Clients typically ask questions that can be grouped into one of three categories - business, general and technical. We've organised the answers into these three corresponding sections, and clicking on the category header (on top of the section below) will take readers to that section. Click or tap on the question to display the answer.

  • So what does Zetacloud do?

    We set up private cloud infrastructure - the servers, network and related resources - for clients that we can fully manage for them. We help clients save on hardware, energy and people. We help clients to scale up and gain agility in their operations with information and advice on chosing the right hardware and technical tools that will not only enhance their current strategy but also maximize their long-term ROI.

    We help clients get peace of mind while gaining a more agile IT infrastructure and saving money.

    What's unique about Zetacloud?

    Ours is a highly personalized service that is based on a deep understanding of the client's needs. The advice and service we provide to clients is driven by data analytics and an understanding of the clients' business, now and going forward, with due consideration given to the resources they have on hand. We thus help clients achieve much better long term returns on their costs.

    What value does Zetacloud deliver to clients to justify its charges, even though these are reasonable?

    Aside from the immediate monetary savings to clients, clients gain access to our deep and vast knowledge of the IT landscape, in terms of tools and strategies. We have an ethos of data and analytics based decision making, backed by experience.

    Anything unique about the pricing of Zetacloud's services you'd like to highlight?

    Yes! Most cloud management service providers charge on the basis of the size of the cloud server they manage, we do not! We charge on the basis of the services we provide. We charge a fixed price for the management and support of the first server, it doesn't matter the size, and only 60% of that amount for every subsequent cloud server, plus an additional 7.5% of the server management amount for each VM that the client runs on these cloud servers. Of these VMs, we only charge this if the VM is run for more than a certain number of hours in a month and if it's allocated resources above a certain high watermark.

    As a typical example, a client who moves 11 real servers on to 2 cloud servers - no matter how much CPU, RAM or disk storage the cloud server has - a client would pay us an average of USD 75 per month for our managed server support services, over a 3 year period, and would probably save an estimated USD 25,000 during the same pariod, and this is above what they would pay Zetacloud!

    As a client, how will I save money? And how else will I gain from engaging with Zetacloud?

    A clients' savings are significant when they hire Zetacloud. Just savings on energy costs can add up to at least 25,000 kWh of energy savings per annum! Older hardware can be recycled, including the back-up power supplies, UPS, etc. Space used to house the servers can be re-purposed. People who were otherwise spending time monitoring multiple servers can be employed more fruitfully.

    What's your policy on data security and how do you guarantee my data will remain secure?

    We always guarantee complete data security. We will NEVER touch customer data unless it's with the client's permission. We have very strict protocols in place to ensure all data remains completely secure.

    So what if I spend a little bit extra on having my own server on location. Why should I consider setting up a private cloud with Zetacloud?

    We at Zetacloud have a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience that we strongly feel a client would greatly benefit from having access to. It's not just about the cost of the servers that's important here, it's more about the agility a company gains by outsourcing basic services that do not directly impact their growth or strategy.

    I’m happy with managing my private cloud myself. What’s the big deal with fully-managed cloud?

    A "self-managed" cloud implies that you have the people on the ground to manage these resources. As these services are currently in high demand, even if you are paying them very well, you should have a back-up plan in case the person decides to leave. With Zetacloud, you don't have to worry about such things.

    How much can I save versus what Amazon Web Services (AWS) charges if I were to run my own private cloud? And more importantly, how would Zetacloud uncomplicate my IT workflow for me?

    On the basis of performance, clients can expect to be paying at least 67% less than what they would pay to AWS! This can be as high as 85% less with a greater number of servers being provisioned off servers managed by Zetacloud.

    How else can you help me become more productive, agile and frugal regarding IT operations and expenses?

    Just the senior team at Zetacloud has a combined experience of more than 100 years! This includes experience with IT, business, operations and strategy. Plus, we have practical experience through using our own product for 8 years to help us save money and be productive. We therefore speak from experience, and have similarly learned from experience. We will of course be happy to help clients leverage our knowledge and experience.

    My CTO thinks he can do a better job than what you offer. Why should I give credence to Zetacloud?

    At Zetacloud, we feel that, how well your CTO could do the same work as us, this is not relevant. Zetacloud's offering is unique. We have vast experience. But we're talking about basic services here. A good CTO usually prefers handing off these low-level tasks and focus on the high-value services that are important to the strategy and growth of the company. For example, would you hire the person who lays the network cabling at your office as a full-time employee, or expect your CTO to do this work?

