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FAQ --- Servers -- Hosted by CNG Internet

 
  1. What is Dedicated Hosting?
  2. What is Managed Dedicated Hosting?
  3. Any Business Reasons?
  4. Can I manage my system?
  5. How secure is it all?
  6. Can CNG Internet staff get to my servers?
  7. How do my servers connect to the Internet?
  8. What is the uptime of my system / server?
  9. What primary hardware manufacturers to you implement?
  10. Why do you emphasize DELL?
  11. Can I upgrade my system?
  12. Can I upgrade my connectivity to the Internet?
  13. Can I monitor my system / server?
  14. Can I buy the server / system after my contract is up?




You have a server (or multiple servers) all for yourself, (at our data center). Examples of how dedicated Servers might be used include:
  1. web-site hosting
  2. backup-server for servers at your location (Hot Standby)
  3. Email server
  4. Exchange server hosting postings for all your branches
  5. secure SharePoint server
  6. servers that can process transactions if your local servers are overloaded
  7. etc.

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Add to Dedicated Hosting the "peace of Mind" that your dedicated servers at our datacenter are managed by US and you have Managed Dedicated Hosting. This added feature is what makes dedicated hosting a real positive impact on your IT equation.

Managed Hosting features that we could be responsible for on your behalf include:
  1. Housing the servers in our New Jersey Datacenter, away from earthquakes, Ice Storms, Tornados, Floods, frequent Power Outages, etc.
  2. Having our technical staff monitor it all 24/7, without you having to hire a 2nd and 3rd shift
  3. Connecting your servers to a network that gets to the Internet via multiple backbone operators
  4. Being assured that your servers can be (software) provisioned with the latest Upgrades, Patches, and Improvements at a moment's notice

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A short, short list includes:
  1. It adds IT resources (servers, datacenter) to your strategic tools over night
  2. It implements a sometimes complex server / network project without intensive resource requirements (and associated headaches)
  3. It gives you a server / data presence near Boston, New York, Washington DC.
  4. Our Direct-Connect to the Internet via at&t, Verizon, and Qwest with outstanding performance, uptime, and latency.
  5. Financing it all with known, contracted, monthly payments, avoiding the need to budget a capital intensive project
  6. An enforcable Service-Level aggreement with an outside organization (us), and not with an internal department that often can't be enforced.
  7. ...
  8. ...
  9. With as much performance, operational, and scheduling management control as needed to hold us responsible to all contracted deliverables.



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YES
We do understand that it is a bit scary to let someone else "run" your system; afterall some pretty important stuff is being processed on it, and failures (or theft) can be just about catastrophic.
Thats why we build, and assemble, all parts of the managed hosting service we offer with your management control as a corner-stone.
The interface that enables you to manage your resources is (Customer Control Panel):
  1. network components that affect you
  2. server hardware
  3. server software
  4. application software
  5. access authority, permissions
  6. process policies
  7. process performance
  8. and finally, Service Level Aggreement performances
allows as much or as little management of your systems as you need, or as you are comfortable with. You may want, in the beginning, a bit more "hands-on", and slowly move into a "report-only" mode.


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Very.
Ok. Somewhat presumptuous on our part. Yet, we breathe datacenter, network, servers all day long. THIS, AND ONLY THIS, IS OUR BUSINESS.

Security to us means:
  1. network components that affect you, including switches and firewalls that can failover
  2. server hardware, including onsite spare-parts, in our datacenter
  3. server software, installed in a "Clean-Room" fashion (thus avoiding virus infection during the OS/App installation.
  4. application software, installed and protected with strong passwords, and encryption where possible
  5. access authority, permissions. Managed on a "need-to-know" basis.
  6. process policies
  7. process performance
  8. and finally, Service Level Aggreement performances
A number of security-details as well as security performance reports can be managed by you via CCP (Customer Control Panel)

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As such, NO.
The level of access by us to your servers is guided by the "Managed Hosting Contract". In a case where you would rather not have us on your server, you can do a number of pretty amazing things via our CCP (Customer Control Panel) yourself.

