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Facts and Questions

Outlined below are answers to some of the more common questions we get asked. Feel free to contact us to find out more about Zynstra products and services.

What do Zynstra do?
What makes it unique?
Why does it only exist now?
What is the difference between Zynstra’s Cloud Managed Servers and a normal server?
Is it cheaper for me to buy a server than to pay for a Cloud Managed Server?
Why is it better?
What are the alternatives when refreshing / upgrading my IT?
Why can’t I build it myself?
What other things could my IT person be doing?
Why do I still need on-site IT in this cloud world?
How many virtual machines (VMs) can I run on the Zynstra server?
Am I able to manage my own applications running on the Zynstra server?
What if I don’t have sufficient broadband connectivity to use cloud services?
What if I want to retain on-site control of my IT?
Why is your security better than what I would normally buy?
What if I would like to keep my data on-site?
What is hyperconvergence and how do you implement it?
Do I have to commit to a long-term service contract?
What if I don’t have the budget to replace my servers?
What happens if my number of employees goes up?
I have multiple sites – can you connect all my offices/sites together?
What are the service level agreements associated with the Zynstra IT servers?
What happens when the hardware goes end of life?
Where can I buy Zynstra?
How long does it take from placing an order to getting my server up and running?
How much does it cost?
How do I Pay?

What do Zynstra do?

Zynstra Hybrid IT delivers the best of on-premises and cloud IT as a service. It comes packaged in a server that is simple to install, kept up to date 24/7 and fully managed.

What makes it unique?

Zynstra’s unique software delivers enterprise grade IT as a service, enabling you to choose the right blend of local and cloud IT to scale with your business, without the need for upfront capital costs or expensive future upgrades

Why does it only exist now?

Up until now only enterprise businesses have had sufficient resource and capital in order to benefit from the best of on-premises and cloud IT. The growing pressure of cloud adoption for the SMB and Education market has resulted in this position being unsustainable.

We believe that all businesses and organizations, regardless of size, be they on one site or many, should be able to enjoy enterprise class Hybrid IT which is simple to buy, deploy and use, and paid for on an affordable, no capex, subscription model

What is the difference between Zynstra’s Cloud Managed Servers and a normal server?

Zynstra’s Cloud Managed Servers delivers all the IT you need in a box. So you can have the priority IT applications that many businesses still want to remain on-premises – Active Directory, Networking services, File & Print Services, Security and Firewall, while also having the flexibility to select cloud applications to suit your business requirements. You also benefit from our Cloud Management Platform which means that you don’t have to worry about service upgrades and patches like conventional servers. We take care of all this for you with our ‘Keep Current Technology’ 24/7 – consider it as ‘worry free IT’ and ‘maintenance free IT’.

Is it cheaper for me to buy a server than to pay for a Cloud Managed Server?

Zynstra’s Cloud Managed Servers is more than just a server. While single components of a possible solution often seem cheaper on face value, the true cost of IT is typically in the cost of installing, managing, maintaining, securing and backing up the IT services. When all costs are properly taken in to account and comparable service levels achieved, the Zynstra solution is typically 30% more cost effective over the life of the contract. Not only that, because payments are OPEX based (predictable monthly payments) you can preserve your cash for the business over a longer period.

Why is it better?

We deliver enterprise IT for SMB and distributed locations/sites where local IT support and cost effective infrastructure is hard to achieve.

You have the flexibility to choose what you have on-premises and in the cloud without having to pay large up front capital costs. Not only that, because it is a fully managed standardized infrastructure you or your IT team can focus on delivering added value to your business.

What are the alternatives when refreshing / upgrading my IT?

You can keep your existing IT infrastructure in the knowledge that you will eventually have to renew it (eg. Microsoft support for Windows Server 2003 and Small Business Server ends in July 2015) and that normally comes with a large up front capital cost that doesn’t meet the requirements of your finance team. Alternatively you can move all your IT in to the cloud – an approach that is not popular because most companies want the security of some IT on-site.