    As a CTO of a company, how will partnering with Zetacloud help me, when it reduces my costs, staff, budget and the influence I have within my organization?

    As mentioned in the previous question, we see cloud infrastructure management as a low level service, but one that requires a high level of expertise. As the CTO, your obligation is to contain IT costs and remain agile. We help you do that, while at the same time freeing up your existing resources to focus on services important for the growth of the company.
    Another important consideration is that the demand for people with experience in managing cloud services is growing. No matter how well you pay your people doing this task, they will leave, and you have to be ready for that.

    Is there any lock-in? What happens if we don't use Zetacloud's services after you've set up our system/services?

    No, there's absolutely no lock-in. Once you've paid the initial charges, the cloud server and any software installed on it is perpetually licensed by us to you. You can use it any way you wish but you cannot resell our software or transfer it to any other machine. The cloud OS managing your cloud infrastructure and the cloud orchestration interface will continue functioning without limitation or any features disabled. Zetacloud will only stop monitoring, upgrading or providing support.

    We are not using any proprietary products. Our tech stack is based on the Oracle Solaris OS, it's easy to find people familiar with this product who can manage our offering. Also, from day one, the client holds the keys to their server, we can only get access a client's network when they grant us access. In this way, clients can rest assured Zetacloud will never put them in a hostage situation.

  • What is private cloud?

    Private cloud (also known as an internal cloud or corporate cloud) is a cloud computing environment in which all hardware and software resources are dedicated exclusively to, and accessible only by, a single client. Private cloud combines many of the benefits of cloud computing — including elasticity, scalability, and ease of service delivery — with the access control, security, and resource customization of on-premises infrastructure.

    Many companies choose private cloud over public cloud (cloud computing services delivered over infrastructure shared by multiple clients) because private cloud is an easier way (or the only way) to meet their regulatory compliance requirements. Others choose private cloud because their workloads deal with confidential documents, intellectual property, personally identifiable information (PII), medical records, financial data, or other sensitive data.

    By building private cloud architecture according to cloud native principles, an organization gives itself the flexibility to easily move workloads to public cloud or run them within a hybrid cloud (mixed public and private cloud) environment whenever they’re ready.

    How does private cloud work?

    Private cloud is a single-tenant environment, meaning all resources are accessible to one cleint only — this is referred to as isolated access. Private clouds are typically hosted on-premises in the client's data center. But, private clouds can also be hosted on an independent cloud provider’s infrastructure or built on rented infrastructure housed in an offsite data center. Management models also vary — the client can manage everything itself or outsource partial or full management to a service provider.

    And could you elaborate on private cloud architecture?

    Single-tenant design aside, private cloud is based on the same technologies as other clouds — technologies that enable a client to provision and configure virtual servers and computing resources on demand in order to quickly and easily (or even automatically) scale in response to spikes in usage and traffic, to implement redundancy for high availability, and to optimize utilization of resources overall.

    These technologies include the following:

    • Virtualization, which enables IT resources to be abstracted from their underlying physical hardware and pooled into unbounded resource pools of computing, storage, memory, and networking capacity that can then portioned among multiple virtual machines (VMs), containers, or other virtualized IT infrastructure elements. By removing the constraints of physical hardware, virtualization enables maximum utilization of hardware, allows hardware to be shared efficiently across multiple users and applications, and makes possible the scalability, agility, and elasticity of the cloud.
    • Management software gives administrators centralized control over the infrastructure and applications running on it. This makes it possible to optimize security, availability, and resource utilization in the private cloud environment.
    • Automation speeds tasks—such as server provisioning and integrations—that would otherwise need to be performed manually and repeatedly. Automation reduces the need for human intervention, making self-service resource delivery possible.

    In addition, private cloud users can adopt cloud native application architectures and practices—such as DevOps, containers, and microservices—that can bring even greater efficiency and flexibility and enable a smooth transition to a public cloud or hybrid cloud environment in the future.

    What are the benefits of a having private cloud?

