tel: (0845) 6769208

frequently asked questions

below you will find a list of frequently asked questions.

1. Is it secure?

Answer: We keep the system as secure as possible without causing too much hassle for users thus allowing you to get on with your business! We have a time plan to ensure latest security patches are installed; firewall security devices are kept up to date and also work with our clients on policies to protect their passwords from attack. We always recommend strong password policies and lock-outs of accounts on only three wrong password attempts. The systems we use are far more secure than most systems used in the small to medium sized businesses we host. We can also offer token based or smart card logons for very security minded customers but this will involve upfront and increased monthly costs in most cases. We would be happy to discuss this in more depth with you.

2. Do you backup our data?

Answer: We take daily disk-based backups of your entire virtual server which in turn captures any configurations and data held within it. These backups are held on a Microsoft Data Protection Manager server which in turn also makes copies of these backups onto media which is stored in fire safes. All our servers use RAID (redundant hard drives) to ensure that it's very unlikely that any hardware failure would result in data loss. We can also provide software to replicate your chosen data back-up to a nominated computer within your business (over the internet) to ensure you have a local copy as well.

3. What can I put on the system?

Answer: Generally most business applications will run with the exception of some highly intensive applications such as CAD & video based applications, these would require a special solution to be hosted. However programs such as QuickBooks, ACT, Invu, TAS, TABS, Sage, ACT!, MS Office, IRIS, GoldMine, Sage Payroll, Access Databases etc all have been used by our clients. The program must support Windows Vista/Windows 7 and some applications will require a special license (from the vendor) to support multiuser use. You can also store all your documents, photographs, databases etc.

4. Can I control what my employees can access?

Answer: YES. We can control what programs they can access, set permissions on files, drives & folders to allow read only or full access. We can also set audit logs of who is accessing what and when! This is either done at an individual level (by their logon name) or by making groups such as "Accounts Department" and making the relevant users members of this group, to restrict access to the Accounts software and documents. Likewise you can also share all files/folders with people you wish to work with.

5. What sort/speed of Internet connection do I need?

Answer: We recommend ADSL within a minimum speed of 2mbps and reliable connection. You can also connect via 3G which has been used by our clients when working from trade-shows or temporary offices. The faster your connection the quicker you will find moving files between local and remote and printing larger documents. On a slower connection you will still find applications, typing etc will be fine, on a very slow connection you may notice a slight lag. We have successfully had clients with 10+ people on lines of 2mbps who are based in a very remote location and use 3G as a fall-over in the event of line problems. You can also look at having more than one ADSL line to share and increase your internet speed and we can advise you on this. Some ISPs such as give you the option of higher "enhanced" upstream (upload speed) which even on slow lines can increase ADSL upload from 400kbps to 800kbps and on ADSL2 from 512kbps up to 2048kbps. Newer lines such as fibre to cabinet (BT infinity etc) give a much higher upload/download speed and are perfect for hosting!

6. What platforms can I logon from?

Answer: LOADS! Generally people use a PC/Laptop with Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 which has "Remote Desktop Connection" built into the operating system. However you can get a free download for MAC computers to allow you to logon as well.You can also get applications for Apple iPhone, iPad, Android based Mobiles/Tablet PC's, Windows Based Mobiles/Tablets, Linux, Unix and many more devices can support the remote desktop protocol with either a free or paid for download add-on.

7. Can I print from the remote desktop to my office/home printer?

Answer: YES – however we cannot guarantee that 100% of all printers will work and that all the 'extra' features will be supported. Generally if you use a Windows 7 64-BIT based PC with a printer which supports 7 64-BIT drivers than in 99.9% of cases you have no issue. Likewise if you use a "business" level printer/multifunction device which has PCL or PS type drivers than these are also universally compatible. Some lower cost home printers do sometimes have the odd issue but for most companies this isn't a problem and hasn't ever been a problem. You cannot print from some of the mobile applications such as iPad from Remote Desktop. However printing from MAC is supported if you printer works with your MAC and has Windows drivers as well you will have no problem with the cross-platform.

8. Can I use my MAC Computer?

Answer: YES, you will have to download a small program (for free) from which will allow you to access your Windows based remote desktop. There is an older version for the non-Intel based MACs however these are unsupported and unlikely to allow printing/file access but should give basic level access. For all modern Intel based Macs the Remote Desktop Client above will allow you to print and share files between the Mac and Windows remote desktop environment and we can support you in setting this up! If you opt for Exchange based mail you can access this direct from your Mac using Microsoft Office for MAC or Entourage.

9. Can I get my email on my remote desktop?

Answer: YES but that depends on how you have your email currently and if you take our Exchange email hosting service. If you opt for Microsoft Office on your remote desktop you will have Microsoft Outlook as part of the package. You can use this to access either your own Exchange server, Exchange (provided by us if you've opted for that) or by using POP3 or IMAP mailboxes. You can of course also access Gmail, Hotmail etc through the web browser included from within the Remote Desktop!

10. I have Microsoft Office or other Microsoft software can I use that to keep the cost down?

Answer: YES but that depends on how you have your email currently and if you take our Exchange email hosting service. If you opt for Microsoft Office on your remote desktop you will have Microsoft Outlook as part of the package. You can use this to access either your own Exchange server, Exchange (provided by us if you've opted for that) or by using POP3 or IMAP mailboxes. You can of course also access Gmail, Hotmail etc through the web browser included from within the Remote Desktop!

