Month: July 2013

Our Fast, Secure, and Reliable Hosting Infrastructure

Secure Hosting Infrastructure OTNO Blog

No other hosting provider offers as many different hosted IT solutions as IronOrbit (hosted VDI, hosted desktops, desktop virtualization, hosted applications, and managed hosted servers). We’re also the only leading hosting provider to deliver 24x7x365 all-inclusive, US-based technical support—meaning that we not only provide around-the-clock tech support for our own solutions and services, but we’ll also help our clients fix their malfunctioning local devices (desktops, printers, etc.) and networks. Perhaps our most unique feature, however—and certainly the one that our clients benefit the most from on a day-to-day basis—is our fast, secure, and reliable hosting infrastructure, which brings together fundamental best practices, state-of-the-art facilities, and our advanced proprietary technologies and methodologies.

Our Facilities

IronOrbit has data centers on both the East and West Coasts of the United States (in Virginia and California, to be exact). These facilities are operated in partnership with communications industry leaders such AT&T, COX, Time Warner, SAVVIS, and Level 3. To guarantee the maximum uptime and data security, our data centers feature:

-Redundant SAN storage arrays (scalable, high-performance, downtime-resistant storage systems)

-Cisco ASA managed firewalls

-Multi-homed Internet connectivity (to increase our available bandwidth and to prevent a single network outage from bringing down our entire infrastructure, we maintain connections to multiple networks at all times)

-Environmental protection system (N+1 HVAC, raised flooring, smoke detectors, and double-interlock, pre-action, dry-pipe fire suppression [activates sprinklers only once the presence of a fire has been confirmed by two sensors and only in the area where the fire has been detected])

-AC and DC uninterrupted power supply (UPS) backed by emergency generators

-Multi-layer physical security (biometric palm readers, 24×7 alarm monitoring, and 24×7 closed-circuit video monitoring)

Our Technologies

We host our IT solutions (like hosted VDIs and hosted desktops) using the established programs Microsoft Windows Server, VMware ESXi, and Citrix VDI-in-a-Box. In addition, all of our hosted solutions include our proprietary Atomic Speed Technology and Orbital Security System. Atomic Speed Technology is what makes our solutions so fast; it’s a combination of performance-boosting technologies, protocols, and best practices that our engineers have perfected over 15 years of hosting. With Orbital Security, on the other hand, IronOrbit protects businesses from malware and hackers with an arsenal of stalwart security measures such as antivirus, IPS/IDS, spam blocker, file encryption, content filter, and patch management.

Our Methods

All of our IT solutions (including hosted VDIs) are hosted on dedicated servers—private physical servers that aren’t shared with any other tenants. IronOrbit also backs up all of our hosted solutions on a daily basis. Finally, IronOrbit technicians work tirelessly (24x7x365) maintaining the performance, security, and reliability of our hosted solutions.

Contact IronOrbit to start hosting your IT solutions on our state-of-the-art infrastructure today!

How Virtualization Raises Flexibility and Lowers Costs

Virtualization Lowers Costs Blog

Virtualization is a technology with which physical hardware can be separated into multiple, independently-functioning virtual units. With virtualization, a single physical server can be turned into multiple virtual servers. Each virtual server is given a non-fluctuating (though adjustable) amount of resources from the physical server (CPU, RAM, and HDD). Users of one virtual server—unless they’re authorized to—aren’t able to access another virtual server on the same physical server. Anything that a standalone physical server can host, a virtual sever can host, too—including applications, virtual hosted desktops, mailboxes, SharePoint platforms, databases, and websites.

Virtual servers are more efficient and cost-effective than non-virtualized servers. Non-virtualized servers can typically host only a single IT solution at a time. Most businesses will therefore have to purchase a physical server for each one of their applications, virtual hosted desktops, mailboxes, databases, and websites. Though most IT solutions are used only occasionally and by only a few users, non-virtualized servers, because of their inflexibility, have to able to support the maximum amount of users, processing power, and storage capacity at all times. While this keeps non-virtualized servers from being overloaded, it also makes them extremely inefficient: at any given time, only 5% of the resources of the average non-virtualized server are being used.

A virtualized server, meanwhile, can host multiple IT solutions at once, and has a maximum server utilization rate of 80%. Its ability to support multiple hosted solutions at the same time reduces the number of physical servers that a company has to purchase or rent.