    Building a private cloud makes it possible for all enterprises — even those in highly regulated industries — to avail themselves of many of the benefits of cloud computing without sacrificing security, control and customization. Specific advantages of private cloud include the following:

    • Full control over hardware and software choices. Private cloud customers are free to purchase the hardware and software they prefer, vs. the hardware and software the cloud provider offers.
    • Freedom to customize hardware and software in any way. Private cloud customers can customize servers in any way they want and can customize software as needed with add-ons or through custom development.
    • Greater visibility into security and access control, because all workloads run behind the customers’ own firewall and are fully logged.
    • Increased data security. Customers can implement their own security and access control models to meet their audit, regulatory and complaince requirements.
    • Fully enforced compliance with regulatory standards. Private cloud customers aren’t forced to rely on the industry and regulatory compliance offered by the cloud service provider.

    Setting up a private cloud has some disadvanteged, but these are more than offset by the advantages gained by the enterprise - ability to scale, multi-location redundancy, better data compliance, improved uptime, simplified IT architecture, lower energy consumption - among others.

    The chief disadvantage of private cloud is the higher cost, which can include the cost of purchasing and installing new hardware (which could potentially be offset by the retiring of existing hardware) and software and the cost of managing it (which may involve hiring additional IT staff.) Another disadvantage is somewhat limited flexibility — once an organization invests in hardware and software for its private cloud, adding capacity or new capabilities requires additional purchases. Virtual private cloud and managed cloud services (see below) can lessen these disadvantages to a degree.

    How do I compare private cloud vs. public cloud?

    Public cloud is a multi-tenant cloud environment, where the same computing resources are shared among multiple clients — sometimes hundreds or thousands of them. The purchasing unit it usually a virtual machine (VM). In public cloud, an independent cloud services provider owns and maintains the infrastructure, and access to resources is offered on a subscription basis or via pay-per-use pricing. The model is analogous to the way we purchase utility services, such as access to a municipal water supply or electric power in our homes.

    Public cloud sacrifices much of the control and security of private cloud, but provides significant benefits in exchange:

    • Greater elasticity and scalability: With public cloud, a customer can add capacity in response to unexpended surges in traffic, without purchasing and installing new hardware.
    • Lower cost of entry: Most customers can begin using public cloud services without adding physical compute resources of their own.
    • Faster access to the latest technologies: In many cases, economies of scale enable cloud providers to offer the latest hardware and software faster than customers could if they had to purchase and install them themselves.

    And what about private cloud vs. hybrid cloud?

    A hybrid cloud integrates public and private cloud infrastructures. In this model, the two types of cloud are joined together into a single, flexible infrastructure, and the enterprise can choose the optimal cloud environment for each individual application or workload. To make best use of this type of cloud computing, an enterprise must rely on technologies and orchestration tools that allow it to move workloads seamlessly across the two environments in order to meet performance, cost, compliance, and security requirements.

    A hybrid cloud can enable an ideal division of labor—an enterprise can keep sensitive data and applications that can’t easily be migrated to the cloud in its on-premises data center, while using the public cloud for access to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and any additional platform, storage, or compute capacity it might need. It’s this "best-of-both-worlds" approach that drives a continued increase in hybrid cloud adoption.

    What's "Virtual private cloud"?

    A virtual private cloud (VPC) is a service from a public cloud provider that creates a private cloud-like environment on public cloud infrastructure. In a VPC, virtual network functions and security features give a client the ability to define and control a logically isolated space in the public cloud, mimicking the private cloud’s enhanced security within a multi-tenant environment.

    VPC clients can benefit from the public cloud’s resource availability, scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness, all while retaining much of the security and control of private cloud. In most cases, a VPC will be less expensive to build and simpler to manage than an on-premises private cloud.

    So also expalin what's managed private cloud.

    This is what Zetacloud specializes in! Several vendors offer fully managed private cloud solutions. This model differs from VPC in that a managed private cloud is a single-tenant environment. Responsibility for architecting, managing and maintaining the infrastructure is outsourced to a third-party service provider, someone who understands the strategic requirements of the customer and can save them significant effort while enabling them to have a pathway to scale up. In this instance, this would be Zetacloud!

    The physical hardware usually resides in the enterprise's data center or is co-located in a 3rd party data center. Managed private clouds allow for greater customization than is possible in a multi-tenant environment and incorporate the usual security benefits of a private cloud but are more expensive than self-managed infrastructures.

    What's the difference between "self-managed" and "fully-managed" cloud?