Hybrid IT is the new norm.

 “Hybrid IT environments (combining on-premises and cloud) will remain the foreseeable norm.”

Gartner 2014 SMB scenario.

Why can’t I build it myself?

We sometimes get this question from Managed Service Providers (MSPs). It’s simple. Every customer is unique and currently MSPs have to spend considerable time and resource maintaining and improving every one of their customers’ IT infrastructures. Our unique software delivers a standardized IT infrastructure that can be utilized and configured across ALL customers. Not only that, it is Cloud managed.

Zynstra has invested more than 50 man-years of enterprise-grade software development and architectural skill into various iterations of our product which is now at version 18. It is also tightly integrated with the HP Proliant server range, something a customer or MSP would struggle to achieve. Every release includes investment in keep current, upgrade, security including penetration testing.

All these things mean the functionality, quality, security, automation, cost of ownership, maintenance and management and overall business value of a Zynstra Hybrid Cloud Managed Server is far superior to any in-house DIY solution could ever aspire to be.

We have yet to meet any MSP that can afford the level of R&D investment that Zynstra brings to bear, to deliver a standard IT infrastructure and keep it up-to-date.

What other things could my IT person be doing?

Most of the IT professionals we meet and talk to do not want to spend their time fire-fighting, patching, maintaining servers and dealing with upgrades. They want an efficient and reliable IT infrastructure that enables them to go and identify solutions and applications that make a difference to individual users across each department – so while your standard infrastructure ‘just works’ you can focus on adding value to the business.

Why do I still need on-site IT in this cloud world?

The economies of scale provided by cloud solutions are highly attractive but most companies want an element of IT on-site, normally in the shape of Active Directory, Networking, File & Print services, Security and Firewall – but with space for local applications and cloud applications like Office 365.

Companies such as legal, financial and professional services who have a regulatory need to keep documents and data locally prefer to have an element of local IT and data. In addition, many businesses, (e.g. retail with POS systems), need to be able to keep working locally even when there is a network failure or other issue that prevents cloud access.

Zynstra delivers all that, plus it is pre-integrated. So it’s IT ‘that just works’ and is maintained for you, but you can stay in control with User Control Panels or Active Directory.

How many virtual machines (VMs) can I run on the Zynstra server?

Each server model is pre-configured to arrive with a set of standard Windows VM’s as set out in the current data sheet. Should you wish to change this configuration, this can be assessed, validated and (if appropriate) priced during a site survey.

Am I able to manage my own applications running on the Zynstra server?

Yes, we are able to ensure that you are granted appropriate privileges to access and manage your applications running in your IaaS (infrastructure as a service) VM containers.

What if I don’t have sufficient broadband connectivity to use cloud services?

Zynstra’s Cloud Managed Servers is designed for businesses who have constrained internet access. You choose where your data resides to suit your connectivity. Zynstra’s accredited partners can also advise on connectivity based on your upload/download requirements now and in the future.

What if I want to retain on-site control of my IT?

The Zynstra Cloud Management Service that monitors and manages the server has a fully delegable management console so that you and your service provider can operate the platform in the most efficient and effective manner for your business. This can all be managed remotely and does not require on-site presence.

Why is your security better than what I would normally buy?

Zynstra incorporates the network gateway anti-virus and firewall features you need. To improve security further still, each of our local IT infrastructure services are executed in their own standalone virtual machine (VM). These VMs are locked down so they only do the things they are supposed to, and each VM can only see the other VMs that they need to.

Our security software monitors the behaviour and integrity of the VMs in the local IT infrastructure. Each operating system and application image is compared frequently with a standard image on file (golden image), to prove they are correct and have not been substituted or hacked.

Any unusual behaviour is reported to our operations team who will immediately begin to diagnose the issue, work and release a resolution as required.

Zynstra goes way beyond standard Firewall and Anti-Virus solutions, providing a systematic approach to security including both a first and second line of defence.

What if I would like to keep my data on-site?