11. Can I use my other (non-Microsoft software)?

Answer: Yes, normally if it supports Windows Vista/7 but you must also make sure that the software provider allows you to use your license on a terminal server. We can help you confirm this and even test it for you before you commit to hosting with us.

12. Do you have a demo test server?

Answer: Yes and we can provide you with access and even customise it a little to suit your needs for testing, we don't keep it online 24/7 but only when requested.

13. Can I have administrator rights?

Answer: You won't have access to the host of the system; however we can discuss giving you an admin account on your own VM to install/uninstall programs etc.

14. Can I get my Exchange email & calendar on my iPhone/mobile device?

Answer: Yes, if you opt for our Microsoft Exchange email hosting then mobile access is included as standard this means you can have your emails/calendars/contacts/tasks pushed to your mobile device which supports Microsoft Exchange such as iPhone 3, 3G, 3Gs, 4, 4S, iPads, iPod Touch, Android Mobiles/Tablets and Windows Mobiles. Also some other manufacturers support Exchange ActiveSync as well, including some BlackBerry devices.

15. Do you support BlackBerry devices?

Answer: Yes, we can host either the free version or the enterprise version of BlackBerry server alongside the Exchange to support you mobile devices, please call to discuss this.

16. Is there a minimum/maximum amount of users?

Answer: The minimum we charge for is two users to make the system viable, in terms of maximum we would recommend multiple VM's if you had 30+ users to split the load and ensure performance but we can handle large amounts of users and don't have a maximum.

17. Is there a contract term?

Answer: Yes, 12-months is the standard length to get the headline prices. However we have done very short contracts and very long ones to suit our customers' needs so please; give us a call to discuss your specific requirements.

18. How quickly could we be setup?

Answer: Basic service like hosting Sage/QuickBooks for a few users would take 24 hours under normal circumstances once all the paperwork is complete. We have had people online in the same afternoon they have called up if you can work quickly with us and especially in emergencies. Exchange or larger systems can take a little longer around 48 to 72 hours normally.

19. Are there any setup fee's?

Answer: Normally the same as 1 month's fee. If your monthly cost is £78+ VAT then you will be charged in the first month, setup £78+VAT and 1st month of £78+ VAT. We can sometimes waive setup costs on larger systems or if you can handle most of the transfer of data etc yourselves. Please call to discuss this with us.

20. Can I stream video/music?

Answer: Not on the standard system but we could discuss this if it was a requirement for your business.

21. How is the number of users calculated?

Answer: Based "username" and if it was logged on during that calendar month (even once) to comply with the SPLA license requirements. However many of our clients have accounts for part-time staff which aren't named after the person i.e. "office1" or "accounts1" which is shared by multiple employee's – however this does present a minor security risk as they would have to share a password, but for most smaller businesses this helps keep costs down for part time staff.

22. How much space do I get?

Answer: This is normally discussed as part of your needs, but the rule of thumb is 20 GB per user account + operating system space. We are very generous in terms of space so if you think you are going to need a lot please discuss with us.

23. How much support do we get?

Answer: The server gets unlimited support by our technicians to ensure its operating correctly and that includes any Microsoft software we are providing including Office, Exchange and any Antivirus. We also give 1 hour's additional support per username for "other issues" such as moving data, training, setting up third-party applications and supporting printers. You also get unlimited support during the first month of go live for printers, data transfer, application setup and anything else discussed and agreed. If you are within 60 miles of the TR15 post code we can also offer on-site support to manage your PCs, Network etc in-house and would be happy to discuss this with you.

24. Are your premises secure?

Answer: We operate from a building owned by Cornwall Council and operated on their behalf by Plymouth University & Enterprise. The only key holders are senior employees/directors and they are also the only ones which hold the swipe card keys for 24/7 building access. Our servers are kept in server rooms and in secure server cabinets. The building is covered by CCTV and a high-tech monitored alarm system with a local security company who respond to any alarms and patrol the campuses.

25. Are you insured?

Answer: We have all the legally required insurance like any business. However we also have a policy designed for hosting data to protect our physical assets and also the costs involved in recovering and compensating customers due to loss of data. We would be happy to discuss this with you in more detail.

26. Are you registered with the Information Commissioners Office for the Data Protection Act?

Answer: Yes, for hosting services and our own clients data and in-house record keeping. (ICO) Data Protection Registration Number: Z1555740. We will work with your company's data controller to ensure full compliance with the Data Protection Act.

always connected..

Remain connected to your live business data held within your Cloud Desktop which is held in our data centre from either a PC, Mac, Tablet or Smartphone anywhere you have an internet connection.

fast, reliable and secure

Using the latest Dell 10Gbps networking, lightning fast solid state hard drives, dual routed fibre leased lines through enterprise grade firewalls ensures you data comes to you in a fast, reliable and secure manner.

software as a service

We include all the Microsoft licenses including the latest Microsoft Office as part of your contract reducing the need for any capital expenditure while remaining up to date.

Cloud Cover Hosting Ltd, Pool Innovation Centre, Trevenson Road, Pool, Cornwall, UK Tel: (0845) 676 9208