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Mural Helps Over 100,000 SMBs Maximize Use of Cloud-Based Collaboration Tools

Customer on-boarding platforms and services provider Mural today announced that it worked with over 100,000 small and medium-sized businesses in the last year and helped them maximize use of their cloud-based applications, including nearly 20,000 businesses on Microsoft collaboration tools.

Service providers are most vulnerable to losing customers in the first 90 days after a sale.Mural engineers work one on one with SMB employees to engage them more deeply, understand their overall IT needs, and educate them on other Microsoft services they could benefit from. – Steve Zimba, President, Mural.

The news comes three weeks after Mural launched Platform MaaX, a new on-boarding and post-sales support platform designed to provide SMBs with services that accelerate cloud implementation.

SMBs have used the Platform MaaX effectively to accelerate the cloud implementation and improve their satisfaction with Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services, SharePoint and Lync products, says the official press release.

Increasing activation rates by 233 percent and lowering customer churn by 70 percent, Platform MaaX ensures that users maximize the benefits of cloud services, and hence accelerates the path to revenue for service providers, including software developers like Microsoft service providers and hosting partners, as well as Office 365 resellers and syndication partners.

Platform MaaX supports a broad range of mission-critical SaaS services from various technology service providers and IaaS services including virtual servers and cloud storage from multiple strategic partners.

Its core capabilities include tools for rapid on-boarding and data migration applications, a Customer Experience 360 training and certification program, cloud service-specific data-gathering APIs, and a detailed user-centric knowledgebase.

Mural Platform MaaX -- an on-boarding and post-sales support platform

“Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services, SharePoint and Lync give SMBs the robust, world-class collaboration capabilities they need to compete and succeed,” said Steve Zimba, President, Mural.

“Service providers are most vulnerable to losing customers in the first 90 days after a sale.Mural engineers work one on one with SMB employees to engage them more deeply, understand their overall IT needs, and educate them on other Microsoft services they could benefit from. We continue to serve more than 10,000 such businesses every month,” he added.

Available as a private-label or Mural-branded managed service and delivered from the Mural Customer Experience Center in Arizona, Platform MaaX can also be licensed, including use of all tools, methods, data analytics and content.

“Microsoft is committed to helping customers transition to the cloud and has built a large portfolio of products and service to support this effort,” said Marco Limena, Vice president, Hosting Service Providers Business at Microsoft.

“Microsoft also believes in giving choice to customers when it comes to where to deploy these technologies, and its strong alliance with its community of hosting service providers around the world ensures a seamless experience for customers,” he added.

Mural will be showcasing the advantages of its customer experience offerings at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, July 7–11 in Houston, in booth #1724.

For more information, click here.

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“(mt) Has Grown Into a Strong Brand Through the Word of Mouth”- Russell Reeder, Media Temple

Things go awry often for web hosting providers. Server crashes, down times, security issues, network problems are frequent, and there is only so much a provider can do to preempt such issues. With so many things potentially going astray, irate customers are rife, and things can get nasty behind keyboards easily. If not proactively handled, such instances can irreversibly damage a company’s reputation.

Media Temple (mt) is one organization that handles such mishaps with great aplomb. One of the rare web-hosting providers that can boast of a passionate fan following, Media Temple stands out from the crowd with its top-shelf customer support.

With its product lineup comprehensive and broad enough to appeal from a web designer to an enterprise, Media Temple has really grown by word of mouth to establish itself as a forward thinking and customer-focused organization.

In light of the recently launched DV Managed and CloudTech Premium Support at HostingCon 2013, we had a conversation with Russell P Reeder, President and COO, (mt) Media Temple. Read away as he talks about Media Temple’s work culture, new products and services, the much known Grid-service, team (mt), and of course, the future plans.

Q: Let’s begin with a brief overview of Media Temple.

A: Media Temple focuses on the SMB Cloud Hosting market, especially the more tech savvy segment of it, for instance web designers and web developers, who’re the key influencers in the online industry.

We have over 125,000 customers hosting almost 2 million websites in over 100 countries. At Media Temple, we’ve always differentiated our services on premium technical support. We’ve got almost 100 system administrators here in Los Angeles for 24×7 technical support that help our customers via phone, online chat, twitter and various other support channels.