As the data owner or controller you decide what data resides where, depending on your business’ security and access requirements. With on-site or cloud backup options available you have the peace of mind that your data is kept safe and secure 24/7.

What is hyperconvergence and how have you implemented it?

Hyperconvergence is an infrastructure system with a software-centric architecture that tightly integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources and other technologies from scratch in a commodity hardware box supported by a single vendor. It’s a way to enable cloudlike economics and scale without compromizing the performance, reliability, and availability you expect in your own data center or server. Hyperconvergence provides real benefits in terms of data efficiency, scalability, data protection, VM utilization, availability and cost efficiency.

Hyperconvergence enables Zynstra to combine the latest virtualization technology, found at the heart of some of the biggest cloud service providers today, and applies it to our on-premises Cloud Managed Servers. The server’s CPU, memory and storage are virtualized for easy allocation to each IT function. By using a common virtualization layer for all network functions, whether the customer is using a group file share or running Windows based applications, they benefit from the underlying hyperconverged platform that ensures enterprise-grade system performance and reliability. Zynstra takes hyperconvergence a step further by ensuring each IT function is integrated with the server’s network security and user authentication to ensure protection from both external and internal security risks.

Do I have to commit to a long-term service contract?

The minimum commitment to the server is 12 months, with pricing benefits for commitment to a longer-term contract. In addition you can either pay monthly or annually providing you with greater flexibility to manage your budget.

What if I don’t have the budget to replace my servers?

Zynstra scores highly here because capital outlay for IT refresh can become a huge problem. Zynstra eradicates this. The service, which includes the provision of a Cloud Managed Server, is paid for on a predictable monthly fee basis. Therefore, aside from some minimal set up pre-requisites, all costs are OpEx based with no up-front CAPEX requirement to get going.

What happens if my number of employees goes up?

Zynstra’s Cloud Managed Servers have the flexibility to scale with the needs of a growing organization. There are plenty of options available, so whether an additional or new server is required, we can cater for an increase in your staffing levels.

I have multiple sites – can you connect all my offices/sites together?

Yes, Zynstra supports a full multi-site configuration with combined Active Directory across sites and Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) based global name space across all Zynstra supplied and connected Windows File and Print servers. Choose between Ipsec based VPN or alternatively use an MPLS based VPN from a service provider.

What are the service level agreements associated with the Zynstra IT server?

Zynstra offer a 99.75% service availability on our High Availability solution (a maximum of 10 hours downtime during working hours across the year). A single server has a 99.0% availability guarantee (allowing for hardware replacement). The Disaster Recovery service if invoked will provide access to IT services in the cloud within 1 working day on a single server, and within 4 working hours on a high-availability solution.

What happens when the hardware goes end of life?

While under contract for the Zynstra service any faulty/underperforming hardware is replaced free of charge regardless of the term of the agreement. If there is a change in requirements by you as our customer that requires an increase in specification during the contract, then there will be an additional cost, priced in accordance with the requirements.

Where can I buy Zynstra?

If you have an IT Partner that currently manages your IT they can purchase Zynstra through our distribution partners. Alternatively we can refer you to a local Zynstra delivery partner.

How long does it take from placing an order to getting my server up and running?

The timescale is primarily determined by your needs. In the ordinary scale of business we would suggest a timescale of 3-4 weeks to schedule the implementation and data migration activity. However, this can be adjusted to cater for your operational demands.

How much does it cost?

It very much depends on what configuration you want and your size of business. We service single site businesses from 5 to 250 employees or multi-site businesses that have a maximum number of 250 employees per site.

If you have an educational establishment we can cater for schools up to 1200 pupils per site.

Why not go to our Get a Quote form, outline your requirements and we’ll be in touch. Remember, our Cloud Managed Servers are simple to install and maintenance free.

How do I Pay?

Unlike the traditional server environments where you have to pay on a CAPEX basis (fixed up front capital cost) you pay on an OPEX basis with predictable monthly payments. This will make you a hero in the eyes of your finance department.

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