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xSP: Cyquator Technologies Limited
Cyquator - Infrastructure outsourcing for enterprises

Cyquator Technologies Limited has a world-class data center which offers a range infrastructure outsourcing solutions bound with strict SLAs. by Soutiman Das Gupta

Cyquator Technologies Limited's (CTL) data center is located at the Vashi Infotech Park and spread over 20,000 square feet. It claims to be an end-to-end IT infrastructure outsourcing company involved in the business of IT Infrastructure, application management, and high-end managed hosting services. The company is part of the Rs. 8.82 billion Essel Group, which also owns the media companies of Zee.

Market need
CTL felt that enterprises were focusing on 'core' activities and outsourcing non-core yet business-critical services. And there is demand for a responsible organization that can address this market and offer quality managed services with clear 'Service Level Agreements.'

Cyquator Data Center Architecture
(Click on image for larger view)

The data center offers the following services:

  • Managed services
  • Hosting support
  • Messaging services
  • Premium services

Managed services
Managed security - The data center offers managed firewall services as a perimeter security measure. Cisco's PIX Firewall forms the core of the data center's firewall solution. CTL has access-lists configured in the gateway routers to deny common vulnerable traffic like DoS attacks. Access lists are also defined on the switches. Periodic audits are conducted on CTL's infrastructure servers by the CTL security team.

A client is assigned a port on the firewall that will be configured according to the client's security policy. It is essential that the client creates a 'restriction list' for the server, which will serve as a base document to define the firewall policy.

Firewall monitoring - This is performed to ensure fast response to security problems. The monitor function triggers an alarm and security engineers can work proactively to determine the cause and aim to ensure that the customer's data is not exposed.

VPN - Cyquator offers VPN services and can customize, manage, and remotely install VPN clients on customer desktops. Clients need to download the software and run the same on their respective desktops.

Security audits - These audits can also be performed for customers. It's an assessment that identifies potential vulnerabilities in the servers, network topology, and security policies. The audit will analyze firewalls, routers, and switches; assess operating systems; and conduct vulnerability probes, and help fix any vulnerabilities.

Other managed services

  • Load balancing - This is performed with the help of Alteon Layer 4 and Cisco Layer 3 switches.
  • DNS migration - The data center provides assistance to new customers to move an already registered domain name being hosted by another provider, to itself.
  • Storage - CTL helps its customers assess and plan storage requirements and recommends suitable solutions. It houses a NAS infrastructure for file storage.
  • Backup - Automated backup on DLT drive is performed with Veritas Netback up and the Quantum ATL Robotic Tape Library Storage System. Backup is also performed using a DAT Drive for specific customers. Online backup for off-site storage is performed at the premises.
  • Database management - It includes services like installing the database, fine tuning the database with the OS, configuration, table space creation, installing the database dump on to the database, and fixing the number of open connections.

Hosting support
Dedicated hosting services - These services are aimed at clients who outsource their complete infrastructure and systems without compromising control on their systems, database and operation. Clients are provided with the servers of their specification configured to run their applications.

Collocation - Collocation is suitable for companies that have servers to be deployed but require outsourcing of high-end infrastructure, network and professional support.

Shared hosting - This service offers the power, performance, and features of the data center without the unnecessary cost or complications of a dedicated server. As the needs grow, the client can upgrade the service, add new optional features, or purchase dedicated hosting.

Messaging services
Cyquator offers a feature-rich e-mail service to its customers. It has features like:

  • Redundant Qmail servers on Red Hat Linux with integrated Web mail.
  • LDAP-based authentication.
  • Load balanced servers behind firewalls.
  • Choice of anti-virus check on all incoming mails and attachments.

The data center claims to have optimum level of redundancies to ensure against all possible eventualities. It has stable power, fire management, raised flooring, physical security, precision air-conditioning, Internet connectivity, and an integrated building management system incorporating all these elements.

As a Telco grade Internet Data Center, Cyquator offers n+1 level of redundancy required to ensure that customers’ servers are always up and running. An Integrated Building Management System facilitates automated centralized monitoring and control of all the infrastructure technology essentials.

The data center's IDSs (Intrusion Detection Systems) can detect and alert, based on pattern matching for threats like stealth port scans, NMAP and other port scanners, buffer overflows, CGI attacks, SMB probes, DoS attacks, well-known backdoors and system vulnerabilities, and other such attacks. IDS Systems are used on both hosts and the network. The Network IDS device is placed in the core network of CTL.

The data center offers strict SLAs to cover the following network aspects:

  • LAN quality: The LAN guarantee covers network hardware including router, switches, cabling, and other hardware relating to the network infrastructure.
  • Network uptime: CTL guarantees that the network will be available 99.5 percent of the time in a given month, excluding scheduled maintenance. Network uptime includes functioning of all network infrastructure including routers, switches and cabling.
  • Hardware guarantee: The hardware guarantee covers all hardware components like processors, RAM, hard disks, motherboards, NIC, and other hardware as described in the server lease.

The agreement also covers mandatory clauses like termination clauses for either parties; physical access and basic prohibition within the premises; force majeure factors, third-party complaint processes, and the arbitration clause.
Cyquator has strategic peering arrangements with leading Indian ISPs diverting a major proportion of Internet traffic within India. Peering with all major Indian ISPs can reduce the multiple network hops that data takes in reaching its final destination on the Internet.

Premium services
The data center offers 24x7 monitoring of all application and storage servers. And proactive maintenance through threshold monitoring of critical system parameters.

It also offers a solution called iOperations. iOperations is a network management solution that monitors, controls, and reports the health of the IT environment.

This service can help customers understand aspects like:

  • Is the CPU being over-run?
  • Is the server running out of disk space?
  • CPU utilization, queue lengths, and related processor metrics.
  • Memory usage, caching, and their memory-related metrics.
  • Network utilization, errors, and their metrics pertaining to network activity.

Disaster recovery - Cyquator claims to have a suite of offerings to address this need. The solution caters to all levels, beginning from the lowest level of tape shipment to the high-end online Hot WAN replication. The services offered by Cyquator support common platforms and applications.

Server hardening - Server OS hardening limits the amount of external holes exposed on customers’ servers. But any host that provides services on a network can still be susceptible to security holes. For example, by exploiting bugs in HTTP or FTP software, hackers can gain access to the server. Hence this requires OS Hardening and regular patching to prevent from such attacks.

ISP for corporates - CTL functions as a national ISP offering high-end access services from a POP at Andheri in Mumbai. The company offers bandwidth starting from 64 Kbps to the actual requirement of the customer for accessing the Internet.

Soutiman Das Gupta can be reached at

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