Virtualization doesn’t just make physical servers more efficient, however; it also makes them more flexible. For example, if it turns out that of two equivalently-sized IT solutions being hosted on a virtualized server one is being utilized twice as often, the server’s administrator can shift the unused resources of the less popular IT solution to the more popular one. The expansion of an IT solution isn’t limited to the confines of a single virtualized server, however. That’s because virtualization not only makes it possible to divide a single physical server into multiple virtual servers; it also permits a single virtual server to take on the resources of multiple physical servers while continuing to function as an independent whole.

All of IronOrbit’s solutions—including our Hosted Desktops, Virtual Hosted Desktops, Desktop Hosting, Hosted Applications, and Managed Hosted Servers—are hosted on virtualized servers. We use virtualization to maintain our low costs and rapid scalability. Sign up for virtualized IT solutions such as Hosted Desktops and Virtual Hosted Desktops by contacting a helpful IronOrbit sales representative today!

Why Dedicated Hosting Is Better than Multitenant Hosting

Dedicated Hosting Is Better Bloga

All of IronOrbit’s hosted solutions—including our Hosted Desktop Solutions, Hosted Applications, and VPS Hosting—are housed on dedicated servers. Dedicated servers are single-tenant physical servers. A business that signs up for IronOrbit hosted solutions therefore doesn’t have to share a physical server with any other business or individual, and the business has exclusive access to all of the processing, storage, and networking resources of the physical server. The advantages of dedicated hosting include:

  • Security. Multitenant hosting, while not totally insecure, is still less secure than dedicated hosting. For example, once hackers and malware infiltrate a single deployment of hosted applications on a multitenant server, it’s easier for them to infiltrate the other deployments on the server than if they were hacking separate dedicated servers (having already bypassed the network security system). It’s also possible for a server administrator to mistakenly give a user of one deployment access to the other deployments on the same physical server. With dedicated hosting, however, businesses only have to worry about protecting themselves from external security threats.
  • Compliance. Because of the inherent security vulnerabilities of multitenant hosting, there are some industry-specific data security regulations that prohibit businesses from hosting their applications and data on a multitenant server. In addition, data security regulations are often very specific and stringent; however, the security measures and settings in a multitenant environment are generic, minimal, and unchangeable. With a dedicated server, on the other hand, businesses are free to implement any security measure or change any security setting.
  • Performance. With a dedicated server, a single hosted solution gets all of a physical server’s resources (CPU, RAM, long term storage, and bandwidth) to itself. For most businesses, a dedicated server provides all of the power and storage capacity that one of their IT solutions will ever need, even when dealing with a task with high processing and storage requirements. A hosted solution on a multitenant server, on the other hand, only has access to a fraction of the resources of a dedicated server.
  • Scalability. To add resources to a dedicated server, IronOrbit just has to connect another physical server or storage device to the original physical server. The hosted solution isn’t disrupted by the scaling process. With IronOrbit, businesses can add an infinite amount of users, CPU, RAM, and storage capacity to a single hosted solution.

All IronOrbit hosted solutions—despite costing only a low, flat monthly fee—come with Orbital Security, Atomic Speed Technology, 24x7x365 technical support, and managed data backups. Contact an IronOrbit sales representative and sign up for IronOrbit Hosted Desktop Solutions, Hosted Applications, and VPS Hosting today!

Virtual Desktop Architectures for Enterprises

Architectures Enterprises Blog

Previous posts have discussed the various features of a hosted virtual desktop, and the benefits of choosing a hosted desktop infrastructure for your business. But with so many options out there, how do you determine which hosted desktop architecture is right for your enterprise? The following are three of the most commonly used hosted desktop architectures:

  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. When most people think of a hosted desktop, they are thinking of a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). A VDI is a hosted desktop architecture where a user’s desktop is virtualized, stored on a remote server (usually managed by a hosting provider), and accessed over a network using an Internet-enabled device (such as a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet). A hosted VDI is perfect hosted desktop architecture for enterprises because it is highly centralized, allowing users to access the exact same version of their desktop from anywhere.
  • Remote Desktop Services. Remote Desktop Services (also known as Terminal Services), a type of remote desktop virtualization, are similar to a VDI, allowing users to access their hosted virtual desktop using a remote device via a network. Unlike a VDI, where each user is assigned their own unique desktop operating system, with Remote Desktop Services users share an operating system. Additionally, Remote Desktop Services can deliver individual applications as opposed to full desktops, while a VDI delivers a complete hosted virtual desktop experience. Remote Desktop Services have a good hosted desktop architecture for enterprises looking for better control over their hosted desktop solution, rather than allocating more control to the end-user.
  • Desktop as a Service. When an enterprise chooses Desktop as a Service for their hosted desktop infrastructure, they are getting an infrastructure that is fully managed by a provider. The service provider provisions and maintains the equipment a client’s hosted desktops are stored on, as well as any software the client needs (including updating software programs and licenses as needed).

