Frequently Asked Questions for CloudPath.
If your questions are still unanswered, please contact us. We look forward to serving you.
What is Pathway CloudPath™?
CloudPath is Pathway’s solution to private cloud computing. Unlike other public cloud providers who offer cloud services to the general public, CloudPath has been designed to address the specific needs and concerns of businesses: security, privacy, availability and flexibility.
How is Pathway different from other cloud providers?
Pathway is the only Canadian Internet service provider offering secure, private cloud services. CloudPath is designed to meet the end-to-end IT infrastructure support needs of businesses – from cloud services to connectivity. Here are some of the differences between CloudPath and other cloud providers:
- Pathway is tailored for businesses as a complete, business-oriented cloud service. Most public cloud providers do not customize their services for clients and some large providers don’t even offer live technical support; all contact is via email, or forums.
- At Pathway, a Cloud Specialist will help you select the right cloud package so you do not under or over-subscribe. They then set up your secure, high-performance private cloud, create secure connections to your office and help you migrate your systems and applications to the cloud without any downtime or impact on your business. Once your cloud infrastructure is setup, Pathway’s dedicated client care teams are available to address your specific needs 24 hours a day, every day of the year. No other provider offers this level of service.
- Unlike the industry trend of metering usage by the hour, we are entirely focused on monthly cloud billing plans. This eliminates unpredictable bills and simplifies the task of budgeting for cloud costs. Remember, you can add resources, instantly, whenever you need them.
- Pathway’s CloudPath prices are absolutely the best in the market on a like-for-like basis.
- CloudPath is supplemented by a range of very useful, managed services. These extend the benefits of the cloud and include data back-up, system monitoring, operating system management, network security, application support, internet and branch connectivity and telephony. You will enjoy the convenience of using a single qualified and experienced supplier for all your IT and Internet needs.
- Pathway’s cloud infrastructure uses only best-of-breed technology and equipment from industry leaders such Dell, Citrix, Cisco, Brocade, VMware and Cloud.com
What are the benefits of Pathway CloudPath Services?
Cost savings: No equipment, hardware or software to buy or install. Security: Protect your data and servers using commercial firewalls, IDS/IPS systems and encryption. Productivity: Deploy only the resources you actually need, when you need them. Efficiency: Save time and effort using built-in system management tools, dashboards and reports. Flexibility: Instantly add capacity to meet growth or expansion needs Reliability: Enjoy unmatched uptime in our Tier III Data Center. Dependability: Ensure availability of all your core systems using high-availability and data backups. Efficiency: Infrastructure from world class suppliers like Cisco, Dell, Citrix, Brocade, VMware and Cloud.com. Convenience: Easily access your systems anytime, from anywhere. Transparency: Receive detailed views of resource usage and events on demand. Value: Feel the reassurance of a rock-solid SLA and warranty of service. Peace of mind: Access all your IT management and Internet needs from a single, competent, qualified supplier.
How do Pathway’s prices compare with the market?
Our cloud pricing plans are extremely attractive, after conducting competitive analysis it became evident that we offer more features and benefits than the majority of our competitors. At Pathway you get what you paid for and this allows us to better utilize our infrastructure and resources to matchup with your business needs. Contact one of our Cloud Services Specialists or Account Managers at 416-214-6363.
Who can benefit from CloudPath?
Almost everyone can benefit from using the private cloud. Here are some of the industries where cloud technology has been adopted:
- Information Technology (Software Development, IT Management and IT Consulting)
- Telecommunications and Internet Service Providers
- Hosting and SaaS Providers
- Manufacturing and Construction
- Finance and Insurance
- Transportation and Logistics
- Data Processing
- Wholesale and Retail
- International Trading companies with multiple locations worldwide
How do I choose a CloudPath plan?
Choosing a cloud server configuration can seem complex and confusing because providers use different usage and billing models. Most of these models are based on resources used (e.g. CPU, RAM and storage) by the hour, minute, or day. With other providers you are on your own when it comes to deciding on a cloud plan. To avoid over-subscribing when you order services, we suggest that you check and confirm what resource specifications are demanded by your software applications, what you are currently using and what your immediate growth needs are. This applies to CPUs, RAM and storage. Based on this, we suggest that you:
- First select the base CloudPath package that most closely reflects your system requirements.
- If you are not sure, start with the one of our basic packages (CloudPath1 or CloudPath2) or build your own customized virtual data centre
- Add optional components or managed services as required. Remember: you can always add resources at any time.
What managed services do you offer?
Our managed services include OS management, patches, hot fixes and upgrades. We also provide security management (virus and spam control, firewall management and intrusion prevention). Our managed services also include application deployment and management.
How do I sign up for Pathway CloudPath™?
You can visit our website and sign up with one of our pre-built cloud plans or customize your virtual data centre. Please feel free to contact us via email or phone 416-214-6363 to speak to a sales representative.
What features are included with Pathway CloudPath™?