Q: Since you speak of support, I personally am a big fan of how Media Temple uses social media not only to respond to its customers’ needs (via Twitter and Facebook), but also to invite them inside its offices and project its human side (via Instagram). What is your philosophy behind using social media?

A: Yes, thank you. I think it comes from our culture. We have a very transparent, open culture and care about people, our employees and customers.

Social media is just another channel for us to communicate and we don’t go there to market our services, but to expand this culture of ours where we really put our customers first.

We think that in order to hire and retain the best employees, a company has to create a fun atmosphere, and we are very proud that we’ve been able to do so. We have a great culture, it’s almost like a college dorm atmosphere where people come to work and have a lot of fun.

– Russell P Reeder, President and COO, (mt) Media Temple.

Russell P Reeder, President and COO, (mt) Media Temple
Russell P Reeder, President and COO, (mt) Media Temple

Q: What are some of the key features that set the recently launched DV Managed apart from other managed VPS platforms out there? What additional value can SMBs expect to derive from it?

A: First of all, we have 3 different levels of our VPS platform. We have full managed platforms with root access enabled, one click application installs, managed uptime, security, 24X7 access to support etc.

We have our VPS developer if you are a Linux ninja and just want to go right to the command line and have at it. It’s still managed because we manage everything from the electricity own up to the Ubuntu and all the different versions, but you handle everything that you install on it. So it’s a little bit less managed.

And then we have DV Enterprise Dedicated VPS Hosting, formerly known as (dpv) Nitro, for the more heavy lifting, and that starts at 2000$ a month.

So as an old software developer, I would say that the one feature that I’m most excited about is the re-bootless updates for future proofing our solutions. We will never leave behind our customers on an old version and launch a new version. This is the version that will have re-bootless updates as we continue to innovate on our technology in the future. That is exciting.

We also have all leading edge technology for the latest 2013 hardware specs. The software that we now have running our full DV Managed, DV Developer and DV Enterprise platform, is 25 times faster than our older versions, which allows you to do the backups, recoveries and run your applications faster on our platform.

Q: How do DV Developer and DV Enterprise complement your entire DV lineup?

A: If you don’t need a control panel and you just want to go right into a VPS server, we feel that DV Developer is the most up-to-date VPS platform that you can go for. It starts at 30$ a month and you can take that all the way up to 2500$ a month.

But if you want the DV Developer on your own dedicated box, you can have your own DV Enterprise with 64GB Fully Buffered DDR3 RAM from 2000$ a month.

Q: Where are your data centres located?

A: We have invested a tremendous amount into our infrastructure. We have two core Tier IV data centres located in Virginia and Los Angeles, with multiple redundancy throughout the system, 24×7 staffed teams, tens of thousands of servers and a great capacity to scale.

Q: What are some of the significant improvements and upgrades in the newly launched CloudTech Premium support? Also, what are various one-time services that CloudTech On-Demand provides?

A: We at Media Temple have always differentiated on our technical support and we will continue to do so.

We did eight months of due diligence on when we had to scope out customers and say ‘No sorry! That’s out of scope’, and looked at what we could automate in the back-end to say yes to these customers.

So with CloudTech premium, we can provide a lot of extra support. We have taken our technical system administrators and our Red Hat certified engineers and opened them up for our customers. We can do the installation of your apps for you, monitor your system 24X7 so you don’t have to, handle traffic spikes, do performance analysis of your database, website and your WordPress.

Our customers can access our CloudTech services in two ways. One is through an On-Demand service, where you can go to the website, log into your AccountCenter, choose from a menu of more than 20 on-demand services and put on what service you need at that specific time.

If you want to have a 24X7 premium support package with a dedicated team of IT experts, you can try Cloud Tech Always-On and pay for that in the subscription model as well.

Q: This one is regarding Media Temple’s Grid Hosting service. How does it handle traffic spikes better than other shared hosting services?

A: We are very proud of our Grid Technology. It is proprietary and it’s our secret sauce. It handles infinite scalability, from the MySQL to all the way through the entire infrastructure. And we figured out how to have this cloud scalability in a shared hosting environment six years back. So not only does our Grid Technology scale at the database level, it can immediately eliminate that noisy neighbour issue too.