At IronOrbit, we offer multiple hosted virtual desktop solutions so that our clients can find a solution that works best for their needs. Each hosted desktop solution is designed, built, and managed to meet your business’s unique needs. All IronOrbit hosted desktop solutions are fully managed, equipped with Atomic Speed Technology, and come backed by Orbital Security and 24x7x365 IT support, making them the fastest and most secure hosted virtual desktops on the market. Contact a sales representative to learn more about our desktop virtualization services or to sign up for a hosted virtual desktop solution today.

Hosted Desktops: The Benefits You Haven’t Heard About

HD Benefits You Havent Heards Blog

The upfront costs of signing up for an IronOrbit Hosted Desktop Solution are much less than the upfront costs of deploying an on-site IT infrastructure. With an on-site IT infrastructure, a business has to purchase brand-new hardware such as servers, storage devices, and PC workstations; buy or renew software licenses; and hire a trained IT professional to manage and maintain everything. The only necessary upfront costs with an IronOrbit Hosted Desktop Solution, however, are a negligible setup fee and the first in a line of low, fixed monthly payments.

IronOrbit Virtual Hosted Desktop Solutions don’t require businesses to purchase any servers or software licenses or hire any on-site IT personnel—the servers are acquired and managed by us; we provide 24x7x365 technical support, advanced IT security, and managed data backups; and everything (including the hardware, personnel, and software) is covered by our flat monthly fee. Employees can use any Internet-connected device to access their IronOrbit Virtual Hosted Desktop Solutions—including desktops, laptops, thin client, tablets, and smartphones.

The servers in our data centers take care of all of the processing and data storage of our Hosted Desktops (only keystrokes and mouse clicks are sent to our servers from end-user devices, and the only thing sent back to the end-user devices from our servers are the images that appear on the monitor or screen of the end-user devices). Therefore, IronOrbit Virtual Hosted Desktops, far from requiring brand-new PC workstations, can perform just as well with end-user devices such as thin clients and refurbished PCs. Furthermore, businesses can actually cut their end-user devices costs down to zero by giving employees the opportunity to bring their personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones into work.

It’s not only in upfront costs that IronOrbit Hosted Desktop Solutions are more cost-efficient than on-site IT infrastructures. IronOrbit Virtual Hosted Desktops also increase revenue and decrease costs as a result of these lesser-known features:

  • Anywhere-availability. IronOrbit Hosted Desktop Solutions can be accessed from anywhere with any Internet-connected device. By giving employees the ability to access their files and applications from anywhere, IronOrbit Hosted Desktops raise a business’s productivity levels. Companies can also save money with the anywhere-availability of IronOrbit Hosted Desktops by letting workers telecommute, which can lead to decreased real estate and energy costs.
  • No data breaches or downtime. IronOrbit Hosted Desktop Solutions are protected by our advanced Orbital Security System (firewall, IPS/IDS, antivirus, spam blocker, file encryption, patch management, and content filter) and maintained with 24x7x365 monitoring, managed data backups, and business continuity planning. By preventing data breaches and outages from occurring, we save businesses tens of thousands of dollars every year.
  • All-inclusive support. Every IronOrbit Hosted Solution comes with 24x7x365 all-inclusive technical support. As a result, our Hosted Desktops continually have the best possible performance, security, and reliability; and our clients get the maximum value and longevity out of their devices. With the comprehensive support of IronOrbit, businesses can also keep their focus on their products and services and not have to worry about their IT infrastructure.

Find out more lesser-known benefits and cost-efficiencies of IronOrbit Hosted Desktop Solutions by contacting one of our sales representatives and signing up for a FREE 30-day trial today!

Hosted Exchange: More Than Just Email

Hosted Exchange Blog

With Microsoft Exchange, businesses can set up and manage the email accounts of their employees. Microsoft Exchange lets users send and receive emails, as well as archive and organize them. Exchange also protects users from malware and spammers with its built-in antivirus and spam-blocking features.