Pathway Secure Cloud Product Features
- Hypervisors: Citrix Xen,VMware, KVM
- Servers on-demand
- Linux: multiple versions
- Windows 2003/2008/2008 R2/2012
- Reserved SAN storage with no oversubscription
- Reserved RAM: no oversubscription
- Multiple public IP addresses
- Available forward and reverse DNS service
- Domain Name Services; domain registration
- Internet bandwidth included free
- Unlimited bandwidth within the data center network (local traffic)
- Management interface, real-time reports
- Rapid provisioning and upward scaling on demand
- Proactive maintenance, updates and patches on all systems
- Continuous environment monitoring
- World-class equipment
- Open Source APIs
- Automated billing and self-serve account review
- Dedicated Account Manager
- High capacity Dell servers with multi-core processors
- Compellent SAN
- Cisco network switches and routers
- Cloud software and management interface
- Tier III Pathway Data Center in Toronto with a second site in Montreal (optional)
- System monitoring, management and support systems (LiveTime, others)
- Web-based automated self-service reporting and management console
- Resource utilization dashboard and reports
- Management: rapid install, rebuild, reboot, restart, control
- Based on NIST guide to security for virtualization technologies
- ICSA certified firewalls, IDS/IPS systems, threat management and unified reporting
- Private VLANs for secure, encrypted access
- Virtual server segregation using VLAN
- Data never leaves Canadian borders and is not subject to the U.S. PATRIOT Act.
- Access to all server and application logs, on request, for audit compliance
- Snapshot based server images (scheduled and on-demand)
- Nightly backups with off-site tape backup
- Multi-homed upstream connectivity from Tier one providers; full BGP
- Fully redundant Tier III Data Center: power, cooling, fire-suppression
- Data back-up to customer location is optional
- 24 x 7 systems management and monitoring
- 24 x 7 support via phone, email, chat
- On-site remote hands and feet
- Availability: network, data center, HVAC and power: 99.999% (scheduled maintenance excluded)
- Scheduled maintenance windows with advance notice
- Additional hypervisors
- High availability via load balancers and shared IP addresses
- Data migration
- Clone backup
- Secure, managed connectivity to data center, inter-office, home (MPLS available)
- Application support and programming
- Creation, deployment and management of in-house private cloud
- VoIP services and IP based telephony systems
- Other managed data and colocation services
- Virtual desktop services
What cloud management software is provided and what can I do with it?
We use the commercial version of Vcloud Director™ cloud orchestration and management software developed by VMware. This provides a secure web-based administration interface with which you may:
- Provision new servers based on Pathway-provided templates and ISO images
- Monitor, pause, restart, shut down or tear down your virtual servers
- Add storage and other resources
- Perform one time or scheduled backups
- Assign IP addresses and configure network security settings
- View resource utilization, traffic reports, event logs and more.
Does CloudPath include operating system licenses?
CloudPath includes free Unix based operating systems such as CentOS and Ubuntu. These can be freely deployed on your virtual servers using the Pathway-provided templates and ISO images available from within the CloudPath console. You may also install Windows Server (2003/2008/2008 R2 or 2012) or Red Hat Linux. We charge a small monthly fee for the use of these commercial packages, but you should note that this includes upgrades to the latest versions at no charge – a considerable saving in costs.
Can I use my own operating system licenses with CloudPath?
Yes. You may do so by mounting an ISO image of your operating system to the CloudPath Management Console and use it as a template. Please note that you will not be able to install SPLA based commercial Pathway-provided applications on operating systems installed by yourself due to licensing issues.
What applications can I run on CloudPath?
With CloudPath you are in control of the applications you wish to deploy on your virtual servers. Here are some examples of software that run on our secure cloud:
- Web servers: Tomcat, Apache, IIS
- Collaboration systems: MS Exchange, Lotus Notes
- CRM systems: Sugar CRM, Microsoft Dynamics
- ERP: Sage, SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite
How do I install applications on my CloudPath server?
You can install applications on your cloud servers using ISO images. ISO disk images can be created from optical discs such as CDs or DVDs. Using the CloudPath Management Console you will be able to mount an ISO to your virtual machine. This is the virtual equivalent of putting the disc into a computer’s disk drive. After mounting your ISO, you can access the information in that disk image on your virtual server and install your application as you would on a physical computer.
Can I purchase software licenses from Pathway?
Yes, Pathway offers Windows Server 2002-2012, Red Hat Linux EL5, MS Exchange, MS SQL Server and various other products. Please contact one of our Account Managers at 416-214-6363 or fill out our contact us form.
May I install my own copy of an operating system on a server and then install software purchased from Pathway using Service Provider Licensing (i.e. where you pay by the month instead of buying the software upfront)?
No. If you install your own operating system on a CloudPath virtual server, you must provide the software which resides on the server yourself. If you deploy a virtual server with an operating system drawn from a template provided by Pathway, you have the choice of either using your own application software or Pathway-provided software. Refer to the table below to see what is permitted and not permitted by licensing policies.
|Operating system||Client provided application software|
|Pathway CloudPath template||√||√|
|Client provided template||x||√|
What is a template?
Templates are pre-configured operating system packages which are ready for deployment on your virtual servers. Templates give you the power to clone your servers in minutes. Templates can also contain pre-installed applications. When creating a new virtual server, you can select from a list of templates that come with CloudPath, or you can also create your own templates.