Most of our customers are web designers and web developers that have hundreds of sites. With our one grid account, you can have anything from 1 website to 100 websites at just 20$ a month. And it is very scalable, so when you have an Oprah moment, you don’t have to call Media Temple and warn us. The system has scalability throughout the infrastructure and is constantly watching for the increased traffic, you wouldn’t even know when we move instances around to make sure that you are on the proper infrastructure to scale as needed.

We even allow customers to double-up, so if you have got your 15 minutes of fame and for one week you are just killing it, blowing the numbers out of the water, it’s very exciting to you and then it starts to go back down, in such cases you aren’t going to need to upgrade to a VPS, our grid containers can handle that increased traffic for you from a database level, from an application level all the way to the web server.

Q: And how does your charging system work during these traffic spikes? How do you charge for the additional bandwidth consumed?

A: We don’t charge for spikes on the grid. We have a grace period for customers that can spike up, but after several days of constant traffic, we would separate that container, move the customer over to a certain level of our infrastructure and then notify the customer via email and also a technical customer support representative would call them to figure out the reason for the increased traffic. Is it because of some changes you made to your site? Is it because your PHP is broken? Is something currently going wrong in your database? Or is it just that you’ve recently launched a new product and people around the world are coming to your website to see it?

So we have customized solutions for our customers to make sure that they’re using the right product with the Media Temple.

Q: Please throw some light on the (mt) Affiliate Program.

A: Sure! We have done very little marketing in the past. Media Temple has really grown into a strong brand that it is today through the word of mouth and the support of our customers.

So just recently we started to put a little bit of more muscle into our affiliate program to give back to people who have sent us new leads and new customers in the past.

We have two programs: One is the referral program for our existing customers, which credits their account when they send us new customers. Another one is the traditional affiliate program which has been getting much more traction lately. We compete on our brand, not just on how much we pay our affiliates.

Media Temple Affiliate Program

Q: What is the Media Temple Corporate Culture? What is a typical day at your office like?

A: A typical day in our office is fun. We have a great culture, it’s almost like a college dorm atmosphere where people come to work and have a lot of fun. We think that in order to hire and retain the best employees, a company has to create a fun atmosphere, and we are very proud that we’ve been able to do so.

We have yoga, physical fitness training classes, happy hours, free breakfast on Mondays, free lunch every other Friday etc. We also have a very generous PTO policy for exempt and non-exempt employees, our maternity leaves are 3 months long, paternity leaves 1 month long, and every three years you can take a sabbatical which we call the (mt) refresh where you can take a paid one month off.

So we’re very proud of the fact that we take good care of our employees in the office.

Q: And how big is your team?

A: We have over 220 employees based primarily in Los Angeles and New York.

Q: Wrapping up, any big developments coming from the Media Temple is the coming few months?

A: We’ve been working on a number of products and additional services that will help the SMBs run their businesses better. At the back-end, we are planning to launch some very interesting cloud storage solutions beginning in the 2014 that will continue our tradition of innovation and giving back to our customers.

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Flexiant and Boston Partner to Deliver ‘Cloud in a Box’ Solution on Supermicro Servers

Flexiant today announced that it will provide a ‘cloud in a box’ solution to the market in partnership with Boston Limited, a preferred distribution partner for Supermicro.

Our joint ‘cloud in a box’ offer with Boston gives these service providers and hosters the flexibility to get to market quickly and test and develop new products and services that meet the needs of their customers,
– George Knox, CEO, Flexiant.George Knox, CEO, Flexiant.

The news comes a month after the selection of Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator by ALVEA Services for its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution, ALVEA Infrastructure.

With ‘cloud in a box’ offered on Supermicro Servers, cloud service providers and web hosters can get the hardware and cloud management software to deploy cloud services immediately.

This gives them the flexibility to get to market quickly, and test and develop new products and services that meet the needs of their customers.

The new solution is easy to deploy and configurable for each customer.

Customers can use the cloud orchestration software for on-demand, fully automated provisioning of cloud services and therefore concentrate on higher margin activities and to deal pro-actively with more complex issues.

With Flexiant, users can provision, de-provision, start and stop their own servers directly through their own management interface and allow their customers to buy cloud services in the shortest possible time.

Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator was very recently named as a Cool Vendor by Gartner in it’s Cloud Management Report for 2013.