There is more to Microsoft Exchange than just email, however. The other features of Microsoft Exchange include:

  • Scheduling. With Exchange, users can set up appointments and manage their hours. The program includes a calendar and day planner that are simple, clear, and easy-to-use. Exchange will automatically send a reminder to people that are named as co-participants in an appointment or activity. The program also has the ability to create group calendars, which can be viewed or edited by anyone in a specified group (a project team or a department, for example).
  • Contact management. With Microsoft Exchange, users can add, edit, and remove the contact info of customers, prospects, competitors, external partners, vendors, and colleagues. Users can organize their contacts into groups and their groups into categories. These contacts can also be exported to (individually or as a batch) and utilized by programs such as Excel, email marketing software, and customer relationship management systems (CRMs). All of the necessary contact information fields are covered by Microsoft Exchange—including Name, Job Title, Company, Department, Manager, Assistant, Phone, Email, and Mailing Address.
  • Task management. Microsoft Exchange can also be used by supervisors to assign, track, and manage their employees’ tasks. Managers can use Exchange to assign tasks to specific employees; attach files to an assignment; assign start dates and due dates; receive automated progress updates; and track the hours spent on a given task. Exchange can be used by employees, on the other hand, to delegate tasks to a different colleague or subordinate; share files; remind themselves of due dates; and to report progress and hours spent.

Application Hosting Services from IronOrbit will help businesses get the most out of Microsoft Exchange. Companies don’t have to purchase or manage any on-site servers with IronOrbit Application Hosting. All users need to access IronOrbit Hosted Exchange is an Internet-connected device such as a PC, thin client, tablet, or smartphone. Included with our Hosted Exchange (and all of our other Application Hosting Services) are 24x7x365 all-inclusive technical support; an enterprise-level IT security system (firewall, IPS/IDS, file encryption, and content filter); and managed data backups (performed daily, with a Recovery Point Objective [RPO] of four hours). IronOrbit can host any version of Microsoft Exchange (including Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013). In addition, our Atomic Speed Technology-powered hosting platform has the scalability to support an unlimited amount of users and storage space. Contact an IronOrbit sales representative to sign up for our highly-secure and supremely-flexible Application Hosting Services today!

Fully-Scalable Dedicated Server Hosting

Fully Scalable Server Blog

IronOrbit Dedicated Virtual Servers give businesses the flexibility to host any IT solution they want. The solutions that can be hosted on an IronOrbit Dedicated Virtual Server include applications, virtual desktops, email mailboxes, databases, and websites. Each of our Dedicated Virtual Servers comes with 24x7x365 US-based technical support, data backups, and the all-around protection of our Orbital Security System (including IPS/IDS, antivirus, spam blocker, patch management, and content filter). With our Dedicated Server Hosting, each of our clients receives their own private physical server or servers, which means that they don’t have to share their physical server’s processing or storage resources with any other business or individual.

Just because our servers are dedicated doesn’t mean that our clients can’t add users, CPU, RAM, or storage space whenever they need to, however. To add resources to their Dedicated Virtual Server, our clients just have to request an upgrade from their IronOrbit account manager. An engineer or technician in one of our data centers will then integrate the Dedicated Virtual Server with another physical server or storage device. We always keep extra hardware on-hand for this purpose so that our clients don’t have to wait for the hardware to be purchased and shipped. The upgrade won’t affect the availability or performance of our Dedicated Virtual Servers, either; businesses will still be able to access their Dedicated Servers throughout the process.

It’s important for businesses to select a scalable IT solution because:

  • Companies can expand more quickly, easily, and cost-efficiently with it. When businesses expand, they have to hire more workers, add new offices, and purchase more equipment. In addition, they also have to upgrade their IT infrastructure so that it’s able to handle a larger number of users, orders, and/or website traffic. With IronOrbit Dedicated Server Hosting, scaling up is quick (requiring as little as a few hours); easy (beyond requesting the upgrade, the client doesn’t have to do anything); and cost-efficient (the client’s low monthly fee is adjusted to reflect the added resources).
  • Companies can temporarily increase or decrease their IT resources with it. There are some cases where businesses have to add or subtract IT resources for a brief period. For example, some companies, like florist and costume shops, have to adjust to seasonal upticks in demand. In other cases, businesses can overestimate the demand for their products or services and order more IT resources than necessary. Fortunately, with Dedicated Server Hosting, businesses only have to request a reduction in their IT resources to undo this mistake; whereas if they had an on-site IT infrastructure they would end up being stuck with the useless hardware.
  • It maintains the centralization and consistency of an IT infrastructure. Without scalability, businesses would have to set up, maintain, and manage several internal deployments of a single application, along with multiple separate file systems. This typically results in compatibility issues, inaccessible “siloes” of data, and lots of general inefficiency and confusion. In a scalable environment, however, singular deployments of an application and singular databases can be expanded indefinitely, retaining their centralization and consistency while keeping pace with the IT requirements of a growing business.

