Frequently Asked Question
Below you will find responses to questions that we have been asked and our responses. We’ve also tried to address the more generic questions that are generally asked by people that are new to could computing. However, if you have any other questions about our company or services or cloud computing in general please get in touch with us.
One of the key benefits of moving to Cloud technology is removing the expense of operating your own office based servers and removing the endless Capital Expenditure in and on-going operating, support and upgrade costs associated with these. Your applications and data will secure and run from the C-NEST Cloud infrastructure, there will be no need for servers in your office. That said, the early and largely now addressed concerns regarding Cloud solutions give companies pause for thought as to what applications are appropriate to be ‘cloudified’, these types of concerns are often addressed by employing Hybrid Cloud solutions.
Your existing applications can definitely be run in the Cloud. Even your legacy applications can be ‘cloudified’ allowing you to take full advantage of all of the benefits of cloud technology.
Note, that not all software lends itself equally well to native Cloud technology. Applications designed and developed for web technologies run best in the Cloud . Non-web applications and legacy applications can generally be run on Cloud technology via Terminal Emulation., with the provision that these applications are first tested in the Cloud. C-NEST provides solutions that will allow you to test and migrate these applications to our Cloud technology.
Many companies believe that their servers and data will be more secure in their own infrastructure in their own offices. The reality is that most companies do not look after their on-premise servers and data very well. At C-NEST we go to great lengths, generally much more than the average business, to ensure that the client servers and data we look after is very very secure.
We operate multiple physical and software firewalls that are always kept upto date our server OS’s are always fully patched, with 24/7 physical security and biometric controlled access to our data-center. Our email services operate behind the best and multiple AV and anti-spam solutions, always kept up to date. Our infrastructure operates with self-monitoring solutions that auto-fail-over and auto-alert in the event of any issues. Our web-server services operate behind the same secure infrastructure optimized for performance with separate NGINX reverse-proxy servers load balances and the latest version web-stack components.
We spend a considerable amount of effort in ensuring that we provide our clients with a secure and robust cloud infrastructure.
Our cloud servers offerings provide you with your own (or shared) cloud server which you can use as your file/application/DB/email server etc). Cloud servers run on C-NEST’s fully supported and dedicated hardware and software infrastructure.
A co-location server is when you bring your own physical server into the C-NEST data-center. Depending on your needs we can install and configure your server and provide various levels of managed services on your server from 24/7 monitoring, performance monitoring and optimization, OS patching, hosting services such as backup and disaster recovery and onsite fail over.
Small businesses are used to operating as efficiently as possible, and cloud computing means that you pay for only the services that you use, rather than being locked into a contract or hardware that becomes outdated within months. With cloud services, you are able to upgrade to the latest service on demand, usually at no extra cost.
So yes, Cloud Computing and Cloud Services are very relevant to SMEs!
Of course, your Dedicate Cloud Server is only yours! Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) can utilize differing virtualisation technologies and create virtual servers in different ways. At C-NEST we make use of VM Ware, Hyper-V and KVM technology, providing you with an enterprise level dedicated virtual server (VM) environment, with guaranteed and dedicated resources that are yours alone. You will have complete root access to your VM and we can assist in customising and optimising your VMs as needed. Do not mistake this service with shared hosting and the other various types of Private VMs available in the market.
NIST defines Cloud Computing as :
“Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.”
The cloud is not really a technology by itself. Rather, it is an approach to building IT services that harnesses the rapidly increasing horsepower of servers as well as virtualization technologies that combine many servers into large computing pools and divide single servers into multiple virtual machines that can be spun up and powered down at will.
C-NEST’s Cloud comprises of clusters of multiple servers that work in harmony. Every server adds power and resources to C-NEST’s Cloud Resource Clusters (CRC). At any given time your actual Cloud Server cloud be using resources from multiple servers, meaning that you are not dependant on a single server as would be the case with a dedicated server. Clearly you there is no single server as a single point of failure that could result in services downtime. In addition, should your workload increase or decrease at short notice scaling your resources up or down is a very simple process that does not interrupt your business as usual!
We understand technology, all variants of ‘the Cloud’ and that technology is a tool to empower your business. Our deep understanding of both technology and business and our absolute dedication to delivering value to our clients differentiates us from our competition and will also differentiate you from your competition.
Quantifying the cost of internal IT vs the use of Cloud based resources (and there are endless papers and opinions on this one) is not a simple excercise. There are companies such as Apptio that will try to assist you with this quantification excercise. We will leave you to trawl throug this endless resarch but keep this in mind; regard computing resource as a utility to be used as and when and where you need it and in the variable quantities that you need, much like you use water or electricity or any other utility. Do you currently build your own power or water infrastrucutre? Would this make economic sense? This was the model for accessing these utilitles initially; most corporates would attempt to build and maintain their own mini power stations and water infrastructures. Then came the realisation that they business was the manufacture of cars or the production of textiles etc; they were not in the utilities business! Then came the economies of scale in utilities; clients could focus on their business and let the utilities companies focus on their business.
Is your business computing and IT resource provision and maintenance? Our is.
Hopefully you can appreciate the simple logic and economics in my preferred and simplistic way of getting this message across. The choice of course remains yours. But at C-NEST we are in no doubt as to the value of focused, expert, ubiquitous, scalable computing resource to your business.
Be good at what you are good at, we are!