‘Cloud in a box’ solution offers customers a ready-made testing facility in Interxion’s UK Cloud TestLab. Customers hence can deploy a Supermicro/Flexiant ‘cloud in a box’ solution and test and develop cloud services at high speed with best-in-class performance guarantees.

“For Boston, the development and deployment of cutting-edge technology has always been the priority. So when it came to finding a cloud management and orchestration software partner we wanted to work with a company that match our technical expertise and share Boston’s vision towards providing leading IT solutions,” said Manoj Nayee, MD, Boston Limited.

“The Flexiant platform is one of the world’s most advanced cloud management platforms, renowned as a proven, credible and visionary alternative to the cost of developing an in-house cloud computing platform. It enables service providers and hosting companies to compete in the cloud computing virtualization sector on a level playing field with global market leaders who have proprietary, rapid-provisioning infrastructures,” he added.

“Cloud service providers must identify ways to differentiate in the marketplace, lest they become a commodity service,” said George Knox, CEO, Flexiant.

“Our joint ‘cloud in a box’ offer with Boston gives these service providers and hosters the flexibility to get to market quickly and test and develop new products and services that meet the needs of their customers,” he added.

For more information, contact Flexiant or Boston.

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Cloud Hosted Cloud Apps Hosting Innovation New Products News Technology

Gandi Updates Gandi Flex; Adds Advanced Cloud Computing Resource Scheduling

Domain name registrar and cloud-hosting provider Gandi today announced that its calendar-based scheduling engine for cloud computing instances, Gandi Flex, has been updated to allow organizations to schedule needs for RAM, bandwidth and CPU power.

This new interface to cloud computing gives the savvy administrator an edge in cost control. – Thomas Stocking, COO, Gandi U.S.

The news comes a few days after Gandi launched its new Pay-as-you-go billing and management model for its IaaS products.

The updated scheduler allows organizations to handle anticipated and cyclical spikes in usage with hourly granularity with recurrence schedules built in. This lets users like e-commerce site administrators, SaaS providers, software developers etc. to keep the cost of running their instances low.

Administrators who can predict the spikes and heavy use periods for their use cases can now provision additional resources exactly when they need them by setting the date and time to the hour using Gandi Flex’s new intuitive web interface. The provision can be done either cyclically or ad hoc.

Gandi flex provides the baseline schedule, and its monitoring probes add or remove the resources for the exceptional cases.

The new interface has the aforementioned “pay-as-you-go” billing and management model fully integrated into it.

“This new interface to cloud computing gives the savvy administrator an edge in cost control,” said Thomas Stocking, COO, Gandi U.S.

“With Gandi Flex our users can realize one of the primary benefits of cloud computing: not needing to over-provision just to handle load spikes. If users can predict the spikes and heavy use periods for their use case, they can use Gandi Flex to scale up when they need it, and back down when they don’t,” he added.

Gandi Flex works with Gandi Cloud VPS systems, and is now available for free for all existing customers. For more information, click here.

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Adapt Expands its Footprint in North England; Acquires Sleek Cloud Hosting

IT services provider Adapt today announced that it has acquired Leeds-based cloud hosting provider Sleek.

Sleek customers now have access to Adapt’s managed services, real-time management portal (aMP) and Virtual Data Centre (eVDC) platform.

Our combined business represents a real alternative for fast-growing companies looking for more than transactional cloud services, who require a deeper level of support and want an alternative to ‘live chat’ as a method of talking to their hosting partner. – Stewart Smythe, CEO, Adapt.

“Both organisations are about delivering the highest quality infrastructure, wrapped in an exceptional support layer. Our shared vision is perfect for those organisations who see IT as a strategic asset that must contribute to their competitive advantage and bottom line” said Stewart Smythe, CEO, Adapt.

“Sleek enhances what we already offer to customers and is a very natural fit. The acquisition broadens Adapt’s existing IaaS proposition with accessible entry-level cloud services; for Sleek it’s an opportunity to deliver scale choice to its customers without compromising on the account management and service quality that they’ve come to expect,” he added.

Smythe also hinted at the possibility of future acquisitions if and when Adapt finds the companies that offer the expertise and capabilities that match its existing vision. Last year Adapt acquired Cardiff-based eLINIA to enhance its position within the UK managed services marketplace.

Sleek’s existing portfolio of services includes managed private, public and hybrid cloud hosting, enterprise services, dedicated servers and data center services.

