So what makes you so different to other Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers?
Ultimately, it comes down to our architecture – our ‘secret sauce’ is a fully redundant, hyper-converged architecture based on a customized hypervisor and backed by InfiniBand.
So what does that mean?
It means high configurability, full API access, live cloning of VMs with NO downtime, no vendor lock-in, rapid response from building to deployment of your apps all on the same platform and an infrastructure that fits around your apps (rather than forcing you to fit your stuff around us).
Where are your servers located?
Our cluster is hosted within private cages in the Equinix Tier 3 SV2 data centre in San Francisco, USA and Equinix Tier 3 SY3 data centre in Sydney, Australia. Equinix provides premiere data centres, featuring biometric security, N+1 or greater cooling and power equipment and ISO/IEC 27001:2005 compliance.
How is my VM isolated from other users on the platform?
We perform logical separation of VMs using an issue standard Xen hypervisor and we logically separate the networks using Software-Defined Networking.
Is RAM or Storage ever over-provisioned?
Never ever. Ever. There is no over-provisioning of servers like you see with other providers – if you start an Instance with 2 CPU cores and 2GB of RAM, you get exclusive rights to use it. The capacity given to you is dedicated and 100% allocated to you and only you i.e. we don’t promise you the RAM but then give it to someone else if you’re not using it.
How do you do your networking?
We have our own IP address allocation from APNIC. We have our own multi-homed network allowing us to control our own redundant routing. We have multiple upstream transit providers, as well as peers to several leading peering fabrics. For all our peers, we have multi-gigabit connections thanks to our redundant networking – if one goes down we can just automatically switch between providers with no disruption to users.
What happens in the event of a network outage?
We use several upstream providers and in the event of an outage there is automatic fail-over to another provider and therefore minimal downtime. We’ve found that ISPs are the most common cause of outage i.e. nothing to do with our VM infrastructure or our upstream providers.
What is the pipe size for upload?
A massive 1 Gigabit.
What about private networking?
We not only give users the ability to set up private networking between VMs from within the panel at no extra cost, but we also give users complete control over their own private networking topology. Configure your networks however you want them, not how we think you should have them.
Is your storage persistent or non-persistent?
Persistent. Disks with OSs and data are not deleted when a user shuts down an Instance. If a user shuts down an Instance, they will only be charged for Storage, but not RAM or CPU usage. Our use of persistent storage also allows for live cloning of disks, with no downtime.
What OS templates can I run on your servers?
Official templates you can run include:
You can also run your own OS by installing from a CD-ROM or via a Network Boot.
What happens if my server decides to shut down?
Our automatic data replication feature means that two copies of your data are kept on separate servers at all times over our InfiniBand network. And thanks to our Software-Defined Storage system, our architecture is ‘self-healing’ – instantly detecting server issues/shutdowns and automatically firing up another server in our cluster without the need for user involvement.
Can I set parameters around individual user access to Instances, disks, networks or services?
Yes, yes you can. You can utilize ‘Remote Access Groups’ for Linux and FreeBSD and add/remove users and assign them to Instances. Those users will have their SSH keys automatically added to those Instances. You can set whether a user is able to detach networks or rename Instances, for example.
What kind of security certificates do you use?
IO Space uses a wildcard SSL/TLS certificate – all connections to the panel are secure. Instances can be configured with SSL/TLS certificates.
What about encryption?
We get out of the way and let you control your data encryption. IO Integration staff won’t even know what encryption system you’re using. By adding your public key to the panel, you can use that to access Instances without ever divulging a password to IOI.
Can I live migrate VMs from one host machine to another?
Thanks to our ‘live cloning’ feature, you can spin up an exact copy of your VM instantly on another host, without switching off the original, thereby migrating it live with no downtime required.
Does IO Drive work on Macs & PCs?
For now, IO Drive only works on Macs.
Can I synchronize folders and their contents?
Yes. In Xinet Portal, if you select “Sync to Desktop” on a folder, the folder and all of its contents will be synchronized to your Mac.
Can multiple people synchronize and work on the same assets?
Yes. We recommend turning on automated version control to resolve any potential conflicts if two or more people might edit the same file. Without version control turned on, Xinet will only store the latest edit.