IronOrbit Dedicated Virtual Servers are highly scalable. We support an unlimited amount of users, CPU, RAM, and storage space. In addition, our data center personnel are available 24x7x365 to help businesses scale their Dedicated Virtual Servers up or down. With our exclusive Atomic Speed Technology, companies can deploy applications in seconds. For the most scalable and flexible hosted IT solutions, businesses should contact an IronOrbit sales representative and sign up for Dedicated Virtual Server Hosting today!

Hosted QuickBooks FAQ

Quickbooks FAQ OTNO Blog

The benefits of IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks are pretty clear— IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks is more cost-effective, accessible, secure, and easier-to-manage than on-site QuickBooks. You may still have questions about other aspects of IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks, however (features, compatibility, cost, etc.). Hopefully, this FAQ will give you the information that you’re looking for. If you have any further questions about IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting, contact an IronOrbit sales representative at [email protected] or (888) 753-5060.

Does IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks have all the same features as a locally-installed desktop version of the software?

Yes. Though some web-based applications derived from desktop software—in order to reduce their processing requirements—are stripped of their most powerful and complex features, an IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks is exactly the same as a locally-installed desktop version of QuickBooks. It won’t seem like you’re accessing your hosted QuickBooks over the Internet, either; our hosted applications perform the same as locally-installed software, and don’t have any of the slowdowns, lag, or outages that many people experience when using other web-based software.

What versions of QuickBooks does IronOrbit host?

We host ANY version of QuickBooks, including QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise, and basic QuickBooks. This includes previous versions of QuickBooks, too (QuickBooks Pro 2009, QuickBooks Premier 2010, QuickBooks Enterprise 2011, etc.).

Can I still use my QuickBooks plugins with IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting?

Yes, we support ALL QuickBooks plugins, including favorites such as Corelytics, AgileShip, ShipGear, OneWay Commerce, ViewMyPaycheck, bMobile, and AuditMyBooks.

What’s included with IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks?

All IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting Solutions come with:

  • Orbital Security (firewall, antivirus, file encryption, and Intrusion Prevention and Detection Systems)
  • Regular data backups
  • Atomic Speed Technology (a unique blend of performance-boosting technologies, protocols, and best practices)
  • 24x7x365 all-inclusive US-based technical support (which extends beyond providing support for our hosted solutions to helping you resolve issues with your desktops, laptops, scanners, printers, speakers, monitors, etc.)
  • Around-the-clock infrastructure monitoring and maintenance (backed by a 100% uptime guarantee)

How much does IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting cost?

All IronOrbit hosted solutions cost only a low, flat monthly fee. Your exact fee will depend on the version of QuickBooks that you select and how many users and how much storage you need. For a price quote, contact an IronOrbit sales representative.

What do I do with my existing QuickBooks licenses and data?

Your existing software licenses can be transferred to and be used to authorize your IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks. If you don’t have any existing QuickBooks licenses, you can either purchase them from Intuit or rent them from us (the cost will be included in your monthly fee). Your existing QuickBooks data can also be transferred to your new hosted QuickBooks deployment. For a small fee, an IronOrbit hosting specialist can help you with the data migration process.

What devices can I use to access IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks with?

IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks can be accessed from any Internet-connected desktop, laptop, thin client, ultrabook, tablet, or smartphone.

Can I access hosted QuickBooks from an Apple computer?

Yes, even though we only host the Windows versions of QuickBooks, any user with a Mac OS can still access IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks.

Is IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting compliant with data security regulations such as PCI DSS, SOX, and GLBA?

Yes, it can be. Orbital Security (firewall, antivirus, file encryption, and Intrusion Prevention and Detection Systems) comes standard with our hosted QuickBooks. If you need to comply with a specific data security regulation, let your IronOrbit account manager know so that we can build a customized, fully-compliant version of hosted QuickBooks for you.