What’s New? – Class Cloud
Class Is Now On the Cloud
As many of you will know, Infospeed has been working very hard to move Class onto the Cloud. We are now delighted to be welcoming new customers and existing customers onto our new multi-tenancy cloud platform – Class Cloud.
There are many benefits of moving to Class Cloud and below is a full run down of Class Cloud in order to help you decide whether now is the right time to move Class to the Cloud.
Class Cloud will look and feel exactly like your current version of Class. The SQL Server database also remains the same so the transition from .NET to Class Cloud is seemless. We simply move it onto a Cloud platform.
What are the benefits of Class Cloud to Existing Customers?
- Cloud Hosting of Class by Infospeed
- Lower technical overhead
- No need to purchase, maintain and update in-house dedicated Class and Web servers for Class
- there is NO need for separate server software and hardware packages
- We provide support for your Class set up (including Backups, Antivirus, Software Installation, Security)
- 3-tier back-up of Class
- You will be Class Web-ready, meaning you will have access to Class Web when iterative releases commence in the near future (an upgrade fee to Class Web will be chargeable as this is a major release)
- Class is available on multiple platforms: Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, iPhone and Android
- Excellent support package and access to our dedicated support team
- Easier 3rd party module integration (for example with Flywire and Guided E-Learning)
No Class Web is being developed now and will be a brand new look and feel for Class. This is coming soon to all customers who are on Class Cloud.
“Class Cloud” is now available for all existing customers to move across to. This gives you access to Class through the web on our Hosted multi-tenancy solution. The Class product, database and documents are hosted by us on our cloud infrastructure.
We will quote you for the additional hosting and infrastructure charges. Following confirmation that you wish to proceed we will test your internet speeds and make recommendations as to it’s suitability to operate an enterprise software such as Class (please request our White Paper on this subject). We will then agree a transfer date to move you to our multi-tenancy server platform and give you web access to this with the correct number of users and modules. We will also give you instructions on how to access this from your desktop. Then we will get you up and running usually within an hour or so and this can be done out of hours.
We are currently setting up our multi-tenancy environment. This is where Class Cloud is hosted. Orders received now will be placed in a queue for installation and you will be moved to this as soon as it is ready (expected to be end of 2017).
In the meantime if you urgently require to be moved to the cloud you can be hosted on our Single Server solution as an interim solution (ask email@example.com for details).
Once the Multi-Tenancy environment is in place we will arrange to move you across.
Connected Support will continue for now but we are working on a new pricing structure that will end Connected Support. More new on this soon.
- Cover any technical questions which can be answered by Engineering and our Sales teams
Our Engineering team and your IT to agree detailed technical requirements and agree/clarify any technical considerations relating to your current set up
- Customer indicates interest to move to Class Cloud
- Our Sales Team will quote for the move.
- Customer accepts quote and gives written confirmation to proceed
- Once we have agreed that we are ready to proceed a new Application Service Provider Agreement will be signed at this point including Terms/Conditions and SLA’s
- Agree a “Go Live” Date
- Our engineering team will then put in place the IT infrastructure (server setup, security and licences and document templates, configure your backups)
- “Go Live” (normally takes about an hour or two and can be done out of hours)
Gary Bulgin (Commercial/Contract and Sales) firstname.lastname@example.org
Yasmin Hahn (Commercial/Contract and Sales) email@example.com
Support (Customer Support/Training) firstname.lastname@example.org
Barry Warren/Grant Matthews (Engineering and IT) email@example.com
What should we be considering when deciding to subscribe to Class?
In order to ensure a smooth transition you should consider the following:
If you have an existing integration with a CRM, Accounting system or any other 3rd Party system please discuss this with us. We will happily assist you to integrate with such platforms.
Timeline and Project Management
Starting from November 2017 our SLA for completing the move from start to going live the process for a standard school should take no more than 6 to 8 weeks and can be completed sooner subject to receiving all of the necessary access to test and set up the system.
We will be asking all Class Cloud customers to sign an ASP (Application Service Provider) agreement. Due to the responsibilities and regulations around Cloud Hosting and Data Storage this is rather a complex and lengthy document. We are happy to guide customers through this document. It is there to protect both sides so please do take the time to read this through.
