Small-business hybrid IT specialist Zynstra has announced the availability of Cloud Managed Server Appliances, offerings targeted at small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) that leverage on-premises IT and the cloud and will be sold as a service.
The availability comes as organizations prepare for Windows Server 2003 (WS2003) end of support, scheduled for this July.
"Over the past three years, the market has moved firmly in the direction of hybrid IT and IT as a service, with many suppliers and enterprise customers recognizing it as the optimum solution to meet their needs for flexibility and control," Nick East, CEO of Zynstra, told eWEEK. "These benefits are equally if not more applicable to SMBs where the need to benefit from a cloud cost model, while retaining on-premises control of certain applications and data, is magnified."
When hybrid IT is delivered as a service, SMBs can avoid disruptive capital expenditure, move to a subscription model and contain their in-house IT spend, he said.
In addition, East said, the end of support of Windows Server 2003 is driving many SMBs to consider replacing their IT infrastructure, and hybrid IT provides the ideal solution.
"Any business considering an IT refresh should consider hybrid IT, as it provides a long-term platform for all of their IT needs," East said. "It delivers the best of both worlds. In particular, those facing WS2003 replacements should put hybrid IT at the top of their list of potential replacement solutions."
All of the company's cloud managed server appliances are built on the ProLiant server range with Zynstra software that enables local IT workloads to be run as a service in a virtualized Windows and/or Linux environment.
"It was a natural choice for our partners and customers. We use the ProLiant range most appropriate to the customer's requirements," East said. "Our relationship with HP means we will always use the best server technology available for our customers, including the ML10 range aimed at smaller businesses, and we worked closely with HP on the Gen9 server range as a beta partner."
Core features include a private cloud on one or more clustered servers preintegrated with network gateway, Active Directory, file and print servers, a range of managed applications and a managed virtual machine "infrastructure as a service" environment.
In addition, backup management and disaster recovery capabilities are built in, and all support and management are conducted automatically and behind the scenes. Upgrades and security patches are also kept current.
The platform also delivers behind the firewall security for data kept on-premises, with secure and encrypted integration to cloud-hosted data where required.
The solution is always kept up to data with the latest versions of supported applications and operating systems, and with the latest security patches and updates.
"This year, Windows Server 2003 and SBS 2003 won't be supported. No support means no patches, no updates, no phone support. This can create compliance and security issues and a lot of hassle," East said. "The sad reality is that people intent on cyber-attacks will seek to exploit vulnerabilities on this OS as soon as Microsoft stops patching it, and if that happens, there is no defense. The consequences are huge for a lack of remediation before the end-of-support deadline."