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HOSTED DESKTOP

What does it look like? How is it best described?
When staff connect to their Hosted Desktop, it looks…. Just like a modern Windows desktop (i.e. Windows 10). It looks and behaves every bit like they are operating on their “local” PC, when in fact they’re operating on a “Hosted” Desktop.
Does printing and scanning work in the same way?
The short answer to this is yes. Whether you have devices that are USB, wireless or network connected, we get them working every bit the same way for which you and your staff are used to.
Can other customers within your hosting environment, spread a virus or ransomware into our Hosted Desktop system?
It is true that we have lots of customers within our platform, but every single customer is isolated via their own virtual LAN (VLAN) and network segment. Think of these as bulkheads.
Can we utilise our own Microsoft Office 365 licenses with the Hosted Desktop service?
Yes, you can indeed. The only caveat is that they need to be the correct Office 365 license or “Microsoft 365” license, i.e. an “Enterprise” grade license. Such as “Office 365 E3” or “Microsoft 365 Premium”.
What remote technology is better, RDS or Citrix?
It’s a little bit like the question, what car brand is better, Ford or Audi. Certainly, RDS is the cheaper of the two technologies, however depending on your use case, the RDS option may very well be the appropriate choice.
Generally speaking, Citrix has a couple of party tricks up its sleeve, such as the ability to publish applications (as well as a full Hosted Desktop).
Do we need a special internet connection from our Office to run the Hosting connection?
In truth, a good quality fibre broadband connection should be perfect for the job. Our rule of thumb is 0.2 Mbps broadband bandwidth per user that you have running a Hosted Desktop connection. Therefore, if you had 10 staff in and working over that connection, you would only require 2 Mbps up and downstream.
Most fibre broadband connections have a minimum of 5 Mbps upstream and 20 Mbps downstream, which would me you could run up to 25 staff on such a connection.
How secure is the Hosted Desktop connection?
Regardless of what Hosted Desktop technology you opt for (i.e. RDS, Citrix, Azure), all of the Hosted Desktop connections are encrypted, this means that nothing can penetrate your session.
Furthermore, if you opt for 2-factor authentication (i.e. Duo Security), you have not one but two challenges for credentials, before you are able to access your Hosted Desktop server.
How reliable is the Hosted Desktop service?
We offer a 99.9% financially backed SLA (service level agreement) whereby we start to pay you service credits when we fall beneath this service offering, all the way back to 100% of your money back if we dip beneath 95% SLA.
Fortunately, we have never come close to breaching our standard 99.9% SLA
Does the Hosted Desktop work for all business sectors?
Generally speaking, if your business relies on IT in one form or another, the Hosted Desktop can work for you. We currently host all manner of sectors, from accounting, legal, constructions, engineering, recruitment, logistics, media.
Granted some sectors better suit particular Hosted Desktop technologies, but this is why we offer different options, so as we have the ideal match for your business.
What is involved in moving our business to your Hosted Desktop service?
We won’t dress it down, porting your existing IT environment is quite involved, but that’s where we come in. We offer a completely managed setup and migration service to all of our customers.
It’s a delicate process that we’ve evolved over the years and you can read more about it here.

PRIVATE CLOUD

Can I specify what operating system to be loaded on dedicated hardware?
Absolutely. As they are your servers, you are free to install any operating system via console access that we supply (for example Dell iDRAC).
Depending on the operating system you would like to use, we can either supply the operating system for you or you can supply the media and licenses yourself.
Can we have dedicated servers within our private Cloud, whilst utilizing a shared firewall appliance?
This is no problem. It would keep costs down a little whilst ensuring all management of the firewall was taken care of by Cloud2Me.
Do you offer migration services to assist us in moving workloads to our Cloud2Me private cloud?
We do indeed and in fact, we have dedicated staff that focus on managing customer transitions from on-premise, public Cloud or other incumbent environments.
Can we take on a private Cloud service in accompaniment with another Cloud2Me service?
This isn’t a problem at all and we already have instanced whereby customers utilise our Hosted Desktop service, whilst have an array of servers (for example ecommerce server), that are hosted in a Cloud2Me, Private Cloud environment.
If there is a hardware failure within our private Cloud, do Cloud2Me react to this?
Absolutely, we supply the private Cloud hardware as well and monitoring and maintaining it. Therefore, if you had a hard disk which either failed or was predicted to failed, we would get alerted to this and would duly replace the disk before it became an issue.

More often than not we replace any failed hardware within hours of getting notified.

Can you work with our existing IT department to help support the private Cloud?
We enjoy doing just this and is all part of our managed service. During the setup process we would work with your IT team, to define the exact specification that they require.
Then we would ensure that they fully understand the solution and are well placed to carry out their day – day management activities of the solution, all the while leaning on Cloud2Me when needed.
Can we have physical access to our private cloud facility?
This can definitely be arranged but would require us specifying that you have your own “colocation” server cabinet. This would then mean that we could give you access to our data centre facility to come and go as your require.
Is it possible for us to supply hardware for our private Cloud environment?
This is possible depending on the hardware that you are looking to supply, i.e. whether it meets that same (or similar) brands for which our staff are trained on.
It’s also important that we have the correct vendor support channels in place to support your private cloud hardware.

