EconomyIdeal for small companies and start-ups
BusinessFor established businesses that rely on Linux
PremierFor mission-critical Linux servers
|ISO27001 Certified Supplier i|
ISO27001 Certified Supplier
How Seriously Do We Take Information Security?
We’re an IT company: you’d expect us to say that we take information security seriously – and we do.
But We Would Say That, Wouldn’t We?
We don’t think you should have to take our word for it, so back in 2014 we embarked upon the journey to certification under ISO27001:2013, the Information Security standard. We examined, refined, documented and tested every aspect of Information Security, both within Tiger Computing and extending to how we manage and support our clients’ systems. In May 2015, we put ourselves to the test. We were independently audited and were assessed and certified as meeting the requirements of ISO27001:2013.
What Does This Mean For You?
It means that you can rest assured that we take Information Security seriously; that we will continue to refine and improve our Information Security policies; and that we will be independently audited annually to confirm that we are maintaining the required high standards of ISO27001:2013.
We will continue to grow our support, management and monitoring infrastructure to ensure that our clients have the very best availability of your systems – and we’ll continue building our team of the best Linux experts in the UK.
|24/7 Proactive System Monitoring i|
24/7 Proactive System Monitoring
Effective system monitoring, with automated alarm notifications to support staff, can preempt many problems and thus improve system availability. Such monitoring will typically include:
Business Process Monitoring
It is relatively trivial to extend the monitoring to cover key business processes. For example, an online shop may know that, on average, it takes 10 orders an hour. One check might be to look at the time of the last update of the “sales” table in the database. If it was more than 10 minutes ago, an alarm could be raised.
This is by no means the only test that should be run on such a server, and it wouldn’t be very helpful in diagnosing the cause of the problem. It would, however, alert staff who could check that all is well. If an issue is found, it may be appropriate to add further checks to more quickly identify future similar issues.
The point is that IT is there to support the business. Monitoring its effectiveness in doing so is a worthwhile approach.
|Trend Monitoring i|
While status monitoring is helpful in identifying problems when they begin to make themselves apparent, system trend monitoring is concerned with looking at various system parameters over a longer period of time. Typically, many of the same parameters are measured, but are displayed as graphs. This is useful in allowing:
By way of example, the graph below shows the disk usage of a system over time. It can be seen that the
|Log Monitoring i|
Monitoring Linux logs for potential problems is a critical part of ensuring high availability, and allows us to be aware of problems before they impact your business. The System Logger is an integral part of Linux and, as its name implies, it keeps a record of things that happen on your server.
The logging system is very flexible, and may be configured to log pretty much anything. Some typical examples:
For the most part, the examples given above are of little interest. However, when a user reports that they’ve not received an expected email, the logs allow the system administrator to check whether that mail has been received, and whether there were any problems with it (perhaps it was rejected because the recipient’s address was mistyped).
…But Not Always
Occasionally, there will be events logged that should be acted upon. Maybe a disk is reporting errors, or perhaps there are repeated attempts to log into a non-existent user account.
Bad: Small Needles, Big Haystacks
The difficulty is in finding the messages that are significant to your environment amongst the thousands of benign messages logged every day. Searching the logs manually is both time-consuming and inefficient.
Better: What Are You Looking For?
A better approach is to define what is being sought, and have a report sent each time a match is found. The challenge, though, is defining what to look for. Searching for “error” in the logs might highlight some interesting entries, but it won’t find a line reporting “Unknown user: fredbloggs”.
Best: What Aren’t You Looking For?
Better still is to define what we don’t want to know about – and then report on everything else.This approach sends emails to the system administrator detailing everything in the logs that the system has not been told to ignore. As you might expect, initially that can be quite a lot of data, but over time we can filter out the benign messages.
The aim here is to only ever receive reports that will be acted upon: if something is reported that does not require action, that “something” should be added to the filters so it is no longer reported.
