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Pylon’s Cloud Servers

May 24, 2016| 0 Comment

Pylon’s Cloud Server is an enterprise-grade cloud application infrastructure designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses.

Cloud Server helps you ensure that your business applications perform to their fullest potential by providing you with high levels of control and scalability, as well as the ability to balance configurability, scalability and price to match your cloud environment to your use case.

This white paper describes the technical details behind Cloud Server. It offers information about Cloud Server’s infrastructure, virtual machines, firewalls, VPNs, managed service levels, and more. It also describes Cloud Server’s comprehensive migration and support processes, which are designed specifically for ensuring a Worry-Free Experience™.

What is a Cloud Server?

 

Cloud Server is a highly available multitenant platform that’s architected specifically around superior performance, availability and data protection. Cloud Server offers four initial configurations, all of which can be scaled with more storage, RAM, or vCPUs during deployment or at any time.
Cloud Server offers fixed monthly pricing to ensure cost predictability. All Cloud Server accounts include public IPs, infrastructure management, 99.999% service level agreement uptime, 24×7 support, nightly backups, monitoring, firewalls, firewall management, VPN management, Windows 2008 Enterprise OS and IIS. In addition, all Cloud Server accounts include access to our cloud support team (all located in our Westport, CT headquarters), complimentary onboarding and migration from our Cloud Concierge™ team.
Available Cloud Server add-ons include additional vCPUs, memory, storage, extended backup, bandwidth and Microsoft SQL Server add-ons. Available services include server restoration, file restoration, and adding/removing IP addresses.

How do you use a cloud server?

Cloud Server offers an application infrastructure to support both new deployments as well as the migration of existing servers, both on-premise and from other clouds. Its use cases extend across the spectrum of SMB needs, including running a network of terminal services; hosting business applications like QuickBooks, SharePoint or file servers; or supporting infrastructure components like Microsoft Active Directory and
Microsoft SQL Server.

Cloud Server Cost of Ownership

 

Cloud Server offers lower cost of ownership as compared to on-premise servers, without diminishing your levels of control.

  • No capital outlay is requiredpylon-cloud-100
  • Leverage Company Name’s aggregated purchasing power for access to enterprise-grade datacenters and best-of-breed components
  • Reduce the cost of planning for business continuity and disaster recovery
  • Fixed monthly billing keeps your bills predictable and manageable
  • Rapid scalability offers full and immediate access to additional power whenever your business needs it

CLOUD SERVER INFASTRUCTURE

The sections below describe the technical details that underpin Pylon Cloud Server.

Datacenter

Cloud Servers are hosted in an SSAE16 Type II compliant, Tier III datacenter with redundant electrical and cooling infrastructure, verified levels of physical security, and redundant power supplies. To assure performance, availability and data protection, Pylon’s datacenters offer:

Physical Security

  • Cloud Server is hosted in Pylon’s Virginia datacenter
  • Highly secure and reliable Tier III datacenter
  • A consistently more secure environment than on-premise deployments can provide
  • Internal and external closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance
  • Biometric scanners control access control to datacenter floor
  • 24×7 on-site security staffing

Logical Security

  • Dedicated security staff and employee controls
  • Every employee, regardless of their role, undergoes a rigorous background check
  • Employee access to electronic credentials is strictly controlled and audited regularly

Network Security

  • Fully isolated tenant network for each customer
  • Integrated perimeter firewall and site-to-site VPN services.
  • VPNs facilitate hybrid cloud scenarios between on-premise and cloud-based environments

Compliance

  • Cloud Server’s datacenter is SSAE16 Type II compliant

Pylon's Cloud Network

To ensure our client’s worry-free experience, Pylon’s engineers and architects deliberately focused on value, not economy. Pylon’s commitment to best-of-breed extends to its storage and networking hardware, its VMware virtualization applications, and its Microsoft platform software.