Is my connection secure?
Yes. IO Drive uses encrypted communications for all activities.
What level of encryption is used?
The level and type of encryption is configurable by your Xinet administrator.
Are my password stored anywhere?
No. Passwords are never stored, and passwords are never used after installation.
What are the advantages of IO Backup?
As customers migrate their servers and storage to cloud environments (such as IO Space), the strategy of data backup for disaster recovery and business continuance purposes must change as well.
IO Backup provides an all-purpose, enterprise-grade backup application that provides simple but reliable user-defined schedules that back up to cloud destinations like IO Object Storage. Unlike most on-prem solutions that used tape jukeboxes, there is no manual intervention required to administer it (e.g. no changing of tapes, no replacement of tapes, etc.) and there is unlimited capacity as IO Object Storage is elastic – growing as the backup storage needs grow. As such, you only pay for that storage that you are actually using.
Because it is a cloud application, it can be accessed and administered from anywhere that has Internet access. It is flexible in its configuration (utilizing snapshots and/or incremental backups familiar to most users) and can also be used to backup data to multiple cloud locations making your data even safer by avoiding any single-point of failure.
Can IO Backup be used for on-prem servers and storage?
Technically, yes. An agent can be loaded onto on-prem servers to allow for backups into the cloud BUT, it is not really recommended for anything above 3-5TB of storage or for customers with slow Internet speeds or bandwidth.
Backing up large stores of data over the Internet can be a very long process which can be further challenged by slow, unreliable or overburdened ISP connectivity. Additionally, if facing a disaster recovery situation, the restoration of all that data will likely take too long to fit into any reasonable or acceptable emergency preparedness schedule.
These obstacles jeopardize the safety net that scheduled backups seek to protect against and IOI recommends not using this configuration except in very narrowly defined cases.
What is the difference between IO Backup and IO SaaS Backup?
The primary difference revolves around the access to the server. IO Backup will work directly for servers with which there is OS access so that an IO Backup agent can be installed and configured. All major OSes are supported. (Linux, Windows, MacOS).
With SaaS solutions, such server access is either not available nor allowed. In these instances, there is an additional front-end intermediary layer that must be implemented to communicate, via API, to the SaaS to extract the data to be backed up. Once extracted, IO Backup is then used to further back up the data, giving the customer two layers of support with a GUI front-end to perform any data retrievals.
Does IO Backup work with any Out-of-the-Box DAM?
It depends on what type of DAM it is. As discussed in the previous question, if there is OS access to the digital assets management (DAM) server, then IO Backup will work “out-of-the-box” (after the installation of the agent). However, if that DAM is a SaaS-based solution, with no OS access to the underlying server, then IO SaaS Backup would have to be employed as an intermediary between the DAM and IO Backup.
Is IO Backup for daily backups or archiving?
It can be used for either or both. Much like traditional on-prem tape jukeboxes could be used for either backups or archiving, IO Backup can do the same. Separate schedules and storage areas can be defined for each of those functions and different destinations for those schedules can be employed (e.g. backups could be stored in one type of cloud storage while archives could be stored on a completely different cloud storage destination).
Does IO Backup have a GUI with thumbnails of visual content?
No, it does not. Like many other such applications, IO Backup is designed as an all-purpose, enterprise-grade backup application, not one specifically for DAMs or MAMs. As such, there are no image or video previews in the management GUI.
Please note that IO SaaS Backup, with its web front-end does use thumbnails to visually select assets for restore.
Of course, in the realm of archiving (versus standard daily backups) there are other tools available from IOI that could provide such thumbnails. These solutions are dependent upon the digital asset management system being used in the environment.
Are there specific file formats that IO Backup handles better than others?
No, IO Backup is not better suited for one file format over any other. As an all-purpose backup application it will be handle all file formats equally.
If I have multiple offices do I need multiple versions of IO Backup?
Not necessarily. Any one instance of IO Backup provides you with a single user account for the IO Backup management console. You can use that user account to backup as many server storage locations that you would like. However, depending upon how many servers and how much storage you are backing up, it may not be feasible to fit all that into one management console with regards to the scheduling and/or the throughput required.