Sleek acquisition by Adept.

“We admire the way Adapt has developed infrastructure designed to serve the needs of the mid-tier and enterprise market,” said Ryan McCarry, Managing director, Sleek.

“It is a credible, knowledgeable provider with quality service values like our own that make it stand out in the sector and our customers are excited about the opportunity it offers. It will accelerate growth in our region, consolidate our position and further develop our reputation for quality cloud services,” he added.

For more information, click here.

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Newly Launched CloudSigma 2.0 Features Private Patching, SSD Storage System & Advanced CPU Options

Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider CloudSigma today launched CloudSigma 2.0, a next-generation public cloud that enables high-performance hybrid environments.

Some of the salient features of ClodSigma 2.0 are:

CloudSigma 2.0 is a true benchmark in IaaS capability. We have eliminated contention and bottlenecks, created a new level of interoperability and hybrid cloud integration, and broadened the user’s ability to customize their service, all while maintaining our open and transparent model. – Robert Jenkins, CEO and co-founder, CloudSigma.
  • Direct private patch capability: CloudSigma 2.0 has a  transparent private patching capability that allows customers to connect their own infrastructure directly to the vLANS within CloudSigma’s public cloud, all exposed via the same subnet. This significantly improves data portability and security.

    CloudSigma 2.0’s private patching avoids the need for inefficient VPNs and allows for a totally private IP-only solution at full line speed and with low latency.

  • Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS): The new private patching capability streamlines data portability to enable a full-fledged DRaaS strategy, thereby giving customers instant access to and recovery of their data in the event of an outage or disaster.

    Customers can hence  run one environment both inside and outside of CloudSigma’s cloud without the overhead of maintaining two differentiated platforms.

    Also, since customers are no longer required to send their sensitive data over a public IP, CloudSigma 2.0’s private connectivity mitigates data security concerns like cyber-attacks, data leakage and malicious hacking.

  • All-SSD, high-performance storage: Incorporating an all solid-state drive (SSD) storage, CloudSigma 2.0 eliminates the input/output (I/O) bottlenecks and CPU wait time to provide high levels of speed and stability.

    It also boosts VM-to-VM connectivity speeds using next generation virtual networking technologies.

  • Advanced CPU options for better application performance: CloudSigma 2.0 places no restrictions on VM size, offers all resources including CPU and RAM on a utility basis, incorporates advanced CPU options with full-exposure of CPU instruction sets to VMs, and offers the ability to control visibility and emulation of non-uniform memory access (NUMA) as well as hypervisor timer settings.

As per the official press release, many customers like  iStreamPlanet, Cinecert and Tracky who’re already hosting environments with CloudSigma 2.0 have een at least a 30 percent general performance improvement in terms of scalability, compute power and resource utilization.

CloudSigma 2.0’s pricing has an unbundled, pay-as-you-go approach.

“CloudSigma has always been focused on driving innovation as a founding principle, and that’s why we took our IaaS offering to the next level as soon as we had the opportunity,” said Robert Jenkins, CEO and co-founder, CloudSigma.

“CloudSigma 2.0 is a true benchmark in IaaS capability. We have eliminated contention and bottlenecks, created a new level of interoperability and hybrid cloud integration, and broadened the user’s ability to customize their service, all while maintaining our open and transparent model. These improvements are allowing us to further improve our SLAs, and we’re confident we can deliver on them,” he added.

For more information, click here.

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Media Temple Launches DV Managed and CloudTech Premium Support at HostingCon 2013

Web hosting and cloud services provider Media Temple (mt) today launched DV Managed – the latest version of its VPS hosting platform, and CloudTech Premium Support – a new 24/7 multi-channel support platform that provides customer solutions by certified CloudTech engineers at the application code level.

DV Managed provides SMBs and start-ups with affordable managed hosting. It runs LAMP applications 25% faster than the previous version and backups and maintenance complete 10X faster.

Pre-loaded with various software packages including CentOS, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, Postfix, YUM package management, and Plesk Panel 11 from Parallels, DV Managed comes with a service level agreement (SLA) that offers the (mt) Media Temple 20/20 Uptime Guarantee – promising 99.999% server availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Media Temple DV Managed

During the first 30 days of launch, Media Temple is also providing DV Managed customers with a $237 value CloudTech™ KickStart pack – a 1:1 CloudTech consultation, an Advanced Performance Analysis, and a comprehensive Security Audit.

