Just the word Cloud in any other context other than weather is enough to confuse. We can do a much better job in helping you fully grasp what Cloud and Infrastructure as a Service are and how they can be of benefit to your business if you call us, however, if you rather read a bit about it first and then get in touch with us, we guess that's OK, too .
Ok, as always, first question - WHAT IS INFRASTRUCTURE AS A SERVICE (IAAS)?
In simplest terms, someone else's computer, but there's more to it so let's elaborate. When these computers are very powerful and used for business purposes we call them Servers. A group of servers on which multiple systems (or applications) can access shared resources is called a Compute Cluster. A group of clusters, configured in a highly-redundant fashion where a failure of more underlying servers, storage, or network components which connect them does not affect the systems and applications running on the cluster - is what is usually referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS for short).
And the follow-up - WHAT IS CLOUD?
By most Cloud Service Provider definitions - the Infrastructure we mentioned above IS the whole Cloud, but we disagree. In a true Cloud environment, redundancy should not be localized to a single physical location. In case of any issues with the underlying infrastructure, your systems and applications should have the ability to automatically continue running (either immediately or after a very short downtime, say 15 minutes or less) at another physical location. In such case, where your systems and applications can automatically survive a full-failure of a whole physical data center, you can say they are Running in the Cloud.
So, CLOUD PROPELLER OFFERS BOTH IAAS and CLOUD?
Yes! Now that have defined a (true) CLOUD as a set of multiple IaaS Deployments at different physical data centers working together, it's easy to see we offer both, as we couldn't have a Cloud without an IaaS. In our case, we have IaaS deployed in Dublin, Columbus and Cleveland, and together they make our Cloud Platform. If client's systems and applications require either Instant (seamless) recovery time during a major disaster at one of our data centers, or can tolerate an up to 15 minute Recovery Time Objective (RTO) - client needs a true Cloud deployment (spanning multiple data centers). Otherwise, they may just need to run their systems and applications on one of our IaaS Deployments (in a single location).
WHAT IS THE UPTIME/SLA OF YOUR CLOUD?
Our IaaS (i.e. each of the data centers) has a 99.99% (aka. Four Nines) guaranteed uptime. This means our SLA guarantees your systems can (at absolute most) experience 4.38 minutes of downtime per month. We've kept this SLA unchallenged since we opened for business in 2015. Clients leveraging Hot-Hot/Cross-Data-Center deployments enjoy a 100% SLA. Same holds for our Disaster Recovery (DR customers), when not counting the 15 minute failover time which is by design.
DO YOU OFFER SUPPORT?
Yes. We got your back with 24/7 US-based support. The engineers who built Cloud Propeller, and who run, own and operate it are the ones available to you 24/7/365.
When you call for support, or send us an email you will 100% of the time be talking to a person who will be the one to solve your issue and who is intimately familiar with your environment.
We offer 4 different plans:
• Basic SLA (free) 9-5/M-F ✉ • Sev1-only issues • Production SLA 9-5/M-F ✉ • Sev1 + Basic Network Management
• Business SLA 24/7 ☎+✉ • Mission Critical SLA 24/7 ☎+✉ • VIP-queue • Dedicated Engineer
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL DATA CENTER (vDC)?
Virtual Data Center (vDC) is a Pool of Compute, Storage and Network resources allocated for a single client/tenant. These resources are guaranteed (never over-provisioned), secure (100% separate from any other tenant), and are available to be consumed by client's Virtual Machines (systems and applications) deployed on Cloud Propeller Infrastructure. In short, it's like a delicious pizza slice made just for you.
As an example, a vDC could have the following resources: 25 vCPUs (Virtual CPUs/individual CPU Cores), 128GB of RAM, 1024 GB of All-Flash Storage, an NSX Edge Gateway (Router/Firewall), 12 Public IP Addresses, and 9 (internal/private networks).
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL MACHINE
Virtual Machine, or VM for short, is a virtual/software representation of a client's physical server (e.g. email server, database, application server, etc.). On Cloud, all client's systems and applications run virtualized. This enables them to intelligently utilize Cloud Compute Resources. They can be "migrated" from one physical server to another while staying up and running (without any downtime). The underlying hardware of the Cluster can be upgraded by Service Provider (us), again - without causing any downtime. In other words, the systems and applications become much more redundant and "highly-available" as a result of running inside Virtual Machines.
DO YOU OFFER VM TEMPLATES FOR SPEEDING UP DEPLOYMENTS?
Do we ever. We patch them all once a month and by using them you can deploy a number of operating systems in mere minutes. Debian Linux (7,8 and 9), Ubuntu LTS Server (14 and 16), RedHat and CentOS (6 and 7), ArchLinux, Windows Server 2008 (Std, Ent., DC), Windows Server 2012 R2 (Std, Ent. DC), Windows Server 2016 (Std. Core, DC Core), etc. We also have install ISO images of all these systems (so you can create a "blank" VM, mount an ISO and install the OS of your choice).