What We Get
The end result will typically be a small number of short reports detailing the log entries that didn’t match the “expected” ones, and which require action. It is that action that increases the security or availability or performance of your server – and in today’s business environment, that’s essential.
|Server Configuration Backup i|
|Configuration Management i|
The configuration of every server we support is stored on a central Configuration Management server.
Each server checks its configuration against the master server periodically. If the actual configuration of the client server differs from that defined on the master, the necessary changes are made on the client to bring it into line.
It is possible, for example, to ensure that certain software is installed (or even that it is not installed), or that certain user accounts are or are not present on all or a defined subset of servers.
This ensures consistency between the servers as required, and makes the building of another server “just like server X” very easy. It also makes it easy to manage configuration changes across multiple servers in a consistent and controlled manner.
|Industry Best Practice Support|
|Support Level Flexibility|
|Unlimited Incidents Per Month i|
Unlimited Incidents Per Month
You shouldn’t have to report any server problems to us – we should know about them before you – but we certainly aren’t going to impose any limit on you reporting issues.
The business model of an “allowance” of incidents per month, with an additional charge for any incidents over that allowance, is not one we subscribe to.
We work hard to stop things going wrong in the first place rather than waiting until they break.
|System Tuning i|
Effective system monitoring can also be used to improve system performance. The following example considers a web server that uses a MySQL database; however, the principle applies equally to other areas of system performance. Here, the trend graphs are used to monitor the impact of the changes that were made.
After examining the system, the decision was made in week 9 to change a number of MySQL parameters relating to caching (in other words, keeping more of the database in memory). In the graph below, a dramatic reduction in disk reads and writes can be seen because less data needs to be moved to and from the disk:
As a consequence of more database operations taking place in memory rather than requiring disk access, the number of database operations per second has tripled:
Below, it can be seen that the network traffic on the web server has increased significantly after week 9. This is because the database is now working faster, and is able to handle more page requests. (The additional network traffic in week 3 was unrelated to this work, and not typical of this application’s normal performance.)
|Including identifying application bottlenecks||Including identifying application bottlenecks|
|Minimum Term i|
No Minimum Contract Term
None of our standard support contracts has a minimum term. Full transparency: our standard terms and conditions allow you to cancel the service at any time with 30 days’ notice, to end at the end of a calendar month.
We want you to stay with us because you want to, not because you have to.
|Support Hours||09:00 – 17:00, Monday to Friday||08:00 – 18:00, Monday to Friday||24 hours a day, 7 days a week|
|Security Updates Installed||Between 09:00 – 17:00, Monday to Friday||Between 17:00 - 18:00, Monday to Friday||Between 18:00 and 19:00, Monday to Friday, or by arrangement|
|Operating System Upgrades i|
Operating System Upgrades
We include operation system version upgrades as a standard component of all of our support contracts.
It’s important that your servers are kept up to date and secure, and we believe that operating system upgrades should be an integral part of the service, not a paid-for extra.
|Between 09:00 – 17:00, Monday to Friday||Between 08:00 - 20:00, Monday to Friday||Between 08:00 – 20:00, Monday to Friday, or by arrangement|
|Response Time for Critical Issues||1 hour||10 minutes|
|Guaranteed Uptime||Available with Premier+ Support|
|Guaranteed Fix Time||Available with Premier+ Support|
|User Data Backups i|
User Data Backups
User data backup is available as an additional service. We use online backups to two independent remote backup servers. These are hosted in geographically disperse data centres, and each backup is independent (we back the data up twice rather than copying data from one backup server to another). Each backup includes a customisable preparation phase where, for example, databases may be dumped or custom application functions may be called. Each backup is monitored, checking that:
|Optional Extra||Optional Extra||Optional Extra||Most Popular Package|
We’ve been relying on Tiger Computing for our Linux support for a few years now. They are an absolute dream to work with: highly knowledgeable, friendly and extremely competent.
IT support done the way it should be.– Dr Ross Fraser, Head of Bioinformatics at Synpromics Ltd