Zynstra, a provider of cloud-managed IT infrastructure, is expanding its line-up with new offerings aimed at small businesses (SMBs) and the education market, hoping to capitalise on the fact that some of Microsoft's server products for small businesses are reaching end-of-life status.
Available immediately, the SMB IT Appliance and Education IT Appliance are both based on HP ProLiant servers pre-configured to run the services and applications that SMB customers require. The appliances are installed and delivered by Zynstra's service provider partners, who also manage and update them under a monthly support subscription charge.
Zynstra first launched its managed appliances last year, but is pitching the new line-up as a painless way for SMBs to upgrade their infrastructure as many of the Microsoft products they may currently be relying on are approaching the end of their support lifecycle.
Windows Server 2003, which is based on the Windows XP codebase, will reach the end of its support lifecycle by July 2015. Meanwhile, Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 effectively reached the end of its lifecycle this month, at the same time as Windows XP.
Zynstra chief executive Nick East said that there is estimated to be over a quarter of a million organisations in the UK still running one of these platforms.
"Organisations affected by this need to be considering how best to refresh their infrastructure without incurring huge costs or overhauling their way of working. With this in mind we have launched two new solutions in our range of Cloud Managed Server Appliances to support the Microsoft partner base in managing the transition with their customers and provide a practical on-ramp to cloud services whilst preserving on-premise capability where required," he said.
The SMB IT Appliance is available in six versions, with the base model targeting five to 20 users, while the top model can support 150 to 250 users. The appliances run both local Windows and Linux workloads in virtualised containers, but can also seamlessly connect to public cloud services such as Microsoft Office 365 with single sign-on support.
Meanwhile, the Education IT Appliance has all of the same features of the SMB IT Appliance, but adds an age-specific content filtering capability from E2BN Protex to block inappropriate content.
Pricing will vary, but Zynstra said subscription charges should be around £200 per month, all-in.
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