Lastly - we also have Pre-Made Virtual Appliances, like VyOS Open Source Router, Palo Alto VM-200 Virtual Appliance, pfSense, and more.
DO YOU OFFER LICENSING?
Yes, for a number of things. We are Microsoft SPLA Signer (thus, we can provide you with Windows Server, MS SQL Server, Exchange, and other Microsoft products). We are also RedHat Certified Cloud Solutions Provider and can provide licensing for any RedHat product. As we are a VMware Partner we can get you licenses for most VMware products (as long as we manage the product after install). And lastly, we are a Palo Alto Networks Partner and can provide you with licenses for any of Palo Alto Networks Firewalls (Virtual or Physical), as well as subscriptions to WildFire, Global Protect and other services they offer.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DEPLOY A vDC?
About 5 minutes! You can Sign Up for a Custom-sized vDC in just 2 minutes, and within 3 minutes after that you will get an email with your login credentials. We offer quite decent discounts for multi-year contracts as well, depending on the size of the environment you need. Contact us to to get a quote.
HOW DO I GET EXISTING SERVERS INTO CLOUD (aka: WHAT IS P2V)?
"Physical-to-Virtual" or P2V is a process of converting client's systems and applications running on physical hardware (servers), into Virtual Machines so that they can run on Cloud (inside a Virtual Data Center). For clients migrating to Cloud from Physical hardware, we do offer P2V migration services (in some cases free of charge), where we come on-premise and migrate all of client's physical servers into virtual machines, and migrate them to Cloud Propeller.
WHAT HARDWARE DOES CLOUD PROPELLER IAAS RUN ON?
We only use top-of-the-line, Enterprise-class hardware. Learn more about it on our CLOUD/IaaS page. In short, Intel Xeon 6246 CPUs (@3.3GHz), extremely fast and redundant All-Flash/SSD NVMe vSAN Storage, highly redundant Brocade (Extreme Networks) VDX network fabric, and more.
WHAT IS A 3-YEAR GUARANTEED REFRESH CYCLE?
Unlike with most Cloud Service Providers where clients' systems and applications keep on running on top of the same hardware year after year we keep ours up-to-date. Our 3-year refresh cycle on hardware guarantees that within every 3 year period (2016-2018, 2019-2021, etc.) we will upgrade all of the underling hardware powering our Cloud. We do this in a staggered fashion. One year we'll upgrade compute, next year storage, and so on. This gives our clients a strategic business advantage of having latest and greatest hardware powering their business applications without any increase in cost (or - in some cases more importantly - without need to migrate to a "next-gen" platform). We do all of this without any downtime to our clients' systems and applications. With Cloud Propeller, Your Business is Always on the Next-Gen Platform.
WHAT HYPERVISOR / SOFTWARE RUNS CLOUD PROPELLER
Like our hardware, our software as well is Enterprise-class. We rely on VMware vCloud Suite Enterprise Plus Edition at the core of our Cloud/IaaS platform. For the Network Stack, we utilize VMware NSX Software Defined Network (SDN) Platform, however, clients are welcome to bring their own (virtual) firewall if they please. NSX is offered by default, as we believe it is absolutely awesome, extremely powerful, super-fast and easy to use, however we do not force it on anyone.
DO YOU OFFER BACKUPS?
Absolutely. All of our Cloud/IaaS clients have access to one of the best Enterprise Backup Solutions on the market today; Veeam. Through a simple web-portal, clients can protect their virtual workloads into one or more of our data centers. We also make it so affordable, we make it impossible for you not to actually use this service. To find out more, check out our VEEAM BACKUP page.
DO YOU OFFER VEEAM CLOUD CONNECT?
Of course. As we already have a Veeam Enterprise Backup Platform deployed for our existing Cloud/IaaS clients, we offer access to it via Veeam Cloud Connect to any other clients already utilizing Veeam to protect their on-prem VMware environments. We also believe our pricing beats everyone else's. In addition we offer data seeding services, as well as restore to a hard drive, restore to a storage array (up to 80TB), and restore into Cloud option. To find out more, check out our VEEAM BACKUP page.
WHAT DISASTER RECOVERY SOLUTIONS DO YOU OFFER?
ZERTO! Zerto is by far the best Disaster Recovery solution for VMware environments today. It even beats VMware's own Service Recovery Manager (SRM) in every metric that matters. For our current Cloud/IaaS clients we offer a DR Solution where they can migrate their whole Virtual Data Center (vDC), or individual virtual machines if that's more applicable, into one of our other data centers.
For clients already utilizing VMware on-premise, we can protect those environments by replicating them into our Cloud. Our DR Solution has an RTO (Recovery Time Objective) of under 15 minutes. Find out more on our Zerto DR page.