DV Managed is currently available in three packages priced at $50/mo (1 GB RAM, 30 GB Storage, 1 TB BandWidth), $100/mo (2 GB RAM, 50 GB Storage, 1.5 TB BandWidth) and $150/mo (4 GB RAM, 100 GB Storage, 2 TB BandWidth).

For more information on DV Managed, click here.

DV Developer, formerly known as (ve), is available with the same upgrades as DV Managed and some additional rebootless updates – upgrade kernel and reboot without downtime, improved stats using vSwap, and unlimited scalability by removing the previous 20 service limit per account.

DV Developer is currently available in three packages priced at $30/mo (1 GB Memory, 20 GB Storage, 350 GB BandWidth), $50/mo (2 GB Memory, 40 GB Storage, 650 GB BandWidth) and $100/mo (4 GB Memory, 80 GB Storage, 1.5 TB BandWidth).

For more information on DV Developer, click here.

Media Temple DV Developer

Also, DV Enterprise, formerly known as (dpv) Nitro, a high-powered, single-tenant VPS hosting solution available with Plesk Panel 11 or without, is available from $2,000 per month with no commitments required.

“We are on a mission to make things more simple for our customers,” said Demian Sellfors, co-founder and CEO , (mt) Media Temple.

“We now offer managed services so businesses can focus on what counts most, and we also now offer streamlined platforms that allow developers to reach their goals faster. Our new DV is the most efficient digital infrastructure we’ve ever built,” he added.

For more information on DV Enterprise, click here.

Media Temple has also launched CloudTech™ Premium Support, a 24/7 multi-channel support system that provides customers solutions by certified CloudTech engineers at the application code level. CloudTech is a deeper, more in-depth level of service and access for issues and improvements beyond the wide-ranging scope of services that Media Temple already provides.

“When you combine our enhanced DV platform with the premium technical support you get with CloudTech, it’s easier than ever to run a successful digital business,” said Russell P. Reeder, President and COO, (mt) Media Temple.

“We are innovating on digital infrastructure so our customers don’t have to,” he added.

For more information in CloudTech Premium Support, click here.

Earlier this year, Media Temple announced the restructuring of their (mt) Affiliate Program with increased affiliate commissions based on tiers for each product line.

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Mural Launches Platform MaaX, an On-boarding and Post-sales Support Platform

Customer on-boarding platforms and services provider Mural today announced the launch of Platform MaaX, a new on-boarding and post-sales support platform designed to provide SMBs with services that accelerate cloud implementation.

Adopting new technology can be time-consuming and intimidating to small and medium-sized businesses, leading to low activation, underutilized services and high turnover. We’re hearing from our partners and customers that it’s very difficult to make the move to the cloud. We have built Platform MaaX to address this exact challenge.
Steve Zimba, President, Mural.

Increasing activation rates by 233 percent and lowering customer churn by 70 percent, Platform MaaX accelerates the path to revenue for service providers and ensures that users maximize the benefits of their cloud services using core capabilities that include the following:

  • Tools: Simple-to-use activation scheduler, comprehensive workforce management, rapid on-boarding and data migration applications, advanced multi-mode communications, workflow management, script development and customer interaction tracking.
  • Methods: Cloud service-specific on-boarding processes and workflows, expert hiring profiles, and an industry-first Customer Experience 360 training and certification program.
  • Analytics: Adaptable data model for building cloud-centric customer profiles, cloud service-specific data-gathering APIs, combined with in-depth dashboards and reporting capabilities.
  • Content: Detailed user-centric knowledgebase, third-party content gathering and rebranding, and comprehensive sales and marketing collateral.

“Adopting new technology can be time-consuming and intimidating to small and medium-sized businesses, leading to low activation, underutilized services and high turnover,” said Steve Zimba, President, Mural.

“We’re hearing from our partners and customers that it’s very difficult to make the move to the cloud. We have built Platform MaaX to address this exact challenge,” he added.

Platform MaaX supports a broad range of mission-critical SaaS services from various technology service providers and IaaS services including virtual servers and cloud storage from multiple strategic partners.

Available as a private-label or Mural-branded managed service and delivered from the Mural Customer Experience Center in Arizona, Platform MaaX can also be licensed, including use of all tools, methods, data analytics and content.