Paying for Class.NET update to Class Cloud
Class hosting includes your cloud server space & software, server support (IT), backups, redundancy & antivirus), updates now performed by Infospeed
It is now possible to pay for Class via Flywire (www.flywire.com) our payment partners for non UK payments.
For certain contracts it is now also possible to set up monthly payments. If you wish to discuss this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Should you choose to pay annually and want to amend your renewal date to a better time of year, we can change this for you.
We have a document which outlines the minimal changes between Class Cloud and Class.NET. There is no particular training requirement but if you have any questions do contact email@example.com
Class Cloud is designed to sit on our Multi-Tenancy platform. For some larger organisations it may be a requirement to have a separate Cloud based server infrastructure to e.g. to control upgrades due to the need to check compatibility with “back end” integrations. If this is likely to be the case, please contact us to discuss your requirements and we can quote for this.
We have chosen to use OVH as our dedicated hardware provider. OVH have multiple datacentres on a global scale. Being the hardware provider, OVH are tasked with the responsibility of physically maintaining the servers our infrastructure is hosted on. As such, this means OVH are in control of ensuring our servers are provided with power as well as an internet connection.
OVH have multiple redundancies in place, which you can read about here:
- Dual power supplies per physical server
- Each data centre is supplied by two separate power sources (ups units / diesel generators)
- Anti DDOS protection
- Each data centre has multiple internet line backups
Within our private cloud infrastructure there are multiple points of failover. A very basic scaled down overview of this is as follows:
When first connecting to our infrastructure, you will be connecting to a load balancer. This load balancer will monitor current network and processing load of all remote desktop servers within our server farm, selecting the most suitable, available & healthy remote desktop server for you to connect to. This ensures that you will never be placed on a server with ‘noisy neighbours’ that may affect your class experience.
Utilizing a load balancer allows us to control which remote desktop servers are available for use. Should a remote desktop server require maintenance or encounter issues, it can be removed from the pool by disallowing future logins. In the event of a remote desktop server facing a hardware / software failure, the load balancer can again, route logins to that of an available server. Assisting us in keeping class available to you.
Class databases are hosted within a high availability SQL cluster. This means databases will be replicated over a number of SQL servers. Should a SQL server node encounter an issue, again it can be removed from the cluster and maintenance completed, with a seamless switch over.
In addition to the redundancy steps taken above, within our high availability farm, servers will span across multiple OVH data centres. This will cover against the extremely unlikely event of a data centre failure:
Our engineers will be proactively monitoring the health and performance of our infrastructure farm. As a result, the total number of remote desktop & SQL servers available on our infrastructure will vary, based on current and predicted load. As an example, more servers will be available over summer as this is a particularly busy period.
In addition to the redundancy steps we’ve taken above, we have also introduced a 4-tier backup plan to protect against system failure, corruption and/or data loss.
1) Hard Disk Failure
All servers within our infrastructure are equipped with a soft raid-1. This means all data on each server is mirrored across two physical disks. This prevents loss of data in the event of a hard disk failure.
2) Data Loss
Each customer will have a scheduled daily backup to a local backup disk, which again is included within the soft raid-1 above. This gives us instant access to restore a copy of your data from the previous day, should this be required.
3) Failure of Backup
Each daily backup that is taken to the local backup disk above, is also copied across to our dedicated backup server housed within our infrastructure. This will keep an archive of a month’s daily backups.
4) “End of the World” Scenarios
As a last step approach, for protection of a fatal outage within all of the data centres that our infrastructure is hosted on, each month’s archive that is stored on our backup server is additionally uploaded to a service called Crashplan. This will keep a total cycle of 3-months’ of backups (90 days)
In addition to the 4-tiers above, we are also happy to provide customers with a downloadable copy of their backups if required. Should a bespoke backup solution be required, we are happy to accommodate this.
In order to access the cloud, your users will need the following minimum PC specification:
Access to Remote Desktop 8.0 or above
Internet Explorer 10 or above
Mac OSX / iOS
Access to the AppStore
Ability to install Microsoft Remote Desktop
Access to PlayStore
Ability to install Microsoft Remote Desktop
We look forward to welcoming you on board as a Class Cloud Customer.
In order to discuss next steps please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org