yellow Tuna bulks up on foreign diet

UK has proved a bonanza for local company

Deregulation of telecomms in the UK has proved a bonanza for Auckland network managed services software house Yellow Tuna Networks, which says it is now earning more than 90% of its revenue from overseas.

“ISPs overseas are much more aware about driving out cost,” says CEO Bill Farmer. “They’re all looking at revenue from a falling base.”

Yellow Tuna was formed three years ago by former employees of Xtra to develop systems that control and report everything that goes on in a network. One product, the Mako Networks Automated Internet Services Enablement System, provides simple configuration and reporting of broadband connections.

“It was developed to [monitor] connections to the internet using ADSL,” Farmer says. “That means you don’t get bill shock," he says, referring to the fact that some Telecom customers have reported bills of $10,000 and more from their ADSL JetStream connections. "The product reaches a threshhold and then cuts off.”

Yellow Tuna launched in the UK 18 months ago. In March CEO Bill Farmer said UK ISP Intronet has ordered 350 of the company’s Mako Linux routing appliances for its existing customers, and hoped to sell over 1500 of the devices before the end of the year. The company now claims customers in Scotland, the Middle East and Australia. “More than 90% of our revenue is now derived offshore.”

The average cost of Mako is $99 a month, or $2500 outright, which includes a three-year services subscription.

The product has been built on a range of Borland technologies, including InterBase. “Mako’s central database has to be able to deal with constant growth in the number of end-point devices, so scalability is critical,” Farmer says. “Now that InterBase has support for symmetric multiprocessing, we can support new users and improve application speed by adding new processors rather than entire servers."

Yellow Tuna houses its back-up servers in Ireland.

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