What optional services and products can I purchase?
You may purchase a variety of useful optional features and system components to add to your cloud plan. These include:
- Additional memory (RAM)
- Computing (CPU cores)
- SAN storage
- Internet bandwidth
- Windows Server 2003/2008 (R2 or SP2)/2012
- Red Hat Linux
- Public IP addresses
- Additional VLANs
- Additional domain names
- Advanced firewall solutions (powered by Vyatta, Fortigate, and Cisco)
- Secure VPN access (IPSEC or SSL)
- High availability services (automatic fail-over for virtual machines)
- Data backup
What should I look for when choosing a Cloud provider?
- Experience (of staff and the company as a whole)
- Technology and infrastructure
- Other client references
- Benefits (and how they pertain to you)
What is the difference between Pathway’s Cloud and VPS offerings?
Container-based VPS (Advantages)
- Ideal for web hosting, email servers, DNS servers and small business applications (e.g. QuickBooks, Sugar CRM, etc).
- No expensive licensing costs as the OS is shared across containers on one host.
- Save costs – containers are very cost effective when compared to other options.
- Simple maintenance – managed by the service provider.
- Virtual machines are separated on hypervisor based virtual servers. This provides you with an experience that will be very similar to a true dedicated server.
- Windows OS allows you to set your time zone, run VPN services on Windows and update Windows as you like.
- A virtual server can operate on any physical server in the network, and your whole virtual server can be moved as needed to another piece of hardware—with no downtime.
- Can have dedicated resources like RAM and CPUs allocated to cloud servers.
- Install any application you want. Your resources and operating system are dedicated to you.
- Your virtual environment is fully isolated and you can reboot your server without affecting any other servers on the same host.
- Virtual memory swap is offered to allow your applications to use an assigned piece of disk space as working memory when necessary to avoid crashing.
- Hypervisor-based servers offer high availability, load balancing, and disaster recovery, unlike OS virtual environments.
What hardware and software does Pathway use?
- Gear designed to allow for expansion, reliability, security, management ease
- Latest Dell servers
- Compellent SAN
- Cisco switches and firewalls
- FortiGate firewalls
- Other commercial management and monitoring tools
How often does Pathway CloudPath™ backup information?
Your information is backed up nightly with off-site backup management. We ensure redundancy through snapshot-based server images which can be scheduled or on-demand. See Managed Services to read about our various retention periods and backup capacities/sizes.
Security and Privacy
How secure is Pathway CloudPath™?
We use only certified infrastructure and Canadian data centers. We also utilize hardware firewalls and feature separate public and private network interfaces. Security threat management and unified reporting also add a level of security.
What is the U.S. PATRIOT Act?
The U.S. PATRIOT Act is an anti-terrorism legislation that was enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. The act gives American authorities powers without transparency which include the ability to retrieve data stored on U.S. soil and search it without the need to inform the owner of the data.
Will my data be affected by the U.S. PATRIOT Act?
No, your data will not be subject to the U.S. Patriot Act as all data are housed in Canadian data centers.
Support and subscription changes
How can I make changes to a subscription?
To make changes to your CloudPath account such as service upgrades, or to add an additional VM, contact your account manager. Your account manager will discuss options with you, adjust your plan accordingly, and get you set up. You may also contact us directly.
How can I get support and what levels of support are available?
Cloud Technical Support will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week every day of the year, via telephone (local to Toronto 416 and 905 area codes) and email. Pathway Support staff will follow an ITIL®-defined system for service response and resolution, which will include:
- Contact response targets:
- Phone average time to answer: 60 seconds
- Email average time to answer: 1 hour
- Trouble ticket creation and assignment:
- 100% of all calls and emails answered
- 100% call-backs, within two (2) days, to you, for every ticket created and closed
- Repair, reconstruction or resolution action commences as follows:
- Emergencies – action commences within thirty (30) minutes. Emergencies include: Server down and major Routing issues.
- Non emergencies – action commences within 120 minutes. All other cases included in non-emergencies Pathway may reclassify any case or Ticket misclassified as an emergency and such case will not qualify for emergency treatment. Note that Pathway does not guarantee resolution or repair times, and this SLA does not provide a guarantee related to time taken to repair, resolve or reconstruct Services.
- 24/7/365 Pathway Network Monitoring and Pathway Systems Management
- Pathway Network Monitoring: 24 hours a day, every day of the year from Pathway’s network operations centers (“NOCs”)
- Pathway Systems Management: 24 hours a day, every day of the year from Pathway’s network operations centers (“NOCs”)
- Accounting and Billing Queries
- Phone and email response: Mondays through Fridays 9 am to 5 pm EST
- For Data backup, server monitoring, operating system management services, or other custom work please see our Managed Services offerings, or contact us directly.
* ITIL is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited.
Are any tutorials or documentation available?
We have created pages that outline frequently used procedures and other useful information that will help you get started with Cloudpath. This information is available at docs.pathcom.com. Additional information can be accessed through the VMware Documentation Center.
Will I be compensated in the event of a service failure?
Pursuant to the terms of the SLA, Pathway will offer you service credits if there is a failure of the service. For full details and conditions please take a look at our SLA.