  • The computing layer: Dell PowerEdge R810 enterprise-grade servers with component redundancy and built-in HA features. They feature quad CPUs with eight cores each, 256GB RAM nodes, and are connected by 10G IP and an 8G fiber channel.
  • The storage layer: For its SAN, Pylon uses EMC VNX Fiber Channel arrays that combine RAID 5 with high-performance SAS disks to boost performance and redundancy. Agentless Symantec backup is used to reduce the performance overhead of backups and protect against data loss.
  • The network layer: Cisco and Brocade VDX 10G Ethernet switches use multiple high-speed interconnects in a top-tier datacenter for network performance and reliability.
  • The virtualization layer: VMware vCloud Director and VMWare vSphere 5 Enterprise ensure a highly reliable and scalable virtualized cloud infrastructure. It’s flexible and resource-efficient, with the uptime guarantees and physical security of an experienced application infrastructure provider.
  • The providers: Pylon connects its datacenter to the Internet via multiple Tier 1 Internet providers like Sprint, Level 3, and Verizon.

In addition to the highest-quality building blocks, Pylon’s servers are all clustered to ensure automatic failover to active nodes.

VIRTUAL MACHINES

Pylon has structured its virtual machine offering to provide initial configurations that match most SMB use cases. All Cloud Server configurations can be set up with an essentially unlimited number of virtual machines, each with a “guest” operating system. Details include:

  • High-capacity cloud servers. Up to 8 CPU cores, 1 TB of storage and 32 GB of memory.
  • Instant scalability. You can spin up new machines within minutes using your control panel.
  • Resource allocation and reserved resources. You don’t have to queue for processing power, memory or storage that’s rightfully yours.
  • High availability. Cloud Server is one of the few providers to leverage VMware HA Active-Active clustering and N+1 component redundancy at the server, storage and network layers. We also leverage VMware’s state-of-the-art vSphere vMotion for live migration of virtual machines to ensure continuous service availability. This means that if your host machine happens to degrade, our infrastructure can seamlessly move your cloud environment to a different host with no downtime.
  • Windows images. Choose between Windows 2008 Enterprise 32 bit and Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise 64 bit. (You can migrate Windows 2003 SP2 (R2) 32bit/64bit workloads, but new servers running Windows 2003 are not supported.)

FIREWALL AND VPN

For Cloud Server, VMware vShield Edge integrates perimeter firewall and optional VPN services to help guarantee privacy and provide dedicated network access. This helps ensure that applications and data can always be accessed, even if a neighboring virtual machine is under DDoS attack or experiencing similarly high traffic volume.

This firewall is included—it is not an add-on. Firewall management is also included.

vShield Edge also offers visibility into and control over network gateway traffic. VPN services protect the confidentiality and integrity of communications in multitenant environments. The firewall and VPN services are cloud aware, so if your network does failover to another physical node, your security settings follow it.

More about Pylon’s virtual firewalls:

  • VMware vShield Edge firewalls are more flexible than hardware firewalls because they’re tightly integrated with VMware HA and vMotion
  • Cloud Server offers self-service firewall management
  • Stateful inspection firewall allows users to control network access using source and destination information, significantly increasing network edge security
  • Inbound and outbound connection control with rules based on:
  • IP-address – source/destination IP address
  • Ports – source/destination port
  • Protocol – by type (TCP or UDP)
  • NAT & DHCP support
  • Can be managed by the customer or by Pylon Support

More about Cloud Server VPNs:

  • Cloud Server’s site-to-site VPN lets you establish secure communications between your Cloud Server environment and an on-premise VPN endpoint
  • Enabled by VMware vShield Edge
  • IPsec VPN—based on the IKE (Internet Key Exchange) protocol
  • Apply firewall rules to VPN traffic
  • Site-to-site and client-to-site tunneling
  • Can be managed by the customer or by Pylon Support

SCALABILITY, CONTROL & SIMPLICITY

Pylon’s can be scaled at any time to support your changing business needs. Through our Control Panel, it offers granular levels of control. At the same time, it’s also built for simplicity and ease of management and administration. This section describes the features that underpin these aspects of cloud servers.