Mural will be showcasing the advantages of its customer experience offerings at HostingCon 2013, June 17-19 in Austin, Texas, in booth #901.

For more information, click here.

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OnApp Cloud v3.1 Enables Service Providers to Include Dedicated Smart Servers Into the Cloud

Cloud services provider OnApp yesterday announced OnApp Cloud v3.1, a new version of its flagship product OnApp Cloud that allows services providers to offer truly hybrid cloud services, utilizing smart and bare metal servers that can be managed with a single platform – OnApp control panel.

With OnApp you can put workloads where it makes sense to put them – on bare metal, on a smart server or in a public or private cloud. You get a single pane of glass into the different services running across your infrastructure, and so do your customers. – Ditlev Bredahl, CEO, OnApp.

OnApp Cloud v3.0 was rolled out earlier this year with an integrated SAN, global CDN and new support for VMware clouds.

This new version adds cloud benefits to service providers’ legacy hosting offerings and enables them to manage a full datacenter through a single pane of glass, along with new automation capabilities that more easily allow for third-party platform/application integration.

Now, entire virtual environments can be automatically built, and different applications and tools can be installed or activated, making running a cloud infrastructure even more light-touch. Other new features include General Availability Zones (GAZs) for OnApp CDN edge servers, bare metal server support and recipes for adding functionality or customization.

Some salient features of OnApp Cloud v3.1 are:

  • Recipes: Introduced in the new version, a recipe is a set of instructions that can be applied automatically to virtual machines, hypervisors, bare metal servers, smart servers and the OnApp control panel at different stages of deployment. Cloud providers can use recipes to tweak a configuration, install apps and patches or create a complete PaaS or SaaS environment. They can automate the process of adding new functionality or server configurations to standard OnApp environments.
  • Blueprints: Also introduced in the new version are blueprints – a new feature for VMware clouds running in OnApp. A way to deploy a complete distributed application like a web server, application server or database server with a single click, blueprints make application provisioning fast and error-free, and enable OnApp cloud providers to deploy and redeploy multi-server templates for the first time.
  • Smart servers: Customers who need dedicated hardware can now spin up a smart server on demand through the OnApp Cloud control panel. With smart servers, customers get the automatic scaling, self-provisioning and automatic failover features of OnApp Cloud. Smart servers have a thin virtualization layer and deploy across the network from a central repository using OnApp Cloud’s Cloud Boot capability.
  • Bare metal servers: can now be deployed and managed through OnApp Cloud control panel. Bare metal servers have no virtualization layer and customer apps and databases run straight on the hardware to get maximum performance.


OnApp Cloud v3.1 also includes provisioning and UI enhancements. Service providers now have more options for billing based on zones, which they can use to group different types of infrastructure for public, private, smart server or bare metal services.

OnApp CDN now has the ability to manage multiple CDN edge server locations from a single control panel server.

A free upgrade for existing OnApp Cloud customers, OnApp Cloud v3.1 will be available in the summer. Pricing for cloud servers will remain the same as the current version of OnApp Cloud, with a monthly fee per core and per cloud. Bare metal servers and smart servers will be priced per server per month.

A few weeks back, OnApp announced it’s partnership with Dell for creating three pre-tested cloud packages.

“Service providers have to change from thinking about the cloud as another silo of infrastructure, to thinking about the value of their infrastructure as a whole,” said Ditlev Bredahl, CEO, OnApp.

“With OnApp you can put workloads where it makes sense to put them – on bare metal, on a smart server or in a public or private cloud. You get a single pane of glass into the different services running across your infrastructure, and so do your customers. It’s how everyone gets the most out of legacy and cloud hosting,” he added.

To read our recent interview with Mr. Kosten Metreweli, CCO, OnApp, please click here.

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XO Communications Launches XO Enterprise Cloud, XO Cloud Drive and XO Cloud Vault

XO Communications today announced launch of XO Enterprise Cloud, XO Cloud Drive, and XO Cloud Vault, its three new cloud service offerings that leverage Tier III data centers and the XO nationwide network to offer IT infrastructure-as-a-services ideal for SMBs and enterprises who want to to virtualize their data centers, back up enterprise-wide data to the cloud, and enable cloud-based file sharing and storage for employees.

