Common Questions

How does 8C8 ensure it can meet its 100% SLA?

8C8 utilizes Enterprise level redundancy for all components.  Redundant power, routers, network paths, network providers, and replacement enterprise hardware on-site.  We don’t use consumer-grade hardware.

Can 8C8 host HIPAA and/or PCI solutions? Will 8C8 sign a BAA?

8C8 can provide HIPAA/PCI Hosting and will sign BAAs.  8C8 can help configure servers and storage with encryption-at-rest and provide data destruction certifications at termination.  All employees and contractors have a full background check.  All servers hosted in a Tier III+ equivalent data center with SOC 2 Type II or equivalent.  8C8 also operates on Zero Trust security principles.

What makes 8C8 unique?

Our custom approach takes a holistic view of your applications and optimizes hardware and software to get you the best price and performance.  Cloud/VPS and most dedicated server companies try to fit you into their platform.  While AWS and Azure have 100s of configurations available, chances are that you’ll end up paying 3X or more what you should because of licensing costs and over provisioning one resource to get the right level of another.

8C8 is unique in the industry in that we enable a full hybrid cloud+server solution with extremely low latency and high throughput to both Azure and AWS using ExpressRoute and Direct Connection respectively.  Choose from our managed services, dedicated hardware, and the best PaaS/IaaS solutions that Azure and AWS have to offer.  You really can have your cake and eat it to, with 8C8.

What are your options for cores, memory, storage, etc?

Faster cores and storage often matter more than more cores.  While most clouds buy 40/60/80/120 core servers in bulk and then try to slice them into smaller chunks, 8C8 does the opposite.  Because 8 Cores running at 4Ghz for 98% of use-cases is going to be faster and cheaper than 8 out of 40 cores running at 2.6Ghz.  We can configure servers up to 100 Cores, 4TB of Memory and more than 100TB of NVMe storage.

How does 8C8 support compare to Azure/AWS and other provider’s support?

8C8’s founders have always believed in small highly skilled teams.  We don’t ever want to run a business where it takes 7-10 days to resolve a basic problem or 5 interactions with support to finally get someone who can do anything.  We don’t have VCs or investors driving pricing or cutting support expenses, we believe if you provide a great product at an unbeatable price with top-tier support your customers will Love you, and so will your employees.

What is the minimum contract duration?

The minimum contract varies by solution.  Some solutions use in-stock components and we can provide month-to-month contracts for those.  Other solutions require more custom designs that require a 6 month commitment.  For custom solutions we will work with the client to provide test systems prior to a full commitment.

How does Azure/AWS network work?

8C8 offers dedicated or shared Azure and AWS network circuits using ExpressRoute and Direct Connection.  We offer burstable, unmetered and pay-as-you-go network options up to 20Gbps today, with options up to 100Gbps in 2020.  8C8 will work with the customer’s network team to setup an optimal network solution for you.  All client servers sit on their own 8C8 Virtual Network.

8C8 can also offer up to 10gbps unmetered internet bandwidth, with burstable and pay-as-you-go options.  Being in Ashburn, VA and having access to over 100 carriers provides clients and 8C8 with a variety of options.

What support options do you offer?

Our standard support is 9a-6p EST M-F with a 1 business day response guarantee.  A premium support offering will be priced with your custom quote to include 1 hour response guarantee, 24×7 support.  Our custom solutions can also include scale guarantees, server replacement guarantees and more.

What licensing options are available?

8C8 has deliberately decided not to partner with vendors who lock us in to not allowing clients to bring their own license.  When 8C8 is providing licensing we make up for our additional costs by optimizing hardware and software.  This also allows us to have clients BOYL and save even more.  For BYOL license situations we structure our contracts such to ensure that we adhere to vendor’s license requirements. Licensing for our solutions often results in 2-3 times the effective price-performance of other solutions.

Can I use my server’s local disks?

While cloud ephemeral (local) disks are wiped on reboots, your 8C8 server’s disks are yours.  Running RAID1/10/5/50/6/60 along with frequent backups makes sure that your data is safe.  Work with your 8C8 solution architect to design the right storage strategy to meet your RTO and RPO needs.  In some cases we also utilize Virtual SAN software to enable more complex clustering and file availability scenarios.

Do you include anti-DDOS, and if so, can it be configured?

We include anti-DDOS for any public network endpoint, which can be configured via a support ticket.  Note that most of our servers do not have a public network endpoint as they connect to Azure/AWS through a private IP address.

Do you include public IP addresses?

They can be added to any server order per ARIN rules.

Do you have internal network options?

All servers come with a redundant 10Gbps  (Total 20Gbps) internal network.  Some solutions may also include a 1/10Gbps redundant internet connection.

Do you offer backup, object/file storage or other services?

Azure and AWS have comprehensive storage offerings that meet the needs of most clients. This option is on our roadmap for 2020.

