AdvantageCS is offering hosting services to those clients who want to outsource this function to a trusted partner.
Question: What are the benefits to you?
1. Outsourcing places the responsibility for operating and maintaining hardware on someone else’s shoulders. A number of clients with whom we have spoken indicate that they do not wish to be in the business of running computer hardware. Some publishers we speak with have no IT infrastructure or staff whatsoever and always outsource hosting.
2. By outsourcing hosting, you can take advantage of the pre-existing infrastructure of a hosting facility, including redundancy, security, PCI compliance, and disaster recovery plans. Hosting facilities have the volumes to provide economies of scale, which keep your costs down.
3. Hardware is a capital expense that many publishers would like to avoid. AdvantageCS will own the hardware so you don’t have to.
Question: Some of you already outsource your hosting to another provider. Why should you look to AdvantageCS to host?
1. Wouldn’t you rather have just one supplier to handle your hardware and software issues, rather than having to maintain relationships (and service contracts) with two?
2. No one knows better than we do how Advantage utilizes hardware resources and how to configure them for optimal performance. There is more than one way to configure a network with all its components. AdvantageCS staff have this know-how and have been providing consulting in this area for decades.
Question: Will AdvantageCS actually host the equipment at our offices?
AdvantageCS will provide a hosting package, which includes physical hosting and hosting services. The physical hosting will be done by a hosting facility which we will contract for co-location services. Co-location refers to an arrangement where we essentially rent space in a rack in a hosting facility. However, we will provide all the hosting services, such as scheduling backups and updating the operating system and database, though the equipment will be located elsewhere. And we will be responsible for the relationship with the hosting facility.
A regional hosting facility about a mile from the AdvantageCS offices has agreed to work with us on such arrangements. They handle banking applications, and so their facility is highly secure . They are PCI and Safe Harbor compliant, which should provide our UK and other European clients the assurance they need about data protection. They have a backup facility 40 miles away on a completely separate power grid in case of a disaster.
For those clients who need their data closer to their users and customers, we have made arrangements with alternative hosting facilities in the UK and France. The prices are not as favorable there, due to the increased costs of hardware acquisition. However, such arrangements may be preferable for some of you.
Another alternative is for us to contract for cloud computing. Microsoft Azure, for example, allows us to re-sell cloud computing to our clients as a Microsoft Partner. We have one such proposal currently on the table for a publisher.
Question: What services will we perform as part of our hosting offering?
Answer: Here is a list, but it can grow or shrink as you require!
- Server management
- Database administrator tasks
- Defragmentation of indexes, consistency checks
- Operating system and database maintenance: Management, Service packs and security patches, Upgrades
- Backups: Monitoring schedule, Verifying integrity, Restore and recovery as needed
- Monitoring: Availability, Usage, Performance characteristics, Disk space, Achieving nightly processing windows
- Network / connection queries
- SAN management
- Managing rights for users
If you are interested in outsourcing, please contact your AdvantageCS account manager. We will work with you to design an arrangement that meets your needs.