Take OS patching as an instance.
- Our competitors will tell you that they need access to your server in order to patch (or let IE do an automatic patch if you need it or not).
- We have a module in our CCP that gets the appropriate patch from our Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003. Each Managed Hosting account has a profile on our SMS, and you can either "Pull" the software patch / software upgrade, or we can "Push" the material to your server, without ever having to sign on to your server.

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All dedicated servers are connected via managed CISCO switches to an internal (DMZ) network. This network goes through a firewall to the edge router. Traffic from the router goes through local loops to two backbone operators (via BGP). The local loop and backbone operators include Verizon, at&t and Qwest.

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99.99%. Well, perhaps. It seems that everybody promises at least 99.999% uptime. And add a lot of fine-print talking about exceptions: (i.e. a specific router, a specific server, excluding "scheduled maintenance times", etc.)

This is what we have in our SLA:
  1. Power in our datacenter - 100% up for 9hrs
  2. After that, primary systems up 100% for another 12hrs, but secondary systems will be shut down (i.e. backups, provisioning, accounting, performance monitoring, etc)
  3. Servers, up 99.99%, NOT ACCOUNTING FOR:
    1. REBOOTS INITIATED / REQUESTED BY CUSTOMERS
    2. REBOOTS NEEDED TO INSTALL NEW APPLICATIONS
    3. REBOOTS AFTER A OS-UPGRADE, PATCH, SECURITY-UPGRADE
    4. HARDWARE UPGRADES, ETC
  4. Network, backbone. We have contracts with our backbone operators to be up 99.999%
  5. Network, local loops. We have contracts with our loop providers for 99.999% uptime
  6. Network, internal. Looking over the uptime history for our datacenter for the last 6 years, we were up about 99.9%; looking over the last 12 months, after we moved to our new location and new datacenter, uptime is indeed 99.99%.
A Note:
Level 2 and 3 SLA's include a penalty to be paid by us to you if uptimes are not met!


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1) Network gear, CISCO
2) Servers, DELL
3) UPS, APC

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DELL because we can "pass-through" to our customers these advantages:
  1. Less complex, more value.
  2. Partnership program that we are part off. More than 15,000 solution providers already do business with Dell.
  3. Dell's Custom Factory Integration. Allows us to order directly from a factory, and not through a chain of a Reseller, and a System Integrator, and a Distributor
  4. Dell Deployment Services moves approximately 30% of our deployment work into Dell's factory
  5. A Dell quote: "96% of Fortune 500 companies do business with Dell"
  6. Flexibility. We order systems as WE need them. They arive, we rack them, turn power on, and RUN.
  7. Simplicity in managing. Built-in KVM capabilities, buit-in system monitoring capabilities, built-in RAID, Cluster, Shared-Memory capabilities.
  8. Simple systems do not go down as often as costly complex systems. Or need a part from Mars to start up again.
  9. And finally, Dell aproaches the Partnership Program as a business, and not as a means to have us just sell DELL, DELL, DELL for them.

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Yes. Hardware as well as software. Either upgrade the server you are using now, or move to a new server. The upgrade process is started by you via our CCP (Custome Control Panel), and is carried out after we agree on a schedule.

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Yes. You can move to the next level of bandwidth usage. You can also move from a switched network to a dedicated network, and finally we can install your own firewall (CISCO hardware or Linux Server).

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Yes. As a starter, use the CCP (Customer Control Panel). You may also install your own monitoring software on your server. We will work with you to establish SNMP and / or Port assignments you need.

Note:
Working with you on SNMP / Port assignments assures us and our other customers that you monitor what is of interest to assure SLA adherance and not, by accident, snoop on our other customers or our development systems. (Not that you would!)

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Interesting Question. In general, NO. Your (Managed) hosting contract is NOT A LEASE (with all its financial, tax, and asset implications). Your contract with us is a service contract.
In some cases, we will sell the server to you, PROVIDED ALL OTHER CONTRACT STIPULATIONS HAVE BEEN RESOLVED, AND ISSUES SUCH AS SOFTWARE LICENSE AND HARDWARE / SOFTWARE MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS CAN BE AGREED ON.

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