Do you have a minimum?

Due to the custom nature of 8C8’s offering our minimum monthly contract is $2,500/month.  Sign up to be notified when we reduce our minimum.

What happens if I want to resize my server or change to a different server?

Our servers are configured to scale up to 100 vCores, 3TB memory, and nearly unlimited nVME or SSD storage although we generally recommend much smaller configurations to optimize licensing.  Most scaling operations can be done within 2 business days.

Do I get IPMI access to the servers? Root/RDP access?

For security reasons we do not provide IMPI access at this time, reimaging a server can be done through a support request.  Customers do get root/RDP access.

Do you allow port 25 outbound?

We do not allow port 25 outbound unless specifically requested and justified.

Are servers shared?

All 8C8 servers are dedicated and include a dedicated internal network.

What security steps are taken for new servers?

All firmware is updated and flashed to base image.  Additionally, any disks are wiped according to NIST data 800-88 standards.

Who manages the hardware updates and what is the maintenance schedule?

8C8 works with clients to determine the best update schedule, but generally recommends that any firmware updates that fix Critical CVEs be done within 5 days of the patch availability.

Do you offer additional managed services?

We are partnering with managed service providers to provide patching, vulnerability scanning, anti-malware, anti-virus, IPS and firewall management.  Please note in your request or contact us to learn more.

How does 8C8 work with clients?

8C8 understands that migrations are complex and choosing a hosting/cloud/VPS provider can be daunting. 8C8 uses proven and cost effective technologies with years of expertise to provide solutions tailored to customer’s needs. 8C8 works in an agile and incremental approach to assess client needs and ensure smooth migrations. We’ll do our absolute best to minimize downtime during migrations and can often do a phased migration with near zero downtime. We try not to solve the world from day one.

Is the 8C8 Managed SQL product shared or dedicated?

The managed SQL product uses one or more dedicated Hybrid Servers for each client.  Autoscaling semi-dedicated instances are on our roadmap for 2020.

What versions of Microsoft SQL Server are Supported?

Any supported version of SQL Server is available.

Who manages patching?

8C8 manages patching in coordination with client’s requirements and schedule.

What services are included?

Monitoring, backups, restores and patching are all included.

Do you provide IMPI/RDP/root access to the server?

Our managed SQL product only provides access to SQL and SQL agent.  If a client prefers full root access then the Hybrid Server product is a better fit.

How much time does it take to do X (backup, restore, clone…)?

Definitely less than it would take on any equivalent Microsoft Azure SQL product.  It will vary by the size, but generally most operations take less than 30 minutes and can be customized to the client’s needs using snapshots.

Do you offer DBA services?

How does Managed SQL performance compare to Azure and other’s SQL products?

8C8 has been doing large scale high performance SQL for more than 20 years and can tweak the hardware and software to optimize SQL like few can.  We guarantee that our solution will beat our competitor’s offerings.  See our benchmarks page for some examples.  Note also that 8C8 uses either bare metal or containerization technologies to avoid the overhead of virtualization, often providing a 10%+ performance boost.

How large can Managed SQL scale ? How long does it take to scale up?

Our servers are configured to scale up to 100 vCores, 3TB memory, and nearly unlimited nVME or SSD storage although we generally recommend much smaller configurations to optimize SQL licensing.  Most scaling operations can be done within 2 business days.

How are Managed SQL servers secured?

All of our Managed SQL Servers exist only on your private Virtual Network with private IP addresses.  At 8C8 we use Zero Trust Security principles to ensure maximum security for all client systems.  By default only the SQL server ports are enabled on your Virtual Network, additional firewall rules can be implemented through a support ticket at anytime.

What features are or are not supported?

Managed SQL is a full standard Microsoft SQL Server installation, therefore the features are determined by the version installed and there are no limitations beyond that.

Can I run SQL Server Profiler?

Clients can run profiler locally, or optionally enter a support ticket to have our team run profiler locally.

Can I restore from my local DB, and do I have access to backup files?

Yes and Yes.  Backups generally go to the client’s Azure/AWS storage accounts.

Are databases encrypted at rest?

Yes, all drives are encrypted by default at 8C8.

Can I setup replication between 8C8 SQL and Azure SQL/VMs?

Yes, with our dedicated network replication is pretty straightforward.

Why is your pricing so much better/cheaper than Azure SQL?

Azure SQL pretty much runs SQL Enterprise for every use case, while very few workloads actually benefit from Enterprise features.  Additionally, Azure uses virtualization and low frequency processors, combined that makes for an expensive and poor performing solution.  Finally, Azure has reliability issues, with clients often seeing Azure SQL ping ponging between instances weekly or more frequently.  The end result is Azure often has 3 or more replicas to meet their SLAs.  The shared nature of everything also means that zone redundant deployments are often required in Azure, adding even more to the cost and complexity.