Q9 serves up SMB value meals

With state-of-the-art hosting centres in Toronto and Calgary under its belt, Q9 Networks has set its sights on another slice of the hosting services pie. The company has announced it is offering customers managed server solutions with all the bells and whistles of its standard services.

According to the company, the Q9express Managed Server Bundles offer small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) the ability to reap the benefits of a dedicated server, bandwidth and a guarantee of 100 per cent uptime without having to actually invest in the equipment. Q9 CEO Osama Arafat said that the offering comes in three configurations designed to meet the needs of the SMB market.

The basic configuration offers a fully managed, high-availability server with the choice of operating system and Internet bandwidth. The enhanced version adds up to 10GB of centralized data backup, while the security bundle includes both backup and a dedicated firewall appliance.

Arafat explained that with the new approach, Q9 is able to extend its reach to meet the needs of SMBs across the country, not solely in the Toronto and Calgary areas where it holds its hosting facilities. He added that the offering spells good things for these corporations, many of which could not cost-justify enabling the services in-house.

“[SMBs] can get multi-million-dollar infrastructure for a small investment,” Arafat said. “We have technical staff on hand 24×7, which is really beyond the means of any small and medium business. They can take advantage of dual redundant power, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and high-end security. We purchase all the hardware and maintain it and upgrade it as necessary. It is like a utility service.”

Starting at $1,250 per month for the basic bundle, Q9 relies on best-of-breed technologies from Dell Computer Corp., switching gear from Cisco Systems Ltd. and backup and storage products from Veritas Software, a point not missed by NextMove Incorporated.

NextMove, an e-learning solutions company in Toronto, recently won a campaign to run an Internet-based promotion for a major U.S.-based credit card company. NextMove needed a solution that could guarantee more than 99.99 per cent uptime, and recently found itself knocking at Q9’s door.

“When you are dealing with a major credit card company, we needed to nail an absolutely bullet-proof solution for them,” said David Van Klaveren, president of NextMove. “[They] really want a high level of comfort that everything is going to work as planned and there will be no surprises. Q9 turned things around on a dime. The service was awesome.”

Van Klaveren said that while the Security bundle suited the majority of NextMove’s needs, Q9 went above and beyond and tailored the solution to enable video streaming for the promotion.

In terms of the cost-justification, Van Klaveren said there is no comparison.

“The reality is that for us to even address the kind of security [Q9] has would cost us millions of dollars. Your two or 10 big clients are not going to support that kind of cost. As long as we have equivalent access as if it were our own gear, it is a no-brainer.”

Q9express Server Bundles are available now. Visit the company online at www.Q9.com.