We offer a comprehensive solution built on top of our hosted managed services that allows companies to outsource either one component or their entire IT infrastructure to us. Simply leveraging our hosted Exchange infrastructure would be a great example of using us for one component. The flip side would be to leverage our infrastructure and know-how, and allow us to host and manage all of your IT through our Managed Services. In this managed services model, all workstations on the network are centrally managed via a Windows domain. Individual machine security policies and applications are pushed out via Group Policy (GP). Windows security updates are automatically installed via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Workstations can easily be re-imaged via Windows Remote Installation Services (RIS). Machines can be formatted and brought back up again to full functionality within two hours.
The set of GP that governs security roles and user rights assignment is contained in Active Directory (AD), where all of your user authentication data resides. AD makes use of Domain Controllers (DC’s) to store this data: DC’s are not only located at your local site, but also at the data center and a secondary location. Information is being synchronized and reconciled constantly between the different machines in 20-minute intervals.
Domain controllers communicate across sites via secure networks. IPSec Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnels are established between sites. All communications are encrypted with the 3DES encryption protocol to ensure secure, authenticated data transfers between machines on either endpoint of the VPN tunnel.
Should any Domain Controller become unresponsive, all authentication requests on the domain are rerouted to the secondary domain controller. DC’s are not only redundant at the site level (office, data center, secondary data center); they are also redundant at the machine level. The DC’s at the data centers are clustered. The result of the clustering is that if any one machine fails, the cluster will fail-over to the unaffected secondary machine. Along with site-level redundancy, and machine-level redundancy, each machine also has hardware-level redundancy. Each machine has multiple numbers of hard disks (the part most prone to failure in any computer); should any single hard drive fail, the data contained on that drive is rebuilt via a parity bit that is stored across all drives.
The Exchange servers that route email are also clustered. In addition to server redundancy, backups are performed on the information store every two hours. Individual mailboxes each have a snapshot taken at each backup interval. Valid backups are stored for over six months.
The information store data is physically housed within SCSI direct attached storage arrays. The arrays are clustered such that an entire array failure remains transparent to the end user. These arrays each comprise 15 SCSI hard disks segregated into multiple RAID 5 sets.
All incoming email is being actively filtered for spam and viruses by the Advanced Email Scrubbing service (AES). Any incoming email is routed through AES first before being delivered. If an email or email attachment is found to contain any viruses, trojans, or malware, it is immediately stripped of the infection so that it never reaches any mailboxes. Likewise, bulk email (spam) is identified and tagged and can be rejected via a system setting in AES.
The AES System
The AES system comprises multiple machines located in two different data centers. This means that should any machine (or clusters of machines), for any reason become unresponsive, all mail is immediately rerouted to the secondary data center without any disruption in the flow of messages.
Should the Exchange servers ever become unavailable for any reason, in this managed service model, AES automatically begins to queue the mail for delivery. When the Exchange servers come back online, all of the queued up mail is then successfully delivered into the individual recipients’ mailboxes.
Data stored on file servers within the office are protected by a comprehensive disaster recovery solution. The data is backed up daily, with backups dating back for more than a month.
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