Providing SLAs, integrated security, and high-performance data center and network, the new enterprise-class cloud solutions help IT professionals and the organizations run a wide range of applications, from test and development to mission-critical applications, in the cloud.

XO Enterprise Cloud

Designed to meet customer requirements for enterprise-grade cloud computing services delivered over a private and secure network environment, XO Enterprise Cloud gives customers the flexibility of multiple network connectivity options to access the Enterprise Cloud platform and multiple computing resource allocation options, such as Shared, Reserved and Dedicated, depending on what best supports their application needs.

Some specifications of XO Enterprise Cloud are as follows:

  • Performance – The XO Enterprise Cloud server and storage infrastructure is built using best-in-class products from HP, VMware Inc., and EMC Corporation and offers three tiers of high performance storage, including Solid State Drives.
  • Network Security – Networked Fortinet security appliances and subscription services provide broad, integrated and high-performance protection against dynamic security threats.
  • Availability – Redundant N+1 architectural design provides for 100% availability.
  • Compliance – The XO Enterprise Cloud platform is deployed in Tier III data centers located in Northern Virginia and Southern California with SSAE 16 Type 2 compliance.
  • Scalability – XO Enterprise Cloud provides a highly flexible platform that can support 1 Gbps dedicated bandwidth per virtual machine, as well as scale-up capabilities that can reach 32 vCPUs and 512 GB RAM per server.

XO Cloud Drive

XO Cloud Drive allows companies to give their employees the ability to store, share, synchronize and collaborate on business content and files in the cloud while giving IT organizations the ability to control and centralize how business content is shared.

With XO Cloud Drive, files can be drag-and-dropped, saved virtually for consistent version control and shared anywhere, anytime, across multiple platforms and among numerous users for seamless collaboration.

The cloud-based platform provides uniform access to files across the following platforms, including iOS, Android, Mobile Web, Windows, Mac and Linux.

Some salient features of XO Cloud Drive are:

  • Content aggregation from multiple sources
    • Microsoft Office documents, presentations and spreadsheets
    • Google apps, emails and documents
    • Bookmarks
    • RSS feeds
    • Social media
    • Images and embedded media
  • Dynamic file synchronization to keep important files and folders up-to-date across multiple devices.
  • Conflict-free, automatic synchronization to mitigate offline/online, as well as multi-user file editing.
  • Full-text indexed search of all content and team collaboration with permission-based file access.
  • File version history stored allowing customers to preserve and restore from all previous versions of business files.
  • List, view, rename, share, download and delete files.
  • Intuitive editor to create text and illustrative notes.
  • Easy-to-use web-based management interface.

XO Cloud Vault

XO Cloud Vault automates and simplifies backup services for businesses with multiple locations or complex, distributed IT environments. Customers can replicate data from the XO Enterprise Cloud platform as well as from premise-based servers and desktops.

An intelligent backup design provides compression, encryption and copy of only those documents, emails and databases that have changed since the most recent backup across the following platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac, Solaris and FreeBSD.

To restore, the virtual design allows users to point and click to refresh files to a single point in time, streamlining and automating disaster recovery/business continuity planning for businesses of all sizes.

Some salient specifications of XO Cloud Vault are as follows:

  • Flexible backup schedule including continuous, every few hours, by day and time, incremental and multiple full backups.
  • Powerful compression algorithms to reduce bandwidth usage.
  • Support Microsoft Exchange server, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL SharePoint, etc.
  • Support Mapped Network Drives and external USB drives.
  • Block level incremental backups with options to configure multiple full backups.
  • User configured (up to 448 bit) encryption key guarantees data privacy and facilitates compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Virtually unlimited versioning with advanced data retention policies.
  • Comprehensive reports & dashboards with email notification options.
  • Bandwidth throttling.
  • Automatic updates of agent and plugin software.

“IT organizations are continually pressured to support an increasing number of mission-critical applications with fewer resources, causing businesses to seek out virtual solutions as a way to effectively and efficiently expand core operations without spending unnecessary capital,” said Jake Heinz, Vice President of marketing, XO Communications.

“In response to this industry need, XO Communications has expanded our services for dedicated cloud resources. This deeper commitment to the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market puts XO Communications in the best position to serve mid- and large-sized businesses for their computing, data and network requirements,” he added.

For more information, click here.

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