    AWS, GCP and Azure are all self-managed cloud platforms - buyers rent a VM and they are completely responsible for all the work that's then needed on this VM, like installation and set-up of services, back-up, etc. The buyer has to have people with the necessary skills all of the additional work.
    In the case of a fully-managed cloud service, the provider manages basic tasks like backup, set-up of common services, provisioning of additional VMs, etc. They will usually also handle any atypical requirements for their clients, depending on the contract. This means that the client does not need to have their own resources dedicated to managing this asset.

    And finally, what's private cloud storage?

    Also known as internal cloud storage, private cloud storage entails drawing upon cloud service delivery models to supply storage to an enterprise. Data is stored within the data center on a dedicated infrastructure, but access is delivered to business units — and possibly partner organizations — as a service. This allows the enterprise to take advantage of some of cloud computing’s benefits—such as elasticity and rapid provisioning—while retaining a single-tenant architecture.

  • What's your technology stack based on? How does it compare to Linux or Windows Server?

    Our cloud orchestration stack is based on a tech stack similar to Oracle Solaris OS. We provide a level of security and stability similar to what you get with Solaris, which is considered the ultimate server OS.

    At Zetacloud, how do we feel when comparing these OS? Solaris is like a broadsword, heavy and tough, once you swing it, it's not stoppable. Linux is akin to a ninja sword, light and nimble and fun, but it's not up to the task of being the guts behind an enterprise server. Windows Server is something else - heavy resource use, expensive to run, lacks stability, but it does have some great enterprise features, like Active Directory.

    What's the main difference between bare metal servers, VMs and containers on Zetacloud?

    Bare metal servers and VMs (e.g., VMware) are rigid units of computation and storage that don't dynamically scale. For VMs, any change in resources, i.e., change storage, change virtual NICs, change allocated CPU or RAM, require the VM to be rebooted for the changes to register. Our native zones linux LX containers, or infrastructure containers not only run at bare-metal speeds but also can be dynamically resized and/or have resources altered, in place, and the guest OS will automatically register the changes. This means zero down-time!

    How does the performance of your cloud stack compare to that of Amazon Web Services, or Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Services?

    It's generally not useful to measure performance without taking into consideration the type of workload being run. Given that our virtual machines deliver close to bare-metal performance (meaning there's no performance penalty from running in a virtual environment) and the networking stack and file system is so much more efficient, clients should see 300% to 500% better performance.

    Overall, Zetacloud will generally cost clients up to 75% less than what they would pay for AWS, and higher performance guarantees are thrown in for free!

    What's peak planning and average planning? How is it relevant to what Zetacloud does? How does this impact my costs?

    When provisioning a server, one has to plan for peak use, which is mostly 4-7x average use. Which means a server is severely underutilized for ~80% of the time. When two or more services are run on the same server, then the ratio of average load to peak load increases. But having multiple services on the same server leads to security and stability issues, and exponentially increases the probable downtime. With a cloud server, where each service is run in its own container, there are no such issues. This addresses the issue of over-provisioning of a server significantly. This leads to a significant reduction in the cost of the server.
    It is exactly issues such as this that Zetacloud fixes for our clients.

    What’s a dedicated server? How is it different from the servers I have in my offices?

    The two are essentially the same - a single machine that's fully managed by a single entity, running a single operating system and multiple services. An on-site server is paid for and managed by the owner, a "dedicated server" is rented. Usually, the term "dedicated server" refers to servers that are provisioned by hosting providers or data centres, rented on a term basis, where the server's resources are completely under the control of the tenant.

    What’s a cloud server?

    A cloud server is a virtual server (rather than a physical server) running in a cloud computing environment. A cloud server can be reconfigured with resources - CPU, RAM, storage, network - to match needs. It's services are hosted and delivered by a cloud computing platform via the internet and can be accessed remotely. The tenant is guaranteed a minimum performance level, but since it's a virtual server, unused resources are generally allocated to other tenants of the provider.

    As virtual servers, the provider can usually dynamically increase resources available to the tenant, including CPU, RAM and storage, something that's very difficult to do with a physical server.

    What’s a dedicated server in the cloud?

    A dedicated cloud server is a virtual server provided by a data center to a tenant, where the server resources are completely guaranteed and are not shared with other tenants. It's a server you have rented, it resides in a remote location, is accessible via the internet, but in essence it's the same as an on-premises server without the headaches of a server installed on-location, i.e. power supply, people who will manage the hardware or networking, etc. With cloud servers, clients can leverage the higher quality of service, better uptime, better networking and ability to more easily upgrade hardware.