HIGH FREQUENCY

How do we select what operating system gets supplied with our server?
Simply let us know your preferred operating system upon your enquiry and we’ll ensure that it gets installed prior to handover of your server/s.
Can we utilise a high frequency server with other Cloud2Me hosting services?
This is no problem. We can ensure that all services supplied by Cloud2Me are integrated to your liking. For example, High Frequency and our Hosted Desktop services.
What level of access do I get to my High Frequency server?
For virtual machines, we offer RDP or SSH (however we soon plan to rollout full console access to the virtual machine). For dedicated servers, we allow for Remote KVM capabilities.
How does a high frequency server differ to HPC computing?
Typically, HPC computing that is offered by public Cloud providers such as Azure and AWS, only offer CPU clock speeds that go as high as 4 Ghz. Our high frequency servers go as high as 5.2 Ghz.
How reliable are your high frequency servers?
Often the achilles heel of over-clocked computing infrastructure is that of reliability. For example, Microsoft blue screen bug checks of poorly configured clocking.

However, in contrast, by working with the UK’s leading high frequency specialist (OverClockers UK), we have built servers that have so far yielded 100% SLA track record.

Can you high frequency servers only be used for trading purposes?
Absolutely not! Whilst they do lend themselves to financial trading, they are also quality assured for any other use case you can throw at them.

For example, they make for fabulous web servers, SQL servers, Hosted Desktop, simulation modelling, gaming, CAD machines.

Is it mainly the CPU performance of these machines that sets them apart?
The CPU is a big factor and accounts for the “high frequency”, however the other components support the CPU very well. For example nVME hard disks running in striped RAID, RAM that is running at 3600 Mhz and internet connectivity running with 1 Ms network latency to central London.
Currently you offer these servers as a “Managed” service, what does this include?
The managed element firstly means that items such as backups, health monitoring and OS updates, are all taken care of for you.

However, it also means that any assistance that you require in setup, but also the day – day delivery of the servers, is managed by our expert support team.

ACCOUNTANTS

Does using a hosting provider with accountancy sector knowledge, really make a difference?
In our experience, it makes all the difference. We say this with absolute confidence knowing all the happy customers who’ve already migrated their IT services into our care. No longer do they have failed software updates and lacklustre technical support when they really need it (January for example!)
How would you best describe what a Hosted Desktop looks like to operate?
Reassuringly familiar! A Hosted Desktop looks and feels like you’re running on an ordinary PC with Microsoft Windows 10. Once connected to your Hosted Desktop, it will “feel” completely natural and you’ll soon forget that your sessions are running safely and securely within the Cloud.
Will printing and scanning operate in the same ways we are familiar with?
Absolutely, whether you are using a USB, wireless or network connected printer/scanner, the experience will be the same as you are used to. Prints and scans will have the same settings available with no delays when traversing the Cloud.

RESELLER PARTNERS

Once we are a customer, how do we get services provisioned?
Simply reach out to your partner manager and establish your needs, they in turn create a provisioning ticket, which our technical engineers jump straight on to for you.
Alternatively, you could create a provisioning ticket via our Zendesk system. We’ll come straight back to you with an ETA and work with you on timings and any associated technical assistance that may be required.
What level of control do we have with your services?
It depends on the service you subscribe to. But in essence we give you as much control as we possibly can, where it doesn’t breach a neighbouring customer.
For example, with our Hosted Desktop service you receive full administrative rights, as every customer gets their own VLAN, network subnet and Active Directory. With Private Cloud, you can have complete control over their bare metal and Hypervisor (for example).
Can we layer in our own Office 365 services?
Yes you can, or alternatively we can also supply our managed Office 365 services for you/your customer. We find lots of partners bring their own Office 365 subscriptions with them.
As a Microsoft Gold partner, we can also supply you with additional Microsoft products, such as Microsoft SQL Standard and Microsoft Visio.

SOFTWARE VENDORS

What is the key technology that you use to “Cloudify” customer services?
The truth is that we don’t settle on any particular technology, as every software title has its nuances, especially in the ways it interacts with the customer and the customer’s IT environment.
That said we are fortunate whereby we have a few oven-ready technologies, such as Citrix, Microsoft RDS, high-frequency servers and clever VPN technologies, to name but a few. However our ethos is more about finding the correct solution over the convenient one, therefore we’ve been known to hunt down new technologies, to best suit our software partner.
If we wanted to offer your software platform as a white-label product, is this achievable and if so, how?
This is absolutely achievable and we already offer this to our software partners. Effectively, you would become a reseller partner of ours which in turn offers (sells) our Cloud based service to your customers.
We would never come into direct contact with your customers and they would remain your customers throughout, you set the terms and the pricing.
A significant bonus however, is that we can white label our technical and service documentation as your own, to pass on to your customers for marketing and sales material.
How secure is the Cloud solution that we would be offering to our customers?
The short answer is very! But the longer answer is that all of our Cloud platform services adhere to our standard security principles, such as traversing industry leading firewalls (SonicWALL).
Furthermore, we offer features such as the ability to assign each customer their own VLAN (virtual LAN) which fully isolates neighboring tenant customers from each other.
Internet security aside, we apply all Cloud platform services to our comprehensive backup infrastructure which consists of hourly backups, offsite backups and offline backups.
Put simply, we are prolific when it comes to protecting customer data.
Put simply, when it comes to protecting customer data, we strive to be the very best.
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