    What’s the difference between private cloud, public cloud and multi-tenant cloud?

    Public cloud, like Amazon Web Services, server many clients simultaneously by providing each with virtual storage, RAM and computing units (virtual CPUs). AWS also provides services that clients otherwise run on their own hardware that allows them to tie in all these resources.
    Multi-tenant cloud is similar to public cloud, but may be available to a limited group instead of being open to the public.
    Private cloud is a cloud infrastructure set up by a client to serve only their needs. It can be composed of multiple machines, either that they own or they rent from data centers, all seamlessly stitched together to provide a seamless computing platform.
    Zetacloud specialises in delivering the last, private cloud!

    What about backups and continuity? Does Zetacloud take care of this for us? How do you secure the backups?

    Yes! We can guarantee regular and complete backup of all data using a mechanism that will not disrupt any regular operations. All backups can be completely encrypted using asymmetric keys before being transferred off-site for storage. Backups can be performed per time spans of as little as every five minutes. The mechanism we employ leverages a technology unique to the OS stack we're using for our cloud infrastructure.

    How long will it take for you to set up a private cloud server infrastructure for me? How long will it take to transition my servers to your set-up?

    This depends on a number of factors, including the level of cooperation we receive from you, the client. It can be as little as 3 days and as much as a week. As far as initial setup goes, we can do this in under a day, assuming the hardware is already there. It'll take 2 days to provision the VMs and replicate the core data for these. Databases take longer to replicate. But there are some tricks we can employ to shorten this period.
    Testing and sign-off takes longer because we're very thorough regarding the sign-off process.

    What's the difference between "on-site" and "cloud-based" setup for my private cloud?

    For on-site server setup, the client provides us with a physical server at a location of their choice and we complete the setup either in person or remotely, connecting via the Internet.
    A cloud-based implementation requires the client first acquire a dedicated server at a data centre that is able to run our setup tools. Similar to an on-site setup, we will remotely connect to the server and complete the setup.

    A major difference here is that for a cloud-based setup because the machine is directly exposed to the outside world, we'll also have to provision a firewall, IP filters, on-the-wire security. With an on-site installation, these are usually not required, because usually, the client is running these services already to protect their internal network.

    How will Zetacloud monitor my servers? What do I gain from this monitoring service? Will you have access to any of my sensitive data?

    We use an external service to monitor the health, data traffic, data utilization of both the main server as well as the VMs. This service allows Zetacloud to provide a higher quality of service to our clients. We can ensure the client doesn't face any unexpected downtime or failures.
    This monitoring service is completely benign and only checks the resources you need it to. All setup options will be made available to clients for a complete audit.

    Can you assure me that my data will be secure?

    Yes. We will only leave one path for anyone to access the cloud server, which by default will be turned off. Only the client can activate the access point to grant access to us or other service providers. All actions by the users will also be logged in a remote location so there's a complete audit trail of all activity.
    Other than this, our servers provide complete data security on the disk and on the wire (in transition). All sensitive data can be stored on encrypted disk partitions so there's no opportunity for anyone to access it even when the server is scrapped in the future.

    How can I scale up more easily if I use the cloud services from Zetacloud?

    Our OS stack allows clients to easily copy or move a virtual machine (VM) from one machine to another. If a client feels they need additional resources for a particular service, they can simply purchase (or rent) additional hardware, add this to their private cloud network, and copy (if they wish to do load balancing) or move (if they want to just have a single service instance) the VM to the new asset.

    What does “open technologies” mean? Or for that matter, what does “open source” mean? Why should I care?

    Open-technologies refers to an openly defined standard. These may be communication, data storage or data transfer technologies. Open-source is software that is available for free to review and usually also to use. Many vendors provide an open-source version of their product along with a paid version, where the client is charged for tech support, software upgrade support, etc. Our software is based on open-source standards, technologies and software, but it is not itself open-source.

    We provide our software as part of an overall IT solution, and only to paying clients who license it from us. The licensing includes installation, monitoring, support and other services as per the contract we have with a client. But we do allow complete 3rd party audit of our software by the client if they so wish it.

Do you have any additional questions for us? Please feel free to use the contact form to forward your queries to us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.